These 25 Suez Canal Facts Would Force You To Think About Man-Power | Kidadl


These 25 Suez Canal Facts Would Force You To Think About Man-Power

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Waterways are one of the most used ways of transportation to transit gigantic amounts of goods and commodities all around the world.

When we talk about passageways through which ships can move from east to west easily, the Suez Canal is the obvious choice. If there was no Suez Canal, ships needing to transport goods from one side of the world to the other, would be forced to take a much longer journey to reach the destination.

The Suez Canal is a man-made water canal system owned and operated by the Suez Canal authority set up by the Egyptian Government. This canal proved to be a blessing for ships. The canal starts from Port Said on the Mediterranean Sea, flows for a distance of about 120 mi (193.3 km), and then ends at the Suez Port, thereby also separating the African continent from Asia. This canal is one of the most heavily used ocean routes in the world as it is the shortest route between Europe and countries located around the Indian ocean and the West Pacific Ocean.


The Suez Canal is a very important part of history that should be recognized by everyone in the world. This historical idea has today become a boon to the marine industry.

In 1850 BCE, the first-ever canal of ancient Egypt known as the Canal of Pharaoh was constructed by an Egyptian Pharaoh through the branches of the River Nile into the Wadi Tumelat, which was a dry River Nile valley east of the Nile delta. The canal extended from Ptolemies to as far as the Red Sea.

The Venetians and the French were the first to speculate a possibility to make a canal zone through the Isthmus of Suez.

Before the Suez Canal, ships used to go around the South Atlantic and Cape of Good Hope to reach various destinations around the world.

Napoleon Bonaparte was the first to conduct a survey of a canal through the Isthmus of Suez.

In 1854, Ferdinand de Lesseps was given permission to start a company responsible for digging and the construction of the Suez Canal, and thereby Ferdinand de Lesseps created the Suez Canal Company to complete the project.

Thousands of people attended the inauguration of the canal, and many important people like the wife of the French emperor, princes of various nations, and the British ambassador of Istanbul also attended the inauguration.

The canal proved to be of huge interest to the British Government during World War II because of the short distance between India and other eastern countries and Europe.

Location Of Suez Canal

The importance of the Suez Canal is all because of the location of the canal and the benefits that it provides to the marine system.

The canal starts from Port Said, which is located along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea and ends at the Suez Port, known as the southern end of the canal.

The Suez Canal is actually an artificial water canal system running through the Isthmus of Suez.

The Suez Canal divides the continents of Asia and Africa.

The Government of Egypt has started to expand and widen parts of the canal, such as Ballah Bypass, for faster transportation time.

The canal comprises an array of soil types based on the location. Port Said has slit and clay sedimentations, the central canal region comprises fine sand, and the southern end is made of layers of calcium rocks and soft sand.

Reason For Suez Canal's Construction

There is always a reason behind starting massive projects and the reason for the construction of this canal was quite obvious.

The main reason behind constructing this canal is to create the shortest oceanic route between Asia and Europe.

The canal helps shorten the travel distance and travel time because the ships need not go around the continent of Africa to reach the Indian and Pacific oceans.

The Suez Canal helps in easier transportation of various consumer goods, commodities, oil from the Persian Gulf, and hydrocarbons.

There is always a reason behind starting massive projects

Suez Crisis

When a place is very important to everyone, there is always a chance of conflict all because of the place itself. The Suez Crisis is an example of this occurring in the modern world.

The situation began with Nasser wanting to build a dam, so he requested funds from the Soviet Union, although the United States and Great Britain were ready to help.

The British Government joined with France and Israel to start an invasion known as the Suez Crisis.

United Nations Emergency Force was created to end the Suez Crisis.

The Suez Crisis brought an end to the career of British Prime Minister Anthony Eden and also heavily damaged the position of French Prime Minister Guy Mollet.

The canal was completely blocked on both ends during the crisis and an estimated 40 ships sunk during this time.

Yellow Fleet

The conflict resulted in numerous issues for the ships in the canal. The Yellow Fleet is now a well-known historical event from this time.

15 ships, with their crew still inside, were stranded in the Suez Canal for eight long years after the Six Day War.

All the ships were coated with the sand of the desert, thereby being given the name Yellow Fleet.

The 15 ships belonged to eight different countries from all around the world.

The ships left the canal after the reopening in 1975, and by that time, only two of them were able to run.

The crews from each of the 15 ships came together and started the Great Bitter Lake Association to provide mutual support to all ships.

The Great Bitter Lake Association organized various events to keep them entertained and fit, which included boat races and soccer games, and they also once organized the Bitter Lake Olympic Games in the year 1968.

In 1969, the number of crew was reduced. Only necessary numbers were left on board for the upkeep. The upkeep crew was changed every few months.

In 1975, only two ships from Germany reached home on their own power, which was a historical moment, cheered on by thousands of viewers.


How deep is the Suez Canal?

Initially, the Suez Canal had a depth of only 26.3 ft (8 m) when constructed in the 19th century, but later it was developed further, and now it is known to have a maximum depth of 78.7 ft (24 m) which is considered to be deep enough for the biggest of ships.

How many ships pass through the Suez Canal daily?

As of today, the daily average of transiting vessels through the canal is around 49 ships, but the Suez Canal Authority is working to achieve a daily average of around 97 ships by the year 2023.

Who built the Suez Canal and why?

In the year 1854, the first concession gave Ferdinand de Lesseps the permission to start a company responsible for the digging of the Suez Canal. The digging started in 1859, in which more than 20,000 Egyptians participated. The canal was made for the promotion of trade and to make easier waterways connection between the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea.

Who owns the Suez Canal now?

Today, the Suez Canal is owned, operated, and maintained by the Suez Canal Authority, which was set by the Egyptian Government in the mid 20th century to replace the Suez Canal Company.

How many people died building the Suez Canal?

The number of people who died while building the canal is only an estimate because Gamal Abdel Nasser cited in his 1956 speech that about 120,000 people died. However, based on historical data, it is estimated that no more than a few thousand workers died while building it.

When did the Suez Canal open?

After numerous years of hardship, the Suez Canal was opened in the year 1869. For this event, a long procession of around 77 ships sailed through the canal.

How long was the Suez Canal closed for?

The Suez Canal remained closed for about eight years, from the year 1967 until its reopening in 1975.

How important is the Suez Canal today?

Today, the Suez Canal is considered to be one of the most important and shortest waterway route connecting the east to the west. It is the key route for transiting various consumer goods, componentry, and commodities.

Where does the Suez Canal start and end?

The starting point of the canal is considered to be Port Said in the north and the ending point of the canal is Suez Port, on the southern side of the canal.

What is special about the Suez Canal?

The unique location of the canal makes it the shortest course between the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. So it is regularly used by ships worldwide to transport an array of commodities, componentry, oils, and hydrocarbons.

Written By
Moumita Dutta

<p>A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.</p>

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