Fascinating One-Minute Timelapse Video Shows How The Panama Canal Works

From Business Insider’s YouTube channel:

A video released from the US Coast Guard shows how one of its vessels travels through the Panama Canal.

The Canal is a complex system that utilizes an artificial lake to help ships traverse between the Continental divide.

Transcript of the video is at the end of this article.

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The Panama Canal is an engineering marvel.

About 14,000 ships use it every year. The canal is about 48 miles long. It functions as a waterway between North and South America.

The canal connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans Before the canal, ships had to sail 13,000 miles around the tip of South America An artificial lake across Panama connects the oceans.

The Gatun Lake is 85 feet above sea level. How do the ships get raised and lowered?

The canal has a water lock system that acts like a massive elevator. When ships enter the locks, they’re raised by water from the lake. Each lock raises the ships until they’re 85 feet above sea level. They then travel across Gatun Lake. The ship is then lowered by the locks to sea level.

On average, it takes 8 hours for ships to cross the canal.


Tiffany Willis Clark is a fifth-generation Texan and the founder and editor-in-chief of The Best Stuff Online, AmReading.com, and a few other websites. In 2011, she made the decision to pursue her dreams and become a full-time writer. Tiff is obsessed with finding the most interesting, coolest stuff online and sharing it with the world. Connect with her on LinkedIn, follow her on Twitter, and like her Facebook page.