Top 10 Interesting Panama Canal Facts

Panama Canal FactsThere are many Panama Canal facts that most people are familiar with. After all, this is an area that was world-famous and at one point in time consistently making headlines across the world.

However, some of the most interesting Panama Canal facts are not as widely known. Luckily, you can find them right here.

For your enjoyment, the top 10 interesting Panama Canal facts are listed below:

1. Almost all of the Panama travel guides explain the importance of this water way however, they rarely explain the amount of material used, when in fact it took well over 4.5 million cubic yards of specialized concrete to construct it.

2. Another one of the more fun Panama Canal facts includes the number of miles it saves travelers. The average ship sailing from the east to the west coast saves approximately 7,872 miles.

3. The Panama Canal locks are extremely thick. The locks are in fact, 7 feet in girth and weigh approximately 750 tons. That’s almost twice as thick as the average nuclear blast door found in underground bunkers. However, they are thin enough to allow ships of all sizes to pass through successfully.

4. Although the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, in this part of Central America, the sun rises from the direction of the Pacific Ocean, which is on the west coast. For this reason, a number of Panama Canal cruises sail from the opposite direction to take advantage of this phenomenon.

5. Of all of the Panama attractions, the Panama Canal ranks in the top 10. It is filled with history and provides wonderful views for all who participate in day tours.

6. In 1928, a man named Richard Halliburton swam across the canal and was charged $.36 for his toll. They charged him this amount in accordance with his weight of 150 pounds.

7. Some of the record-making Panama Canal facts include the Rhapsody of the Sea, a cruise ship that paid an extremely high fee of $153,662.66 to be allowed to cross into the water from the other side. Ironically, regardless of whether this ship passed all the way through or decided to turn around, the price was the same and was required as an advanced payment.

8. Panama Canal tours are available in partial transit or complete transit. A partial transit tour is approximately 13.7 km. You receive transportation, a narrator or guide, lunch, and all the water or soft drinks you want. A complete or full transit tour is twice as long and includes breakfast, along with everything else. You also have more options to view geological sights and shop for souvenirs.

9. The Panama Canal is open all day, every day of the week however, most of the public are only allowed access between the early morning and late afternoon hours.

10. Prior to 1999, there were a total of 9 military bases stationed along the Panama Canal. Now, they are all deserted and most are crumbling and deteriorated.