Blowing Up the Panama CanalS

The Panama Canal, a human-created waterway between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, is the last century's greatest work of geoengineering. And it continues to evolve. Just a few months ago, workers began setting off explosives like those you see here to widen the canal and allow oil supertankers to get through. Want to see more of the canal and the giant ships that traverse it?

Blowing Up the Panama CanalS

During the several decades of building the 48 mile canal in the early twentieth century, 27,500 workers died. Today, oil tankers like this one travel through several locks full of water to reach the Pacific from the Atlantic (or vice versa). Here's another tanker, below. It's moving through a lock very near the area that is being widened. I love the gigantic "no smoking" sign.

Blowing Up the Panama CanalS

Below you can see one of the "trains" that helps pull boats through the locks.

Blowing Up the Panama CanalS

Here's a view from above of the area that's being widened.

Blowing Up the Panama CanalS

And here is Panama City, just a few kilometers from the Canal, which is about to start building a bunch of skyscrapers that will be completed in 2009 and 2010 around the same time as the canal project. Real estate speculators believe the widening of the canal will lead to more business.

Blowing Up the Panama CanalS

Images via Getty.