What Really Happened at the Suez Canal?

Practical Engineering
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Exploring the engineering principles behind the recent obstruction of the Suez Canal, which caused a weeklong disruption in global shipping traffic. I give a brief overview of the bank effect and dilatancy of coarse-grained soils. Hopefully, the video helps you understand a few of the engineering challenges associated with navigating massive ships through tiny canals and what can happen when they run aground!
- I incorrectly described the landform as the "Suez Peninsula." It is the "Suez Isthmus."
Practical Engineering is a RUvid channel about infrastructure and the human-made world around us. Hosted, written, and produced by Grady Hillhouse. We have new videos posted regularly, so please subscribe for updates. If you enjoyed the video, hit that ‘like’ button, give us a comment, or watch another of our videos!
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This is not engineering advice. Everything here is for informational and entertainment purposes only. Contact an engineer licensed to practice in your area if you need professional advice or services. All non-licensed clips used for fair use commentary, criticism, and educational purposes.
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Satellite images copyright Maxar Technologies and CNES (Airbus)
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Source: ruvid.net/video/video-U6fBPdu8w9U.html
Producer/Host: Grady Hillhouse
Assistant Producer: Wesley Crump

Published on


Apr 20, 2021




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Practical Engineering
🌊 Enjoy videos with hydraulic demonstrations? Check out the playlist for more! ruvid.net/group/PLTZM4MrZKfW_XJht-K7a9_egIsFqze0nQ 🐥 Want to keep up with my other projects? Follow me on Twitter: twitter.com/HillhouseGrady
Jocko Harpo
Jocko Harpo 2 days ago
@Rgb Rides Thank You my friend! This dude and this channel are just damage control for these sickening evil scumbags. I have just about had it with these pigs on here trying to cover up this sickening evil that has infiltrated all aspects of humanity! I never thought there were any decent mainstream left. IS this news out of the middle east?
Rgb Rides
Rgb Rides 2 days ago
evergreen ship transports ( B Gates) climate change chemicals. white hats destroy cargo. save planet:! transcripts here: www.mavigazetem.com.tr/the-secret-contents-of-ever-given-evergreen-container-ship-translated-video-by-kaan-sariaydin/
Jocko Harpo
Jocko Harpo 3 days ago
Yeah..no clogs for over 13 years. Who do you work for?
Richard P Chase II
Well done! Straight-forward and understandable by mechanically-challenged, but fascinated, individuals like myself.
Lucas Janse van Vuuren
Here is a great example of what a big ship does when there is little water around it: ruvid.net/video/video-q2OQOAFq-hY.html
Ian Pannell
Ian Pannell Hour ago
Lou Sassoul
Lou Sassoul 2 hours ago
now they build a wall to "stop" the wind
lolilol lolilol
lolilol lolilol 8 hours ago
The sizes and tonnages of these monsters defy imagination. The heaviest ships like the Ever Given weigh 400,000 metric tons or even more. That's 4 times the tonnage of the USS Nimitz class aircraft carriers. There were a couple of 70m yachts around, and even them were dwarves compared to monsters of the seas, the biggest yacht being around 1,100 metric ton.
Patrick Roy
Patrick Roy 11 hours ago
Well explained!
Marcel I.
Marcel I. 12 hours ago
It was just a planned accident to push up prices for nearly every product. And the important thing is that the prices will stay on their new levels
Cindy Durbin
Cindy Durbin 13 hours ago
IT WAS GOD...🙏🙌❤🇺🇲🇺🇲🇺🇲🇺🇲
iain hill
iain hill 13 hours ago
120 miles long...with NO locks ? "flat?"
iain hill
iain hill 7 hours ago
@Garfie489 Syd-lantis ? Me likey ! Gb
Garfie489 8 hours ago
@iain hill If thats your understanding of physics, then Sydney would look like Atlantis. Im sorry the physics in play here are so simple, if you can not understand them then you are beyond help. This was well understood 3000 years ago when they barely had any tools to understand the concept, its not hard.
iain hill
iain hill 8 hours ago
@Garfie489 Sooo zero drop or curvature in 120 miles ?
Garfie489 11 hours ago
The whole thing is at sea level. Sea level is near enough constant around the world, and this is consistent with a global earth due to the concept of gravity. Not really an advanced principle
Nick Johnson
Nick Johnson 15 hours ago
I have to assume the ship wasn't on autopilot. A GPS guided autopilot should be able to keep the ship within a few feet of the centerline of the canal with instant response to any deviation unless the ship's control authority was exceeded. On ships of this size and cost, one would think that kind of autopilot capability would be cheap insurance against accidents like this.
Garfie489 11 hours ago
According to one ships engineer who travels the canal frequently, its standard for ships to be under manual control for the passage.
ldmoss1 16 hours ago
The incident probably started as most tragedies. I would guess that a recording of a conversation between the captain and the first mate would go like this. Captain, do you think we could turn this ship around in the canal? Well sure. Here, hold my beer and watch this!
Sebas Perez
Sebas Perez 21 hour ago
amazing video
airbne Day ago
Great video. Thank you.
Seoul Destroyer
Top notch explanation on the topic. I thoroughly enjoy your calm demeanor and science packed discussions.
Sean Lichtenstein
Heh. Bulbous Bow.
Craig Place
Craig Place Day ago
That was fantastic, thank you. I am looking forward to the why it happened. That's what the world wants to know. However your presentation of the engineering dilemma was explained perfectly. As an aero engineer helocopters have the same problem when hovering close to cliff faces. One aspect of air sea rescue many do not realise.
J S Day ago
Did the pilot fall asleep?
Lyle Johnston
What actually happened was the pilot wasn't watching where he was going because he was too busy watching the chick he was towing on skis.
You Can Call Me Papi
Inside job
Saulo Palácio
Maaan! You definitely look like Destin!
Shantanu Gokhale
Could’ve made the illustrations much better! Took me a while to find things on that map.
Paddy Mc
Paddy Mc Day ago
Dancing Titans atop the Ever Given tho amirite?
dave chepelsky
it was deliberately run aground
So Fly
So Fly Day ago
Why do I see EVERGREEN on the ship?
Garfie489 Day ago
Because ships are giant billboards, so companies like to put their names on the ship to advertise. Same reason an Adidas shirt has a giant Adidas logo - doesnt mean your name is Adidas however.
Kelly Carmouche
What ‘cha got on the twin towers and bldg.7 Grady? Asking for a friend ,Thanks
Kappa Day ago
I'd heard about the bulbous bow before, but until this video I hadn't realized it was basically an enormous Pinocchio nose. I'm delighted.
Nico V.
Nico V. 2 days ago
I think its Egypt's own fault. How much money do they cash in every year for ships to pass through the canal? And how many years does this canal exists? Why didn't they used part of this revenue to broaden the whole canal? and do not give me the maintenance excuse. in all these years they could have build a second canal right next to it make it a two lane throughput.....if they do not know how to do it, ask the Dutch. !! we may cost a pretty penny, but then you really got something good.!
Here from the Titans
Massimo Carboni
Massimo Carboni 2 days ago
Thank you very much!!!!
PLZFrosty 2 days ago
I can't wait for the Bolbous Bow video
Simon Belmont
Simon Belmont 2 days ago
Abe Dabous
Abe Dabous 2 days ago
Wren brought me here
S4nari 2 days ago
You missed how the convoys function off of bribes of cartons of cigarettes, and if you don't provide the cartons of cigs, you don't get assigned to a convoy.
Me Here
Me Here 2 days ago
Captain of that ship is a true artist, quite the picture he drew,
Josh Smith
Josh Smith 2 days ago
Fantastic video
HP Mody
HP Mody 3 days ago
I really hope you get this cause I need your help. I am a rural water operator for several water systems in Arkansas. We sometimes have to run new service lines for the customers and we like to bore the lines if we could. But this takes a long section of pipe and we often have long sections left but don’t want to put them together then pull the pipe back through the bored hole because we don’t know if the connector either a pex quick connect or a pex crimp connect will hold when we pull back through. Can you help me know how much force the quick pex connects and the the crimp pex connectors can withstand when pulled apart. Thank you for your help if possible.
ROCKYPLAYA 3 days ago
It's a ship. Not a boat.
pixie hallowes
pixie hallowes 3 days ago
Very educational and informative thank you
krow007 3 days ago
I was a bit late to this one, but absolutely loved your explanation. Keep up the excellent work!
NevadaTom 3 days ago
I have a question. The Ever Given has almost 7,000 hp. in bow thrusters. Why were they not used to keep the vessels bow in the channel?
clockguy2 3 days ago
Excellent explanation! My father was a civil engineer and I appreciate you letting me nerd out like I used to do when dad was still alive. You even resemble him when he was younger.
Steve Span
Steve Span 3 days ago
I struggle with the pull-out resist as well
Lawrence Shuda
Lawrence Shuda 3 days ago
David Williams
David Williams 3 days ago
This helps explain why I waited so long for my airtags
Picasso Pablo
Picasso Pablo 3 days ago
So from my understanding, the water density wasn't enough to hold up that giant ship.?
trunk monkey
trunk monkey 4 days ago
Captain Ron tried to pull into port thinking they reached St Croix!
ousmane diallo
ousmane diallo 4 days ago
Dave Barrack
Dave Barrack 4 days ago
"This ability to resist pull-out..." I so want to believe the first draft of this script had a Cardi B joke right there.
thewildcard person
Who's here from Corridor
Erik Knight
Erik Knight 4 days ago
How about the ACTUAL reason? It's tied to The Deep State Cabal and the now deceased Hillary Clinton. Our U.S. Military Special Forces white hats seized it. Inside they found tortured children in cages for Adrenochrome and advanced equipment Bill Gates intended on using for the next plan-demic, (anti-cow gasses) that's why he bought a lot of farm land recently, to grow his chemical infected crops. The equipment was destroyed and the children were rescued. The TRUTH about THE BIG LIE AND EVERYTHING else WILL come out to the public very soon.
Erik Knight
Erik Knight 3 days ago
@Garfie489 During President Trump's first term, he went to all the countries and almost all of the leaders agreed to work TOGETHER, to bring down the Cabal with combined, coordinated military actions. Even as I'm tying this, President Trump who IS STILL the President and the military in charge, they're still having military tribunals of the Deep State members. Believe what you want, the truth WILL be public VERY soon. #PIZZAGATE #OBAMAGATE, it's going public soon, even if the Cabal tries a media blackout, President Trump will use the Emergency Alert System.
Garfie489 4 days ago
No no, the ACTUAL reason was because Optimus Prime was known to be onboard, so Donald Trump stormed the ship with the power rangers and captured him - before revealing himself to be MEGATRON!!! In the ensuing fight, the ship crashed into the side of the canal. Now answer me, whose bullshit story sounds more fun? - US Military wouldnt allowed to be involved, its on Egyptian soil and it blocked the route their entire economy relies on. You realise Team America: World Police was not a documentary right? - thatd be a major international incident if it were true. Look i realise for average intelligence to be a thing, half the people need to be below it - but could you work on raising the standard please?
Tremayne Tyler
Tremayne Tyler 4 days ago
Bruh you smart AF
Stephen Doherty
Stephen Doherty 4 days ago
I didn't see any Egyptian canal company mention the Egyptian experienced pilot and why he was not able to fix the issue before it was too late. There is high winds there regularly so why has this not happened before as these large ships are regular transiters ??. If it was an Egyptian fault, you will not hear about it. If its a big canal design issue made more dangerous due to these supermax ships, then the Egyptians will bury this report as this would endanger such a massive money earner and potentially drive some shipping around Africa. If its a large ship issue then captains will need more training as the efficiency of these massive container boats is so obvious. The bad news is that the insurance payout is going to be so large as to require the insurance pool thats there for massive payouts that no one insurance company could provide and so that means higher insurance premiums and thus higher shipping costs. Expect your Apple Notebook from China to rise in cost unless fuel prices fall alot/shipping has its regular price war and there is a miracle cure to shippings dirty emission problem that will require trillions of cash in investment over the next 2-3 decades.
MC BigMac
MC BigMac 4 days ago
this guy looks like a mix between callmecarson and smarter everyday if they were older lol. amazing vid nevertheless.
John Christensen
John Christensen 4 days ago
"Foundering" means sinking. Stranding" or "grounding" would be more apt. Otherwise, great video.
PMKKO 4 days ago
too much talk...use pencil and paper.....
Lindsay Rixon
Lindsay Rixon 4 days ago
Brilliant, thank you Grady 👍
kathy duby
kathy duby 5 days ago
Really good info explained perfectly. Thank you for this.
yunas saxer
yunas saxer 5 days ago
Sunil Sivanand
Sunil Sivanand 5 days ago
@Practical Engineering: I had a question, that has been on my mind about the $ 1Bn claim made by the Suez Canal Authority on the owners of the Ever Given. No doubt the amount appears to be high. However, what I couldn't understand is if the ship was navigated by a pilot employed by the Authority, how can they make claims from the owners of the ship? I would assume it is complicated and they are holding the ship and cargo because they are in a position of advantage. I am sure, for an amount this high, this matter will be taken to all levels of international adjudication. Still would like to hear your views as an expert in this area.
Gaming With Memer
Help step excavator, I am stuck in a fricking canal.
Attila Pollak
Attila Pollak 5 days ago
Garfie489 5 days ago
@Attila Pollak Megatron and Optimus Prime also do not get mentioned. This channel is based upon facts, and given child trafficking is a non issue in this incident - theres no need to mention it. If you believe it occurred, then you seriously need to improve the quality of your news stories. Its doesnt take much logic to work out a container ship is probably the worst way to traffic people
Attila Pollak
Attila Pollak 5 days ago
@Garfie489 Chidtrafficking doesn't get mentioned?
Garfie489 5 days ago
Its a pretty good scientific explanation of some of the factors which likely contributed. A full answer is not available at this time
William Smith
William Smith 5 days ago
Speaking of channels, I'm glad that I found this one!
Helcostr 5 days ago
Oh wait... this event is now finished? Oh ok.
Rolando Vasquez
Rolando Vasquez 5 days ago
I have personally experienced this in my kayak when paddling near the bank in a shallow area and I can feel the pull towards the bank
Dan Bushilla
Dan Bushilla 5 days ago
Why are we not hearing much about the human trafficking that was found on the Evergreen?
Practical Engineering
Same reason we’re not hearing about other stuff that isn’t true and didn’t happen
Ch N
Ch N 5 days ago
good work
Excellent! Provides much greater understanding of this event even before it is totally investigated and reported on.
Nolan Gaudreau
Nolan Gaudreau 5 days ago
Hey Grady, do you think they could have used air to dislodge the bow? I've seen videos where sand, when air is pumped through it, basically turns into a liquid. I feel like drilling to beneath the bow and stick air hoses down there might have helped?
keyfinder257 5 days ago
is an accident and accident if it's done on purpose?
Dedwarmo 5 days ago
I like your clear and thorough explanations.
Rachel H.
Rachel H. 6 days ago
Your video shed real understanding on what happened with the Ever Given for me. Awesome illumination and I thank you for helping me understand.
Andrew Eppink
Andrew Eppink 6 days ago
Think he's obviously right re dilatency. Never heard of it before but sounds right. Knowledgeable man, Engineer. Good man.
Kenny Gurley
Kenny Gurley 6 days ago
The Buchanan Dam pennant. Love it!
J J 6 days ago
One day I was trying to pull a wooden fence post out of the ground. It just would not pull out, despite the fact it would wiggle. Something told me to get a garden hose and run water into the hole. The post pulled out easily. I think the Suez Canal engineers should try using a garden hose next time.
john ballish
john ballish 6 days ago
Sue canal smugglers paradise
john ballish
john ballish 6 days ago
The evergiven was stopped on purpose to expose its content..hello....???DU...
Garfie489 5 days ago
Youd think if they wanted to stop it, theyd have done so in such a way it doesnt suspend the keystone in Egypts economy for an unknown amount of time - like take it to port, keep it in the Bitter lake, etc. All options available if that was the genuine reason.
Charles Cowan
Charles Cowan 6 days ago
First time watcher and I'm impressed! You stick to the facts and even gave warning when wondering into speculation. I enjoyed this and will watch more when the opportunity presents itself.
Happy Highway
Happy Highway 6 days ago
#3,514 I'm a old sailor and suspect that cross winds striking a high sided ship caused the grounding. I've observed some vessels get moved about like a sailing ship with substantial gusts. I think Captain Phil has it correct!
FireguyNtx 6 days ago
Love the crane model, have been looking forever trying to find one. Where did you get yours? Also, great video's keep up the good work.
vijay shetty
vijay shetty 6 days ago
vijay shetty
vijay shetty 6 days ago
vijay shetty
vijay shetty 6 days ago
Reverses the water
vijay shetty
vijay shetty 6 days ago
Bloch China using the channel save Australia
vijay shetty
vijay shetty 6 days ago
It needs tug boats
Tailgunner 69
Tailgunner 69 6 days ago
What really happened was a major socio political move by the DS...and why did he draw a male genitalia in his route plan before getting 'stuck...
Garfie489 5 days ago
He didnt. The boat was circling around a fixed point, as were all other ships in the vicinity at the time - watercraft are well known for not exactly staying still. During one of the circles, the ship needed to move out of the way of another ship moving through the area, hence once circle was elongated - this is shown and explained in the real time viewing of the map. Its not really the best conspiracy theory in the world - its a well understood topic.
Karl FLORIAN 6 days ago
Did you see the AIS-video: i would suggest, there was no "suction" - only a steering fault ruvid.net/video/video-BYGClcf4l5k.html
Ken Engström
Ken Engström 6 days ago
Just imagine how hard ships will get stuck here: ruvid.net/video/video-Sfv0-WWxYNk.html
agnelo pereira
agnelo pereira 6 days ago
Any one on board ships know that without power being lost, steering control electronics failure can give little time in a narrow space.
Artur 6 days ago
Same effect in aircraft wings. Lift is not mainly created below wings but on top of wing by greater wind speed compared to below wing. It's not intuitive and thats why flat wing needs large attack angle to create difference between top and bottom of wing
Billy Williams
Billy Williams 6 days ago
They need a second lane.
Phil Spaces
Phil Spaces 6 days ago
I would really like to have a one on one nerd out session with you... well it would probably go smthin like this: me ask one question, then listen to you talk for hours
G Mc Innis
G Mc Innis 4 days ago
eyes glaze over after an hour or so as the transmission JUMPS out of gear.. motor is humming along.. but not going anywhere???? OH!!! back in gear.. rinse and repeat.
ashzole 6 days ago
1:05 greatest map of the flat earf!!!! the boat was intentionally setup to cause a blockage. it’s so obvious, look at the stocks of all the companies who had products on that boat plus the ones waiting. find which companies are being shorted, that’s you main clue
Clickmaster5k 6 days ago
As always I learned something new and interesting about something that seemed so everyday common place and simple.
Platform2020 6 days ago
Evergreen, Gates, chemicals, 5G Death
Sigal Smadar
Sigal Smadar 7 days ago
I hope Israel is taking lessons on how to improve on this "little ditch" for their canal from Aqaba to Med. Should be fantastic!
Syrian Hawk
Syrian Hawk 7 days ago
Evergreennd passed the Souez canal again and again !!! IT never get stuck
Christian Prepper
4:39 *FAILS ANSWER TITLE QUESTION* *Otherwise he does a fine job explaining the Canal's process, etc.*
Concerned CitiZen Garden
The entire event was orchestrated and manufactured to stifle global trade. This isn't conjecture. It's a fact.
Garfie489 6 days ago
Facts and conjectures getting easily confused nowadays it seems
You for real? This was a planned event..... Wake up people.
Paddy Mc
Paddy Mc Day ago
Never stop being you.
Awesome Video, thanks a lot
Pacaj Albert
Pacaj Albert 7 days ago
Mali chlapec v knihe som videl púšť hneď som videl vodu ovocie zelenú púšť farba sa zmenila otvoril som atlas v škole videl som obraz rozšíriť pevninu nad oceánom ľahšie na zemi než na Marse