The English Channel is the strait that separates Great Britain from continental Europe. The English named this strait the English Channel. The British call it a little differently - the English Channel, claiming their rights to it. The width of the strait, at its narrowest point, is only 32 kilometers. Therefore, in good weather, from France the English coast is perfectly visible, and from England, accordingly, the French one.
8 interesting facts about the English Channel
- The English Channel perfectly defended England from attacks from European states for many centuries. Despite its small width, the English Channel is quite insidious, strong currents, winds and fogs have destroyed many ships. Moreover, tragedies happen in the 21st century. Several years ago, the ship "Ace", which was carrying 10 thousand tons of phosphoric acid, was wrecked here.
- No wonder, before the outbreak of the First World War, Admiral John Arbuthnot Fisher said: "The world is kept locked by five keys: Singapore, Cape Town, Alexandria, Gibraltar and Dover." Dover is a large English port located on the coast of the English Channel.
- The English Channel does not freeze even in winter, influenced by the warm current of the Gulf Stream. But, in the summer, in the hottest weather, the water in the English Channel does not warm above 18 degrees.
- Back in the distant nineteenth century, the idea appeared - to connect England with France by a tunnel laid along the bottom of the English Channel. But, two hundred years ago, it seemed crazy. The dream came true only at the end of the twentieth century - on May 6, 1994, a railway tunnel was opened in a solemn atmosphere, the length of which is 50 kilometers, 38 of them pass under water at a depth of 45 meters. The train covers this distance in 20-30 minutes.
- This is, of course, convenient, but some people prefer to swim across the English Channel. At the moment, about 1, 000 people were able to make such a risky swim. This, by the way, is less than the conquerors of Everest. Captain Matthew Webb was the first to swim across the English Channel in 1875. It took him almost a day - 21 hours and 45 minutes. In 2006, the first Russian, Pavel Kuznetsov, swam across the English Channel. The record holder here is Australian Trent Grimsey, in 2012 he crossed the English Channel in 6 hours 55 minutes. But the Argentinean Antonio Arbertondo swam across the strait back and forth without interruption.
- The railway tunnel is also used by illegal immigrants. In August 2015, British border guards detained a "guest" from Sudan, who took a desperate step - he walked all 50 kilometers.
- The small island of Sark is located in the southwestern part of the strait. Currently, it is home to about 600 people. It is known for the fact that until 2008 the feudal system of land tenure was officially preserved on it. There were about 40 farms here, and the owner of the land was the seigneur, who disposed of it at his own discretion.
- In 1908, the Daily Mail published an interesting article - for a daredevil who managed to cross the English Channel by plane, the editorial office is ready to pay 1, 000 pounds. The first to risk the Frenchman Hubert Latham. But, the attempt was unsuccessful, the aviator fell into the water and was rescued by the sailors. But his compatriot Louis Bleriot managed to win the prize: on July 25, 1909, he flew over the English Channel in 37 minutes and landed safely on the English coast.