A massive cargo ship is blocking the world's second-busiest canal, and the memes are high-key relatable

ever given suez canal egypt container ship

In this image published by the Suez Canal Authority, a ship navigates before a huge freighter named Ever Green, stranded on Wednesday, March 24, 2021, after being traversed in the Suez Canal, Egypt, and blocking a crucial sea passage for the global freight traffic. Suez Canal Authority via AP

  • Ever Given, one of the largest cargo ships in the Suez Canal, has run aground.

  • The ship has caused a massive logjam in one of the world’s most important trade routes.

  • The internet was quick to give the bottleneck the meme treatment.

  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Days after the Suez Canal, one of the most important shipping routes in the world, was blocked by a massive container ship, the Eiffel tower-length ship received the meme treatment. Ever Given, a nearly 200-foot-wide, 1,300-foot-long cargo ship sailing under a Panamanian flag, caused a transcontinental logjam in the Egyptian waterway, which directly connects Europe to Asia. On Tuesday and Wednesday, salvage efforts from smaller tugboats and excavators along the Suez Canal’s banks were unsuccessful and authorities said that those efforts would resume early Thursday, with an “elite salvage squad” joining in from the Netherlands.

Social media users were quick to find deeper meaning in the “Big Engine That Couldn’t.”

-Nasri Atallah o ???? ??????? (@NasriAtallah) March 24, 2021

Many of the memes spoke to the feeling of being stuck in life, or on grueling tasks one simply can’t muster up the will to complete. Others pointed out the colossal task the tiny excavators faced in re-floating the ship. The excavators represented inspiration and grounding for some, and fruitless efforts for others.

Comic artist Chaz Hutton depicted maybe the most relatable original artwork about the traffic jam, where shipment delays (or procrastination in this case) have stacked up for days now. And a parallel was immediately drawn to a scene in Austin Powers.
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There were different interpretations of what “re-floating” means. And references to “Lord of The Rings.” People fixated on the path Ever Given took as it lost control of its steering, saying it looked…like something a middle schooler might draw.

And there were niche historical memes, too, like this one plastered with portraits of Gamal Adbel Nasser, referencing the Suez Crisis and war of 1956, when the former Egyptian leader nationalized the Suez Canal to the ire of European nations and neighbors.

Egypt fended off an invasion of Israeli and European forces, and through UN and US pressure, managed to keep Suez nationalized for a few years.

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