English Channel Facts

English Channel Facts
The English Channel is located between northern France and England, a body of water that links the Atlantic Ocean to the North Sea. The English Channel is 350 miles in length and stretches from 20.7 miles wide to 150 miles wide. Of all the shallow seas of Europe's continental shelf, the English Channel is the shallowest. The English Channel covers an area of roughly 29,000 square miles, and has an average depth of 207 feet. Its deepest point if 571 feet at Hurd's Deep. The English Channel is also referred to as the Sea of Brittany, the Sleeve, Mor Breizh, Mor Bretannek, and simply as the Channel.
Interesting English Channel Facts:
Prior to the 1700s the English Channel did not have an official English name.
During the Pleistocene period the English Channel was dry land. Melting ice from the last glacial period resulted in severing the last land connection between continental Europe and Britain.
The narrowest portion of the English Channel is at the Strait of Dover, as its eastern end. It is 20.7 miles wide at this spot.
The widest portion of the English Channel is between the Gulf of Saint Malo and Lyme Bay, near the midpoint of the channel.
The English Channel is one of the world's busiest shipping regions.
The islands in the English Channel referred to as the Channel Islands belong to the United Kingdom. During World War II the Germans occupied the islands.
At the Channel's deepest spot there are weapons that were dumped from World War I and World War II.
In 1821 the very first passenger ferry crossed the English Channel.
The English Channel has become a popular challenge for swimmer over the years. The first person to swim solo across the English Channel was Captain Matthew Webb, in 1875. He was stung by jellyfish during his crossing.
An 11 year old boy swam across the English Channel in 1988, in under 12 hours.
In 2014 a 70 year old from Australia swam across the English Channel in under 13 hours.
The English Channel is much more heavily populated on the English shore than the French shore.
The Channel Islands include Saint Helier, Saint Peter Port, Saint Anne, Sark, and Herm.
The Channel Tunnel, which was in the planning dating back to 1802, opened in 1994. The English Channel has the longest undersea section of any tunnel in the world.
Approximately 500 ships arrive in the English Channel every day because it is such an important and busy shipping region.
The tunnel connecting England and France under the English Channel is roughly a 35 minute trip. Approximately 50,000 people use it every day to cross.
There was approximately seven million tons of debris removed from the English Channel to build the tunnel. This debris was moved to Southeast England where it was used to create a 74 acre nature reserve called Samphire Hoe Park.
Throughout history the English Channel has been known by a variety of names including Mare Britannicum, Oceanus Gallicus, Mare Anglica, the British Sea, and the Narrow Sea, among many others.


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