TO DIVERT THE GULF STREAM?
MR. SLOPER, an engineer of this country, proposes to dig a canal through Florida, in order to divert the Gulf stream from the west coast of Europe to the east coast of America, and thus to transfer at least a portion of the comparatively warm temperature, with all its results, from the old to the new world. From an engineering standpoint, even granting that the level surface of Florida presented no very great obstacles to the carrying out of the project, the cost would be sufficiently prohibitive to allow of its execution. It would absolutely dwarf the expenditure upon the Suez or the Panama canals. For the Florida canal to attain its object, the whole of the Gulf stream must be diverted. To do this the canal would have to correspond to the breadth and depth of the Gulf stream. The Suez canal is 160 kilometres in length, 100 metres in breadth, and eight metres in depth, and the breadth of the Florida peninsula at the proposed point of intersection is only about five or ten kilometres less than the whole length of the Suez canal. The new canal, in order to accommodate the Gulf stream, which is about 110 kilometres broad and 200 metres deep, would have to be twenty-five times as deep, and one thousand times as broad as the Suez canal. Now, a kilometre equals 3,280.8 feet, and a metre, 39.37 inches. The cost of the inereexcavation, then—to say nothing of the extra expense of working at such a depth—would amount to 10,000,000,000 marks (a mark equals $0.23.8), or two thousand five hundred times as much as the indemnity paid by France to Germany on the conclusion of the Franco-German war. Wherefore, putting aside the possibility of digging such a ditch across Florida, the pecuniary outlay renders the feasibility of the scheme impossible.