If you ever think you’re just wasting your life away while scrolling Twitter at all hours of the day, well, now we have some proof that you probably helped restore global commerce. Well, a little.
The Ever Given was the talk of social media for the better part of a week in late March, as the massive boat got stuck in the Suez Canal in Egypt and blocked the essential waterway from all traffic. The incident crippled trade and forced a lot of boat operators to make a difficult decision: wait for the ship to get unstuck from the side of the wall, or spend thousands of dollars traveling around the Cape of Good Hope in Africa to make it through to the Atlantic Ocean and into Europe.
While companies and captains and engineers tried to solve this problem, a lot of people made memes about the boat. Many of them were funny, and while they may not have actually solved the problem, it was a good way to pass the time. But now we know that those memes may have actually helped move things along after all. In a Washington Post story about the excruciating process to free and re-float the massive ship as long as the Empire State Building is tall, one man working on the process actually said thinking about all the memes that circulated online for days helped fuel their efforts to get it free.
Eslam Negm, 32, watched from the deck of the Baraka 1 tugboat and thought of the all the Internet memes about the marooned ship. The world had been laughing at Egypt. “No one was able to see how much pressure we were under,” he said.
They were exhausted, now accustomed to failure but still determined. And they watched closely as the operation commenced.
Every engine roared, the Alp Guard deeper than any.
And suddenly, they thought they felt movement. Slowly, but yes, the Ever Given’s stern seemed to be creeping toward the deeper water. By 5 a.m., they were sure.
There’s a lot more to it than that, of course, not to mention the help from the moon to lift the tides and get things going to re-float the boat. But if anyone ever says your posting isn’t helping, well, tell them about the time you helped get the big boat unstuck from the Suez Canal.
[via Business Insider]