Construction of the canal around about the 100k mark
The Southern Canal is a public canal that runs along the +Z axis and colludes with the Overworld +Z Axis Highway. As of April 2023, the canal stretches for over 544,000 blocks. It has been expanded and maintained by many players throughout its history, with dedicated repairers being part of the South Canal Corp And The SCA. The canal carves through hills, mountains, and all other natural terrain down to the water surface at y:64.
The canal originally began around 1,200 blocks out, with a highway connecting it to 0,0. As of October 2020, the water in the canal starts around 500 blocks out. This is most likely a result of the water cube made at spawn.
December 2014 - Canal created
August 9, 2017 - 100k milestone
August 19, 2017 - Battle of the Southern Canal
Sometime in 2021 - 300k milestone
May 2022 - 320k milestone
October 4, 2022 - 400k milestone
November 2022 - 500K milestone
March 5, 2023 - Canal paved over
The canal was founded by ThebesAndSound in December 2014. It began at around 26.5k, with the original intention to build northwards (towards spawn), and finish at spawn. Over the span of four months, Thebes finished the original section between 21.5k and 26.5k, which is 5,000 blocks long.
In March 2015, Thebes contacted ChadDX, who was known at the time for building at spawn. Thebes gave Chad full ownership of how the spawn end of the canal should look and where it should be. Chad decided it should start at 1200, on the outermost ring of the three spawn ring roads he had built (400, 800, and 1200). Work was done by ChadDX, joshYarnspinner, Dic and rainyafternoon to complete the 1200 terminal. A short section of the canal was made from stone brick leading south away from the terminal. Upon hearing news of the work happening at the spawn end, Thebes traveled to 1200 to meet who was there. This culminated in Thebes's abandonment of the original section to work with the group at spawn and build the canal southwards from there. This group of players eventually became known as the South Canal Corp.
The canal saw big changes during the 1.9 Minecraft update. During the update, boats received optimizations that made traveling by boat much easier and smoother and so allowed players to travel at speed on the canal. Also, along with 1.9, the Frost Walker enchantment became a problem as players would walk over the water and freeze large sections. Frost Walker damage is no longer an issue however, as Hausemaster re-enabled frosted ice melting during The Rusher War, in which the Southern Canal saw significant damage.
During the Rusher War, the Southern Canal was a large hub for Rushers as they would use it to escape Spawn, as the use of boats reduced hunger less than sprinting. Rushers, along with griefers, caused damage to several buildings along the canal. The two terminals at the start and end of the canals were both griefed during the war.
The top block of the canal walls were fully replaced by obsidian in July 2017.[Source?]
100k And Higher
On August 9, 2017, the Southern Canal reached the 100k milestone. This milestone being announced resulted in the vast majority of the canal to be drained of water using slimestone machines and withered by griefers. A group of volunteers came to the canal and helped South Canal Corp to repair and upgrade the canal, making most of its walls and floor out of obsidian, and adding barriers to counter the use of slimestone machinery. There were numerous PvP encounters in the first days of the repair, including an ambush by jared2013 and other SpawnMasons on August 19, 2017. Later on, the griefers lost interest in destroying the canal and the repair team continued to fully repair and upgrade the canal back to 100k.On January 17, 2020, a rare server crash corrupted, cloned, and reset some chunks at the Southern Canal. Somewhere in 2020, griefers like 0Neb and Mad_King_Lambo started drying parts of the Southern Canal that caused the canal up to 32k to become larger and wider to stop sponges from soaking up the water. The majority of the canal is still filled with water.
The SCA and South Canal Corp
The Fifth Column, builds a cargo ship (modeled after the cargo container ship that was stuck in the real life Suez Canal in 2021) and filled it with elder guardians.
The SCA reaches 500K as of November 2022.
The Battle of the Suez
During The Fifth Column's blockade of the main canal, a parallel canal was being built through SCA collaborating with Don Feuer. The parallel canal branches out from the main canal Z: 483.000, and was made in an attempt to reach the 500,000 mark, without Fifth Column realizing. Fifth Column realized this, causing a lot of PvP and sabotage attempts on the parallel canal. The parallel canal did not finish construction during the Fifth Column attack, but rather in January of 2023.
Raptr / Southern Highway Association
Recently a player known as Raptr led and funded a griefing group to pave over the Southern Canal using obsidian, naming themselves SHA (in response to SCA.) The paving was announced as completed on 21st January 2023.
- According to Fit, the canal is the longest made canal in Minecraft history. Whether this is true or not is uncertain. However, from a survival perspective, this has a higher chance of being true.
- A slimestone bomber was used to dig the canal from ~33,000 to ~56,000.
- The canal has had 2 long term southernmost ends, one at 26.5k where it began and another at 56.6k where it meets the Great Southern Ocean that expands to 100k.
- There is a canal that heads northwards from the southern world border for about 1,000 blocks.
- The canal largely replaced an older road consisting of tunnels and wood plank walkways.
- At 72k, the canal's water level drops a block, from Y:64 to Y:63. This was due to terrain generated in Beta 1.8 and beyond having a lower sea level than that of older terrain. From there on the canal is only two blocks deep.
- At 4k is a Godroster rest stop which has a chest full of cookies.