The Southern Canal

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Bridges are a common sight along the canal.

The Southern Canal is a monument and public highway that runs along the +Z axis. The canal stretched for over 150,000 blocks as of July 2018. It has been expanded and maintained by many players throughout its history. The canal carves through hills, mountains and all other natural terrain down to the water surface at y:64.

The canal starts at circa 1200, and a highway goes from 0,0

History

The canal was founded by ThebesAndSound in December 2014 ~26500z with the original intention to build northwards and finish at spawn. Over the span of 4 months Thebes finished the original section between 21.5k and 26.5k.

In March 2015 Thebes contacted ChadDX, who was known at the time for building at spawn. Thebes gave Chad full ownership for how the spawn end of the canal should look and where it should be. Chad decided it should be at 1200, on the outer most ring of the 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 canal was made from stone brick leading south away from the terminal. Upon hearing news of the work happening at the spawn end, Thebes travelled 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. This group of players eventually became known as South Canal Corp.

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The obsidian hand statue, made by Dino_Saurus, which used to mark the old end of the canal at 56k. The statue has since been partially destroyed.
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Towers along the Canal

The canal saw big changes due to the 1.9 Minecraft update. During the update, boats received optimisations that made travelling by boat much easier and smoother and so allowed players to travel at speed on the canal. Also along with 1.9, the enchantment Frost Walker became a problem as players would walk over the water and freeze large sections. Frost Walker damage is no longer an issue as Hausemaster re-enabled frosted ice melting during the Rusher War, in which the Southern Canal saw significant damage.

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The South Canal spawn terminal building at 0,1200. This was originally built by ChadDX in March 2015, seen here lastly rebuilt by sudofox before being lavacasted by jared in August 2016
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Gigantic lavacast over the canal, marking the 32,000 milestone.
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'Eden' a monument along the canal near spawn

During the Rusher War, the Southern Canal was a large hub for Rushers as they would use it to escape spawn as it was relatively close to spawn and the use of boats reduced hunger. Rushers, along with other griefers, also caused damage to several buildings along the canal. The two terminals at the start and end of the canal's were both griefed during the war.

The top block of the canal walls were fully replaced by Obsidian in July, 2017.

On August 9th, 2017, the Southern Canal reached the 100k. 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 & 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 others on August 19th, 2017. Later on the griefers lost interest in destroying the canal and the repair team continued on to fully repair and upgrade the canal back to 100k.

Trivia

  • According to FitMC, the canal is the longest made canal in Minecraft History. Whether this is true or not is uncertain, however, in 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 southern most 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 72,000 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.