Geena Zebrasky – Features Writer
220,000 tons is a lot. To give you some perspective, that’s 1,466 blue whales worth of a ship. Or, almost three million 150-pound humans. However, unlike a whale or human could, the Ever Given ship couldn’t manage to swim through the Suez Canal without getting stuck.
When the Ever Given got stuck, society got stuck too. We began grappling with the profound questions the ship presented to us—questions so profound, many found the only way to cope was through memes on Twitter.
The first question almost asks itself: should we even be constructing ships this large? Mothers globally can only shake their heads: if only the engineers had listened when they told them to take more than one trip inside with the groceries. The effort of picking up spilled groceries isn’t worth it in the end. The wisdom in taking more than one trip, to save time in the end, was obviously lost when we built this ship.
Build bigger ships, because you’ll have to take less trips, but you’ll also stop global trade for six days, three hours, and 38 minutes (thanks istheshipstillstuck.com). I’m not going to say it’s our fault for trying to cram over 20,000 containers on one ship, but that’s kind of what I’m saying.
With a big ship in the way, everyone got a little nervous about trade. Apparently, nine billion dollars in global trade was held up a day. That’s like over $50 billion total. Big numbers for a big ship. Economic professors in universities sat puzzled, considering how they could incorporate this into their week, so they can finally look like they’re teaching something relevant to real life.
Here we run into the second question: where is this $50 billion, and who came up with these numbers? Sure, all the stuff in the shipping containers will be late. In fact, many on the receiving end cancelled their orders, asking for a refund because they paid for two-day shipping. But why can’t people just learn some patience? Money isn’t real anyway, and everyone could use a week off sometimes. Maybe we could just write IOUs in the interim.
Perhaps most importantly, astrologers and worms globally demand respect for basically saving our global trade system. Without this week’s Worm Moon, who knows how long the backhoe would’ve been digging the Ever Given out.
“I don’t think it’s fair, the credit the tugboats are getting. The moon caused the tide to rise, and if the moon decided to stop orbiting Earth, who knows what would’ve happened. Plus, this week’s full moon means a lot to the worms, and the spotlight has been stolen from them by a ship that was just too big for its own good,” Anne Lida of the Earthworm and Astrology Society said.
Regardless, the Ever Given was a big—perhaps too big—problem. In a week, that $50 billion will seem completely made up, but the story of Ever Given will live forever on its very own lengthy Wikipedia page.
The take home message? Make sure to thank a worm (and the moon), especially if you’re an economics major.