The Suez Canal in Egypt connects the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea.
It is the longest canal that does not require locks because the water levels of the Mediterranean and the Gulf of Suez are practically the same.
Locks are sections of a canal that are closed off by gates, allowing water levels to be adjusted so that ships can be raised or lowered to the proper level.
Before the canal was completed in 1869, ships had to sail around Africa in order to get to Asia and the Pacific Ocean.
The 100 mile long (161 km) canal cuts through the continents of Asia and Africa and carries 14 percent of the total world trade and 26 percent of oil exports.
The Suez Canal was built by a French and British company, and the British controlled the canal for many years.
In 1956, the Egyptian president Gamal Nasser declared that the canal belonged to Egypt. He did this because the British, French, and American governments refused to give Egypt loans to build the Aswan High Dam.
As a result, Great Britain, France, and Israel invaded Egypt.
The United Nations stepped in, ordering those countries to leave and letting Egypt keep control of the canal.
The Suez Canal links the Mediterranean and the Red Seas.
It enables ships to pass from Europe to Asia and the Pacific without rounding the southern tip of Africa.