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How the world's longest underwater tunnel was built - Alex Gendler

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Flanked by two powerful nations, the English Channel has long been one of the world’s most important maritime passages. Yet for most of its history, crossing was a dangerous prospect. Engineers proposed numerous plans for spanning the gap, including a design for an underwater passage more than twice the length of any existing tunnel. Alex Gendler details the creation of the Channel Tunnel.

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About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Alex Gendler
  • Director Bruno Simões
  • Narrator Addison Anderson
  • Animator Laura Portolés
  • Music Aurélien Vieira Lino
  • Director of Production Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Producer Alex Rosenthal
  • Producer Bethany Cutmore-Scott
  • Associate Editorial Producer Dan Kwartler
  • Fact-checker Eden Girma
  • See more
Additional Resources for you to Explore
It was the most expensive construction project in history, connecting England to mainland Europe for the first time in millennia. But how was the Channel Tunnel built, and what makes it so impressive?

For a more in-depth look at the particular challenges of construction, read the official government-commissioned history of the Channel Tunnel and this detailed engineering review. For a look at how the project was seen at the time, check out the contemporary coverage in the New York Times and The Guardian.

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Create and share a new lesson based on this one.

About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Alex Gendler
  • Director Bruno Simões
  • Narrator Addison Anderson
  • Animator Laura Portolés
  • Music Aurélien Vieira Lino
  • Director of Production Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Producer Alex Rosenthal
  • Producer Bethany Cutmore-Scott
  • Associate Editorial Producer Dan Kwartler
  • Fact-checker Eden Girma
  • See more