The Ever Given is free at last — but Twitter users want to ‘put it back’

The blockage in the Suez Canal has dredged up plenty of jokes — and some people aren’t ready to let it go, yet. 

An enormous container ship known as the MV Ever Given turned sideways and became stuck in the Egyptian waterway last week. This crucial canal links the Mediterranean to the Red Sea, and sees an estimated 10% of total seaboard oil trade passing through it. 

The ship was finally cleared from the waterway on Monday afternoon local time, six days after it shut down the essential trade route. The blockage had an “outsized impact” on the oil market last Wednesday, and higher global supplies of natural gas could became another major concern. The maritime traffic jam outside the Suez Canal grew to more than 200 vessels on Friday.

As serious as this has been, it’s also the sort of situation, coming as the world enters the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, where the only thing you can do is laugh. So it should come as no surprise that many observers on social media couldn’t resist mocking the images of the massive ship — which is 1,300 feet long and weighs 224,000 tons — attempting to be dug out by a wee bulldozer. 

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Now the Suez Canal situation has gotten the full meme treatment, with some suggesting a giant Q-tip could be used to clear the channel. Or perhaps scientists could tap fictional monsters like Mothra from the “Godzilla” films to lend a hand. 

Other enterprising artists photoshopped the wedged cargo ship in other places notorious for traffic jams. And sports betting site My Bookie has started taking bets on when the Ever Given will be declared unstuck.

It has also become the perfect visual representation of the burnout many people are suffering as the pandemic enters year two. 

So as news that the ship was finally freed hit social media on Monday morning, many Twitter users began tweeting calls to “put it back.” In fact, the phrase had drawn close to 12,000 tweets by Monday morning.

Twitter users expressed regret that the Ever Given memes were about to sail off into the sunset.

All joking aside, about 370 vessels have been stalled on either side of the ship for almost a week, which has caused global supply chain delays and could cause weeks of havoc at ports worldwide.

This article has been updated with news of the Ever Given being freed, and reactions to the ship becoming unstuck.

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