Suez Canal Obstruction
|Name(s):||Suez Canal Obstruction|
|Date(s):||March 23, 2021|
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Suez Canal Obstruction is an overnight fandom of anthropomorfics and memes that started on March 23, 2021, when the cargo ship Ever Given, one of the largest container ships in the world, got stuck sideways in the Suez Canal, thereby completely obstructing the canal and preventing any vessels from passing through.
The subject trended at Number 2 on Tumblr after an influx of memes and posts were created addressing it. Some pointed out the humour in seeing an actual ship trend for a change, rather than a fandom ship:
You know shit got real when the ship being spoken about on Tumblr is an ACTUAL SHIP
Maybe you think a ship is problematic, but ask yourself this: is it wedged sideways in the suez canal disrupting 12% of global maritime trade? 
The strange curse of being a geography major and seeing commentary about “shipping” on this site only to realize it has nothing to do with containerization and the transformation of the global supply chain…
Discussions and memes about the Suez Canal obstruction exploded across various online groups, some affiliated with various types of fandom, some not. This has, of course, warranted speculation about the popularity. As one tumblr user speculates, "they say disasters really bring people together and here’s one that doesn’t actually involve the death of anyone."
Within fandoms, there have been various ways of responding to the Suez Canal obstruction. Media Fandom and RPF fandom have largely turned towards shipping with a side of shitposting. Abour 100 works were posted in the Ever Given Container Ship/Suez Canal AO3 tag in the initial week of the incident, and the fandom was nominated for the Yuletide 2021 exchange, in which two works were written. Stories continued to be posted after the obstruction was cleared, although at a much slower rate.
This just reminded me there are more Ever Given/Suez Canal fics on AO3 than there are about certain actual fandom ships that have existed for years 😂
@ZMYaro tweet, August 2021
The Suez Canal debacle also intersected perfectly with the ongoing popularity of sea shanties, a phenomenon that began in 2020, and various fans wrote and recorded shanties about the situation, generally set to the tunes of existing popular sea shanties (refer to Filk & Fan Songs for examples).
During and after the actual Suez Canal blockage, fans took delight in tracking other transportation mishaps related to Evergreen Marine Corp.  The boat remained current in the popular consciousness and was mixed with other memes that arose later in 2021, such as the horse plinko meme.
Almost exactly one year after the Suez Canal Blockage, Ever Given's sister ship Ever Forward ran aground in the Chesapeake Bay. Tumblr took a similar level of interest in this story in the spirit of a one-year anniversary of the Suez/Ever Given fandom. 
- Sweet Suez, Archived version by All_My_Fandoms_Are_Killing_Me, the first fanfiction uploaded to the Ever Given/Suez Canal tag
- XXX-TRA WIDE CARGO STUFFS MAJOR SHIPPING LANE --- DELIVERS HUGE PAYLOAD!!, Archived version by galwednesday, also available as podfic
- Shipwreckt, Archived version by jeeno2, notable for the genius use of the tag 'Implied (c)anal sex'
- I Freed This Handsome Cargo Ship From The Suez Canal And Now He's Stuck In My Butt, Archived version by Chuck Tingle
- the suez and her flowers, Archived version by comrade_valerie, a collection of Suez-related memes presented in the style of Rupi Kaur poetry (some with illustration)
- a flower, a sword, and a ship in the Suez canal, Archived version by worldoshaking
- That feeling when you get stuck in the Suez Canal 😅, Archived version by infinitejustice
- what if… 🤔😏 we kissed 😚🥰 in the suez canal⚓️🚢 and we were both girls 👭🏳️🌈, Archived version by thesquirrelqueer
- block it again, Archived version. Joke posted to twitter by Ben Jenkins, followup fanart posted to tumblr by thefirstpaleontologist. 26 March 2021.
- "my name is Boat", Archived version, tweet by @krfabian. (Mar 24/21)[notes 1][notes 2]
- “My child is fine.” Your child lodged their container ship sideways in the Suez Canal., Archived version Tumblr post by commodoregrimes. (Mar 24/21)
- Steal His Look: Cargo Ship Blocking the Suez Canal, Archived version by ninelanterns (Mar 25/21)
- "Hi my name is Ever Given Ever’Green Imbari Golden Class and I have a long green hull (that’s how I got my name) ... ", Archived version, Tumblr post by ms-demeanor. (Mar 26/21) [notes 3]
- "you SHOVE ever given?", Archived version, Tumblr post by chaoticgouda. (March 25 2021).[notes 4]
- hnnnngh, I’m trying to conduct global maritime trade, but I’m dummy thicc, and the clap of my hull plates keeps blocking the Suez Canal, Archived version, Tumblr post by occassionallydiverting (March 24 2021) [notes 5]
- help girl i’m lengthwise in the suez canal, Archived version, Tumblr post by johnnyjoestarrelatable (March 24 2021)
- i pray the canal is shut forever. i pray the boat is never rolled away, Archived version, Tumblr post by sith-shenanigans (March 27 2021) [notes 6]
Example Meme Gallery
An edit of Argonath, gate of kings from Lord of the Rings with the Ever Given blocking the entrance, by mirkwoodest
An edit by a-kind-of-merry-war showing the endless stress of a global pandemic versus "me writing fanfic"
The title card from IASIP edited for the Suez Canal by beetleboo
An edit of a meme from Parks and Recreation showing Tumblr's response to the Ever Given, by heller-obama
- Evergiven cosplay by Alan Lupsha at DragonCon 2021. Cosplayer (temporarily) blocked the main doors into the event in imitation of the ship. Mirror of the post on Tumblr.
Filk & Fan Songs
- Leave Her Given, Archived version by Mirilya, a seashanty. Filk versions exist, with one version by JoCarthage, as well as one solo version and one 11-voice multivoice version by carboncopies
- There once was a ship that put to sea..., Archived version by midweekblues, a 'canal shanty' to the tune of 'Wellerman'. One version recorded by bcbdrums (also on TikTok), and another recorded by bladeracer (Archived version)
- The Lament of the Ever Given, Archived version by hangingfire, to be sung to the tune of 'Barrett's Privateers'.
- My ode to Evergiven., Archived version by jaybeefoxy (tune unknown)
Links & Resources
- Ever Given Container Ship/Suez Canal (Anthropomorphic) works on the Ao3
- Wikipedia: 2021 Suez Canal obstruction
- Yes, People Are Writing Horny Fanfic About the Suez Canal and the Ever Given, Archived version, Jezebel, March 26, 2021
- The tweet is a play on the poetry meme, "i lik the bred." See "i lik the bred" on Know Your Meme for further info.
- The tweet was reposted to tumblr at least once and received over 11,000 notes. See: Reblog by inthemirrordorkly. Post, accessed and archived on March 26, 2021.
- A reference to the My Immortal meme that plays on the infamous opening line of the fic, "Hi my name is Ebony Dark’ness Dementia Raven Way..."
- A reference to the Miette meme
- A reference to the ass cheeks copypasta which was written from the perspective of Solid Snake from Metal Gear Solid
- A reference to a line from The Locked Tomb fandom
- cucumber-with-anxiety, Archived version
- post by girlbookwrm, Archived version, with 64,000+ notes on March 25 2021
- post by elfwreck, Archived version, with nearly 64,000 notes as of March 27 2021
- lizardsister. Tumblr post, March 25, 2021. Archived from the original on March 27, 2021.
- Post on the /r/gtaonline subreddit. There's only one way to get the Ever Given out of the Suez Canal, March 26, 2021. Archived from the original on March 27, 2021.
- As a hilarious side note, THIS apparently happened on a highway in china this morning, which SEEMS like a joke but is apparently real:, Archived version. Tumblr thread tracking a collision involving an Evergriven container on a Chinese highway on March 27, 2021, while the canal was still blocked.
- Glad that I’ll be notified of every Evergreen shipping mishap until the end of time., Archived version. Tumblr thread tracking an Evergreen container blocking a Chinese highway in January 2022.
- sorry guys, the plinko is blocked, Archived version by gothbunnyalice. Posted Januay 7, 2022. Collected over 100k notes by 6 June 2022.
- It sounds too good to be true but a sister ship of the Ever Given, the Ever Forward, is currently stuck in the Chesapeake Bay, Archived version. Posted March 15, 2022. Collected over 26,000 notes by June 6, 2022.