Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Largest Ancient Man Made Canal System on Earth

From my Free Web Book  ''

The largest wide-array man made (or at least non natural) structure in the world is in fact an ancient terra formed systems of agricultural-aquaculture canals in Northwestern Botswana and Northeastern Namibia, north of the Kalahari Desert in Southern Africa. Obviously quite ancient, the canal systems no longer provide free flowing water throughout its 105,000 mile array, but many sections show obvious intention to provide cross sectional irrigation.

These canals are too evenly spaced over too large an area to be any kind of natural formation. Based on entry and exit points, it is readily apparent this system is a very large, controlled agronomy array and/or aquaculture system. Its age is defined by the overgrown nature of the canals, as well as some areas that are covered over with drift and sand erosion.

The entire complex covers an area about equal in size to the State of Arizona in the USA. The canals are an integrated system of apparent irrigation and agricultural (and probably aquaculture) design. The system is about 350 miles in width and about 300 miles in depth. (For the remnants still visible.) This system represents roughly 67 MILLION acres of sustainable agriculture. Given the sophistication of design, it is entirely plausible to assume an above average yield, i.e. feeding well over 90 persons per acre on an annual basis. The system may or may not have provided a sustainable aquaculture (marine farming) environment. I have no reason to suspect that it did not.

Given the size and scope of this complex, (canals are about 1 mile apart on average) and collectively are roughly 350 X 300 miles in a rough rectangular format. (At least the observable parts) There could be, and probably is, much more to this complex than what is visible to the naked eye. Right now, we can identify ancient cultivation of roughly 105,000 square miles. 

One square mile = 27,878,400 square feet, or 640 acres, so the entire complex had a sustained producing land mass of (640 acres x 105,000 square miles) or > 67,200,000 acres. (That is 67 MILLION acres)

One linear mile of canal had (750' width x + >12' depth x 5,280') = 47,520,000 cubic ft of water per linear mile.

Entire canal length (105,000 miles x 47.5 million cubic ft per mile) = 5,000,000,000,000 (That's 5 TRILLION) cubic feet of water in the canals. It would be an incredible waste of time and effort to irrigate >105,000 square miles of sustainable agriculture land, and not use the 5 trillion cubic feet of water circulating in the canals for aquaculture farming. I don't think the builders were that stupid.

Different estimates of the numbers of people this sustainable system would supply varies widely, though it is generally accepted that a system like this, if properly managed would provide a complete annual diet for somewhere between 60 to 120 people per acre. Which means this system was in fact providing food for an average of about 5 Billion people.

This array is in fact the largest non natural artifact on the Planet. It can be clearly viewed unaided from the International Space Station at roughly 230 miles up, which cannot be said for any other non natural feature on Earth.

I would suggest that depth of canal(s) must have been significant to compensate for general slight variations in elevation. There seems to be an average elevation variation of about 60', sometime more, and sometimes less.

Your comments are welcome, or you can contact me here:

First brought to my attention by Gary Schoening Here is his original Vimeo post:


  1. I had never heard anything about these canals. Have you compared them at all to the Hohokam canals in Phoenix. Do you know the dating suggested for the ones in Africa. I wish I had ten lives to explore this stuff.

  2. These are on a scale that dwarf the Arizona canals, which in my opinion are local agriculture irrigation and not designed as a complete sustainable (and gigantic) agri-aqua farming complex.

    These Africa canals, on the other hand, are mind blowing in terms of size and scope. Just the engineering is an absolute marvel. They almost certainly had to have an aquaculture component, otherwise the canals are too large to justify simple irrigation farming.

    Anyway, no disrespect to the aboriginal Arizona canals. But they are local, while the Africa canals were global in terms of production. At least that is my considered opinion.

    We have no current information on dating, other than speculating on the 'alluvial' soil that seems to cover some area. Also the erosion and fill of the actual canals suggest at least one, and possibly more major cataclysm(s) that wrecked the entire system. The last two cataclysms that could have been the culprits is one at >7,000 years ago and a second about 11,200 ybp. A third and fourth occurred at 12,800 ybp and 14,800 ybp respectively. I really don't think these go much further back in time, otherwise they might not still be visible as actual artifacts, and would probably be further down in the geological column. (Same argument I have with the dating of Dinosaur bones to 65 million years ago) The Earth's surface is dynamic and changing, and if dinosaurs are found in the top most layers of the crust all around the globe, then they are not much older than that thin layer of crustal buildup, which on a global basis is not more than 12,000 to 15,000 years old. The geologic column builds at a general rate of about 1 foot every 500 years. So if the dinosaurs were 65 million years old, we would not find a single bone, except by the merest chance, as they would all be deep in the earth's crust. Yet here they are, in the very topmost layer, making them, for my money, contemporary with modern man. I am sure you are aware that many dinosaur bones are not even fossilized, and many sample have been sent to Labs for C-14 carbon dating, returning dates between 12,000 and 42,000 ybp? Anyway......

    Thanks for your input.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Darwin,je ne suis pas,ni les scientifiques qui affirment des vérités en spéculant.

  5. My name is John Jensen, and no, I don't have any "Scientific' verification. Geologist and Paleontologists have 150 year old 'Gradualism' theories to protect, so not many will even review the evidence. It has been setting there since forever, and the stony silence is deafening. Much like the Windover Bog People and the Ancient Canals of North America. I would translate this with Google Translate, but I am sure you can do that.

    Thank you for your question.


  6. Amazing engineering feat for folks that could not invent a wheel.

  7. What was the source for the water?

  8. Annon....

    Best guess is the Moxico Mtns in Angola. I have traced entry points to the ancient river bed fed by that Mtn range. But not all entry points. So I really don't know.

  9. Massive underground reserves of water have been discovered in Africa:
    Quran also speaks of subterranean waters in ancient Egypt: [Al-Qur’an 43:51, translator: Sahih International] And Pharaoh called out among his people; he said, "O my people, does not the kingdom of Egypt belong to me, and these rivers flowing beneath me; then do you not see?”

  10. Most dinosaurs are not found on the surface, the Gobi Desert with severe wind erosion is one exception. The majority are found as they are exposed by erosion on the side of cliffs and hills where they can be dated by volcanic and other layers above and below them. I am fascinated by this huge complex of mile apart canals which go for many miles. I spent several hours at Google Earth studying them. I did not see signs of 90 degree subcanals for irrigation. Thus I think any estimates of potential population served need to consider that it was mainly strung along the canals, with the space between canals used primarily for herding or wild animal hunting. If the canals dried out at certain seasons, then they would not have been useful for maintaining a huge kingdom's lines of communication. I suspect, given the suggested ages of destruction and varying degrees of erosion/degradation that there were probably various kingdoms over time that waxed and waned with regrowth, canal restoration/improvement/extension of many years. What research and search for such kingdoms and artifacts has been conducted?

  11. Lee,

    I would suggest that "Dinosaur Jack" Horner and Dr. Mary Schweitzer of NC State would argue with you to minutia about where dinosaur bones, both fossilized and non fossilized are found. Are you familiar with the Hell Creek Formation? They are, for sure.

    They found a T-Rex hind limb there containing "elastic collagen and hemoglobin elements in the bone's interior". Kind of puts a crimp in 65 million year old extinction tales, don't you think" And if you are one of those hell bent "soft tissue deniers", then you can explain the more than 360 DNA and 14c (AMS) tests performed in Russia and China returning late Pleistocene and early Holocene dates.

    Dinosaurs world wide ARE found mostly near the surface, and many of them are non fossilized and contain collagen and hemoglobin elements.

    I have not been on site in Namibia, so I can't address continuous flow through the 105,000 mile canal system. Though your premise doesn't make logistical sense. As the canals are generally about 1 mile apart, one linear mile of canal represents 640 acres. As any agronimist will verify, an single acre under reasonable husbandry will feed, on average about 90 people annually. So one linear mile will feed about 60,000 folks. Now lets look at 750' canal width at about 25' depth. That is a tremendous cost value project to feed a few bank dwellers. Where and how was the simple act of creating the waterways done? You are looking at removing almost 2,000 cubic feet of dirt for every linear foot of canal. That is about 10,560,000 cubic yards of material for every mile of canal. I am sure you will agree when you take the next measurement of 105,000 MILES of canals you are looking at a construction project that including more than a some ragged hungry folks with come reed baskets and deer antlers? The project is a massive construction project not rivaled by anything in the known world until the US National Hiway System was undertaken. I don't know how flow was maintained, but I am sure it was. The project is just too big for it not to have been a part of the design. It is kind of like looking at the stone circles in Zimbabwe a few hundred miles East of this location. There are more than 6 million connected stone circles scattered over a very large area. None of the circles have a discernable opening for either cattle or people. Doesn't mean they weren't used for domestic purposes, it just means we don't understand HOW they were used. pretty much the same with the canals.

    You really have been drinking the kool-aid way too long. You are looking at the single larges pre-historic construction project in the world. And you are willing to assign 'waxing' and 'waning' "kingdoms" to its design construct"? You need to spend a couple of years at a major AE firm like Brown & Root to get a faint glimmer of that this project means in terms of size and scope, let alone the cost value of it as a project.

    If the above figure of 10 million cubic yards of material has to be moved per mile, then that material handled in a disposal manner, then the interior canal bed treated and probably sealed, (which is a project done through bidding at the Corp of Engineers almost weekly) we know the average bid rate is in the range of $3 to $6 per cubic yard. At 10 million yards, we are looking, at a minimum of $30 MILLION per mile in today's dollars. It wasn't any cheaper then, even if they were paying the help with whips and chains. Now, extend that $30 mil per mile cost to 105,000 miles of canal. See what I mean? On that analysis alone, the project HAD to have a pay value associated with it that took those kind of costs into consideration. So your analysis of use HAS to consider the scope and scale and (Costs) of the project in determining pay value use estimates.

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