The colossal cargo ship the Ever Given has finally been freed (opens in new tab) after spending nearly a week stuck in the Suez Canal — but not before being immortalised in Microsoft Flight Simulator.
The ship, which has captured the internet’s collective gaze during its enforced stint in the canal, has now become so famous that it’s merited its own place in Microsoft's pandemic boredom buster. That's thanks to one of the game’s virtual pilots, who has developed a mod that has recreated the stranded vessel in the game's virtual Earth.
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The ongoing saga was captured and uploaded to Microsoft Flight Simulator by YouTube and TikTok poster donut_enforcement (opens in new tab), before being shared with the world by Twitter user Mat Velloso (opens in new tab).
The video shows a hyper-realistic flyover of the Suez Canal, passing by the grounded cargo ship, alongside some pretty convincing pilot commentary to run us through what we’re seeing.
Cargo ship stuck in Microsoft Flight Simulator pic.twitter.com/SczumWI5mDMarch 28, 2021
Game developer Asobo's popular simulator produces in-game assets from data extracted from Bing Maps and Microsoft’s Azure cloud services. Spin the globe, hone in on an airport where you'd like to begin your journey, and the world is your oyster.
However, while Microsoft Flight Simulator’s world map is fairly adept at rendering air traffic and weather in real-time, the ship in the Suez is a specially created mod, rather than part of the game’s automated update system.
Still, if you want to ramp up the experience even more, then Microsoft Flight Simulator also supports VR headsets to elevate the senses mid-flight — though we're not sure if this is one for those with a fear of heights, much less a fear of flying.
The Ever Given ran aground on Tuesday (March 23) amid high winds and a sandstorm, causing massive disruption to global shipping by blocking what is one of the world's main maritime trade passages.
Fortunately, the 400-meter-long vessel has now been partially freed from the shoreline, with its course corrected by 80 percent, according to the Suez Canal Authority. Efforts to fully move it will resume later today.
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