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Excavator Digging Out Suez Canal Ship is an image macro series featuring a photograph from the 2021 Suez Canal Jam. The picture depicts a lone, mechanical excavator clearing away mud and sand to free the massive stuck vessel. Many online applied the image to object labeling memes focused on jokes about existential dread and the seeming futility of life.
On March 23rd, 2021, cargo megaship Ever Given, operated by Taiwanese transport company Evergreen Marine, ran aground in the Suez Canal that connects the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea — one of the world's busiest trade routes. .
Two days later, the ship remained stuck as work crews attempted to free the vessel. On March 25th, the Facebook  page SuezCanalAuthorityEG published an image of a single excavator clearing away mud and sand from the bottom of the ship. The post received more than 165 reactions in less than two days (shown below).
That day, Twitter user @ryan_padraic shared the image on Twitter. They wrote, "The #SuezCanal Authority has published new images of the efforts to dislodge the ship, the #EverGiven, which has run aground in the canal. #suezcanel #suezkanaal." The tweet received more than 550 likes and 300 retweets in less than two days (shown below, left).
Hours later, Twitter @carlbildt tweeted the image with the caption, "Anyone having an extra excavator available?" The tweet received more than 4,700 likes and 1,100 retweets in less than two days (shown below, center).
Twitter user @thinkdefence tweeted, "A lot of people piss taking about this image, don't know why. It is a long reach excavator removing material to, I would assume, allow the vessel to be moved. Long reach excavators sacrifice load carriage for reach, perfectly reasonable thing to use." The tweet received more than 700 likes and 250 retweets in less than two days (shown below, right).
Following the post, people began creating and sharing object-labeling memes expressing the futility of specific life pursuits. Hours later, Twitter  user @Notorious_RSG tweeted the image with the ship labeled "History" and the excavated labeled as "historians." The tweet received more than 540 likes and 100 retweets in less than two days (shown below, left).
The meme spread throughout the day. Redditor Av2LeaveAspace posted a variation on the /r/MemeEconomy.  The post features the image with the ship labeled "My shit" and the excavator labeled "me trying to sort my shit out." The post received more than 2,800 points (100% upvoted) in less than two days (shown below, center).
That day, Redditor Ak171 shared a version in the /r/wholesomememes that received more than 17,000 points (99% upvoted). The post labels the ship "My dad" and the excavator "me, aged 3, trying to push him in a game of 'wrestling'" (shown below, right).
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