It is not often that we hear about Google and sharks in the same sentence. But when the very existence of the great realm of internet comes under threat, the multinational corporation (and net’s very own guardian) has to step up to the plate. Well, beyond hyperboles, that is exactly the case – sharks are reported to cause harm to the extensive underwater-installed fiber optic cables that span over 100,000 miles and also carry the bulk of world’s internet traffic. So what does Google do to protect its precious data-transferring components? The answer is of course – utilize a special Kevlar-like material that shields against the potentially harmful shark bites!
For the uninitiated, the Kevlar is a form of advanced synthetic armor with high-strength credentials, originally developed by DuPont. Now, according to the grapevine, Google doesn’t exactly use the same stuff, but more probably utilizes an equivalent technology that might be better suited to underwater environments. To that end, the fibers are first draped in different colored plastic shells and then covered in a durable layer of this hi-tech material. The sections are finally wrapped in polyurethane, thus improving the scope of protection from marine predators by a substantial margin.
As for the more curious-minded among us, the natural query would be – but why do the sharks try to attack and bite the ‘innocent’ cables in the first place? Well, experts believe it might be due to the magnetic field created by the fiber optic cables. Smaller marine organisms like fishes also emanate a similar ambiance when they are under distress – and hence the sharks mistake these crucial data-carrying installations as easy meals.
Lastly, since we have brought up magnetic fields, this progressive precaution does hint at a win-win situation for the search engine giant. That is because the protective layer not only cushions against shark attacks, but also mitigates the loss of both magnetic emission and electrical leaks.
Check the video that shows a shark attack on a sub-cable –
Image Credit: Corbis