Guess what the biggest threat is to internet access worldwide. Hackers? Power outages? Construction? No, it is sharks. Sharks? Yes, sharks. How is that? Ninety-nine percent of internet traffic runs via subsea cables. Cables of this sort were being laid on ocean beds way back in the 1850s. They were used mostly for telephone and telegraph communications. The first cables were located in the North Atlantic ocean. Today, they’re everywhere.
In 1985, Bell Technology noticed interruptions in communications due to damaged cables off the Canary Islands. It appeared that crocodile sharks had gnawed on the sheath. This was the start of a disturbing trend.
Why do sharks do this? Why do they want to destroy your internet access? It took some time before scientists were able to find an explanation. The leading theory is that sharks, who can detect magnetic fields, cannot distinguish between the magnetic fields projected by these cables and those projected by a school of fish. Others subscribe to the theory that sharks are simply curious. They may not necessarily be biting at the cables for sustenance — they just want to know what those wiry things on the ocean beds are.
Anyway, cable companies and internet service providers have spent years attempting to remedy the situation. Currently, Google is probably the biggest victim of shark attacks. Because they have more than 100,000 miles of undersea fiber optic cables, their services are highly susceptible to shark attacks. They may inadvertently take the lead on innovating ways to deter shark attacks and have started to reinforce their new cables with Kevlar-like material. This material is intended to act as a cushion. Conclusion: you may live far away from shark- inhabited waters, but you could still be the victim of a shark attack. Keep this in mind when YouTube is down.
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