Sharks are eating the internet

There's one fact this year's Shark Week didn't teach us: sharks are eating the internet. A Google product manager has revealed that the search giant is going to great lengths to reinforce underwater fibre optic cables as a result of numerous shark bites.

By Alex Choros

There's one fact this year's Shark Week didn't teach us: sharks are eating the internet. A Google product manager has revealed that the search giant is going to great lengths to reinforce underwater fibre optic cables as a result of numerous shark bites.

Undersea fibre optic cables are used to carry internet traffic around the world. If a major cable breaks, it can severely slow down internet speeds or even completely cut a country off. In 2008, a cut cable off the coast of Alexandria left Egypt, India, Pakistan and Kuwait in the dark, and a 2006 earthquake in Taiwan damaged cables, cutting off communication to Hong Kong, South East Asia and China.

While these cables are already protected with several layers including polyethylene, mylar, steel and aluminium, Google is planning to reinforce them with a Kevlar-like matting to prevent damage from shark attacks.

It is speculated that sharks are attracted to magnetic field created by the high voltage carried through cable, resembling those created by fish.

The following video shows footage a shark munching on an underwater cable.

Source: The Guardian, Wired

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