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  • We never stop hearing about how the internet's in the cloud.

  • But really, it's in the ocean.

  • About 300 undersea fiber optic cables are responsible for 99% of international data traffic.

  • It's basically the same way we connect to each other in a single country, except under water instead of underground.

  • They transmit PewDiePie from Europe to America and they connect stock traders in New York and London.

  • And these cables, placed by private companies, are the backbone of the internet, but if you held one in your hand it'd be no bigger than a soda can.

  • There are just a few layers of protection from the water, including petroleum jelly. Yes, your internet is covered in Vaseline.

  • They're vulnerable to earthquakes, at least a few times, confused sharks have bitten them.

  • But many cables are beneath sea life, because in some places they go as deep underwater as Mount Everest is high.

  • Ships lower a plow that digs a tiny groove in the ocean floor, lay in the cable, and it's naturally buried by sand, thanks to the ocean's current.

  • And that process -- it's both stunningly simple and mind-blowingly complex -- is responsible for making the internet a truly global network.

  • It's an idea that's audacious and crazy, and you think that it has to be cutting edge. And it is.

  • But it's also been going on for 157 years.

  • Electric telegraphs have been around for a long, long time.

  • Experiments in the early 1800s connected two ends of a garden, using a clock that revealed letters, then they moved on to two neighborhoods, to help signal trains, and then multiple cities, thanks to the network of railroad lines.

  • Underwater "submarine cables" were an obvious next step. So they played around.

  • Instead of petroleum jelly, the first ones were coated with exotic tree sap to protect them from the water.

  • And though the undersea cables came in spurts, one of the first ones was knocked out of commission by a fishing boat, and by 1858 they reached around the Atlantic and across the world.

  • And that's how it's kind of gone since, laying cables that circle the earth's oceans.

  • The cables are unwound from the back of a ship, sink to the ocean floor, and the world is connected in speeds measured in milliseconds.

  • There are ideas to bring the internet above sea level. Along with cell phone towers, there's internet beamed from Facebook satellites to Africa and balloons lifted by Google.

  • But for speedy international travel, undersea cables are still where companies like Facebook and Google place their bets.

  • That's because the best way to create the cloud is still by going under the sea.

We never stop hearing about how the internet's in the cloud.

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B2 中上級

水中の細いケーブルがインターネットを保持しています。そのすべての地図を見てください。 (Thin underwater cables hold the internet. See a map of them all.)

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    羅紹桀 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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