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10.02.2016

The subjects of yesterday’s science fiction has long become a reality – we take for granted quick transmission of nearly […]

The subjects of yesterday’s science fiction has long become a reality – we take for granted quick transmission of nearly any amount and type of data in a few seconds in nearly any part of the globe. Video conferences, webinars, information sharing across thousands kilometers have become a regular part of our lives and most of the time we don’t even think about the means by which this global connectivity is provided.

Information has become so accessible that sometimes it seems that it just hangs in the air, stretch out your hand – and at your service all the achievements of mankind with one click. But this service is not provided by satellites, drones or balloons; it’s not handled through witchcraft and even not carried out by superheroes, tearing space-time. Global connectivity of human kind is provided by complicated system of submarine cables.

Transatlantic telegraph cable, construction of which began in 1854, can be considered the ancestor of this system. It was the first project of such magnitude.

A lot of water has moved since then. There were lots of changes in types of cable used as well as technologies; the overall length of cables in the system experienced an impressing growth: from 2500 miles (4023.36 km) in 1854 to 550 000 miles (885 139.2 km) in 2015 (to assess how much this is, you can compare it to the length of Earth’s equator: 40 075.696 km)

And the scope of this triumph of human genius can be well illustrated by the animated map of Earth’s submarine cables.

 

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