When most people think of the modern internet and the way it works, it’s an abstract idea filled with satellites, radio waves, and wireless connections that they can’t even begin to understand (though we’ve tried to help). They don’t think of it as a bunch of wires and cables that lie underground and underwater, and are subject to the type of accidents that we associate with outdated technologies like the telegraph.
Yet as we’ve been reminded in the past, the internet is a relatively fragile thing that can be brought down by as a little as an old lady with a hacksaw. Squirrels and bears have been known to wreak havoc with fiber optic cables as well. Or, as Southeast Asia residents learned yesterday in the most terrifying revelation yet – sharks.
Internet users in Vietnam and the surrounding countries have reportedly been suffering through slow and intermittent connections for months now without any explanation of the cause. Yet several reports yesterday identified the culprits as the marine predators, who could be mistaking the undersea cables for potential food, or are confused by the electromagnetic waves that surround them (schools of fish give off bioelectric waves).
Whatever the reason, Google has reportedly been helping to reinforce the cables with Kevlar-like material that could withstand shark bites. That is, of course, until they acquire frickin laser beams attached to their heads. Then we might as well bow down and welcome our new shark overlords.