How do continents get connected to the Internet ?

Did you know the tedious procedure of laying under-sea cables to make continents get connected to the Internet ? 

Internet is not wireless

Yes. Let us go beyond the WiFi routers at our homes to find out some interesting "wired" facts. A huge network of cables running under the sea between continents is what transfers data across the globe. Take a look at the picture below where a man comes walking to the land from the sea : 

The guy is actually carrying something called a "messenger line". This is the initial link between the land and the sea.

How the cables are put in place

The line is got connected to a special ship used to lay cables. The optical fiber cable is let floating on the sea initially using buoys.

After this, the diver swims back to cut the buoys allowing the cable to sink to the sea bed.

Now this cable line from the sea is connected to its counter part on the shore by cutting the steel shielding on the cable. Here is what such a cable looks like inside : 

The place where this connection between the sea and the land cables is made can be called a "beach manhole" and yes they do exist :

These optical fiber cables are protected on the outside with a heavy protective case manually during a low tide. (see image below)

Never found such cables on the shore ? This is because the cables are covered up under the sand by a digger. 

These images are captured when cables are pulled from the south of Portugal for the Western African Cable System. 

A map of all undersea cable connections across the world

Here is a map showing the undersea cables across the world : 

More info about the cable system can be found at Submarine Cable Map.

[via TED talks]

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