Sharks seem to have a liking for fibre-optics! Given their appetite, these creature are reportedly feasting on underwater Internet cables which connects our digital lives. Reports of sharks munching fibre-optic cables along the ocean floor linking the United States, Europe, and Japan first appeared in 1987. “Single bite on a deep-sea line, which is about the size of a garden hose, can cost $250,000 or more to fix,” said The New York Times in a report back then.
Have never seen sharks biting cables? Watch the video below.
It is yet to be confirmed whether sharks are still feeding on cables, but Google is arming itself to be shark-proof as it can cause severe disruptions in Internet connectivity.
To put an end to this feast, Google is now fortifying its underwater fibre-optic cables with Kevlar-like material, according to a Network World report. Google already owns a patent for polyethylene protective yarn, which is ballistic and cut-resistant. So, it is yet to be confirmed what material Google is actually using to secure the Internet lifeline. Note that Kevlar is a registered product. However, reports of cable fortification along the trans-pacific region has been already confirmed by the search giant.
The casing or protective layer of fibre-optic cables need to be of high quality since the lifeline of these cables are primarily made out of glass. These cables use laser to to deliver transmission speeds of 1 gigabit per second, almost 100 times faster than normal copper cables.
Why are sharks after our digital lives?
Back in 2009, a theory popped out from a website called oAfrica stated that the electromagnetic field along the fiber cables attract the sharks, who mistake the field for a distressed fish, and thus, heads to eat it. Alternatively, many experts believe that sharks might be just curious about these cables and are simply fooling around. Whatever may be the cause, it’s a costly snack for sure!