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Cables mapped: How you're connected to the world


As you view this blog, or anything else on the internet, it's easy to feel as if it appears by magic, or at least from space via satellite, but the truth is that the vast majority of the world's communications depends on 700,000 miles of cables under the world's oceans.

Esri UK has created a map of all the fibre-optic cables laid since the first in 1988, and shared an interactive map that changes from year to year and into the future showing where they are. The 290 or so underwater cables, about an inch in diameter, and make a total long enough to wrap the earth 28 times.

They are laid by ships like the one above: a far cry from the first undersea telegraph cables laid over 150 years ago.

Photo: Derlandsknecht/Wikimedia

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