View the Magical Undersea World of Internet Cables

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As we all know by now, the Internet is a series of tubes. Some of those tubes are actually called submarine communications cables, which, as the name suggests, are giant cables laid on the seabed, carrying telecommunications signals between continents, countries and small islands in between. There are apparently 121 of these systems in place right now, with another 25 planned to be in service by 2013, and now you can see where they all are on a constantly updated interactive Google Map.

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The map makes for oddly compelling viewing, but the more you study it, the more two things become apparent.

Source: Google Maps

First, it looks like the most confusing subway map ever invented, and second, you can’t help but notice there’s a marked discrepancy in Internet connectivity around the world. Poor Greenland only gets two submarine cables, for instance, while some submarine cables seem to end in the middle of the ocean. Seriously, what’s going on here?

Conspiracy theorists looking for undersea Lairs of Evil, this is your chance to finally discover their locations. Enjoy!

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Graeme McMillan is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @Graemem or on Facebook at Facebook/Graeme.McMillan. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

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