Submarine cables

Submarine Cable Map

Whew, just managing to post under the wire and still call it Friday…

If you’ve ever wondered about those mysterious undersea cables that news stories refer to every now and then — which carry almost all of our telecommunications and internet activity from one continent to another — there’s a great interactive map of the whole shebang. I had no idea there were so many of these things strung along our ocean floors, and had a geekfest clicking on various dots to find out which cables were terminating where. Turns out there are 10 different cables landing in four Portuguese cities, which surprised me. Then I thought about Portugal’s convenient location as a jump-off point for Africa, and it wasn’t so surprising after all.

For all its massive size, Canada has only four cables landing on its shores: one in Newfoundland/Labrador, and three in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The vast majority of the transatlantic cables land along the northeast coast of the United States. And over on the west coast, all of the northern cables land in Alaska.

Overall, the impression is of a massive web of cables, connecting every continent but one. Poor Antarctica gets no love.


About Fletcher DeLancey

Socialist heathen and Mac-using author of the Chronicles of Alsea, who enjoys pondering science, politics, well-honed satire (though sarcastic humor can work, too) and all things geeky.
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5 Responses to Submarine cables

  1. Lilaine says:

    Overall, the impression is of a massive web of cables, connecting every continent but one. Poor Antarctica gets no love.

    That might be because of the ice that covers everything on and all around it…

    Anyway, with all those undersea cables, I wouldn’t be surprised if one mythical continent were suddenly to reappear, somewhere on the http://WWW... 🙂

  2. JR says:

    When I was thirteen or fourteen, I read something about undersea avalanches–probably in National Geographic–and decided to write a story about whales being blamed for disruptions in trans-oceanic communications. The protagonist had to prove to the world the existence of underwater seismic activity in order to save the whales. Many heroic speeches on plate tectonics and the relative fragility of communication cables. I hope to god those pages have been lost to time.

  3. xenatuba says:

    This is just cool. Who knew? And I am with you about JR’s stuff; what a good story that would be! Geekfest, indeed.

  4. Joan says:

    If you have not yet read it, you might be interested in Neal Stephenson’s “Mother Earth Mother Board” ( And while we’re into geekish stuff, there is “In the Beginning was the Command Line” ( by the same author. Different topic (basically operating systems, but it goes beyond that), but it might just tickle the author of “Mac versus PC” 🙂

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