What’s inside the Undersea Internet Cable?


(saw whirring) – Here we go. – Welcome back to What’s Inside. I’m Lincoln, this is Dan. And today we’re gonna cut open the Undersea Internet Cable. – So I had this question
about five months ago; where does the Internet come from? How do you get it? Does it come from satellites? Does it come from cables? Because I think it’s pretty fascinating that you can put a video on the Internet, and at the same time somebody
in England can watch it in 4k at the same time as somebody in Australia. About six months ago we met two Googlers. I don’t know if that’s what you call them but they work for Google and
they make awesome videos. They have a YouTube channel
called “Nat and Lo”. They asked us if we had
the access of Google and we could ask Google
anything that we could cut open, what would that be? And I wanna see how the Internet works and are there cables? And if so, can we get
some of these cables? And can we cut ’em open? So today they said that they have the Undersea Internet Cable for us. They got us a saw here in New York. – And we can destroy it. – And do you think that we can cut into the cable that goes under
the sea for the Internet? – Probably not.
– (laughs) Probably not. – Because what if a shark came and bit it? – There’s a lot of questions that I have about this whole thing. Like how do you take an Internet cable and put it from San Fransisco, California all the way to China? – So here we are, we’re at the YouTube
Space in New York City and we’re with my friends Nat and Lo. – Hey.
– Hi. – We had no idea where those cables were, how we could get access to them. So we asked a bunch of people at Google. Just kept asking another
person and another person. – Finally we hit the jackpot and someone said, “Well
there’s an underwater sea cable that’s being made right now, loaded under a ship and it’s
gonna be taking off in a week. This is your one-window
time to go and look at it.” And we were like, oh my
gosh this is perfect. So Nat and I booked it up to New Hampshire and got this amazing tour of the factory as the cables were being made. Loaded onto the ship. One of these boats can
carry all the cable you need to run it across the
entire Atlantic ocean. – [Nat] So the cable that we got to see being loaded onto the ship is going and connecting Florida to Brazil. – People at school, they say that it runs through satellites. But now it actually runs
through Internet cables? – So the majority of that traffic is actually going through
these Underwater Sea Cables. So it’s not that we don’t use satellites, we just use them for a
very small percentage of that traffic. – We’ll be able to see what’s inside of it but I wanna cut open our own cross section and then look inside of it. And then let’s see how this thing works. – Bring it on it.
– Whoop. – Woah! – This is like a giant pixie stick. Lincoln, you ready?
– Yeah. – You think there’s candy inside? – It’s super light.
(cable thuds) – [All] (laughs) – It kinda reminds me of when you hold a shot
put ball or a meteorite. It’s just so dense with
metal and with steel that it’s heavier than you think. That’s what this thing is like which tells me there’s going to be some pretty heavy metal in here. So when you said earlier that
you could take this thing and it could go from across
the entire Atlantic ocean, there’s a boat that has enough. So when you say that, you mean this entire thing? Like the protection, the
steel and everything? They could have a wire
this much on one boat? – Totally, yeah. – We are learning something new. I didn’t know this, this is fascinating. Did you guys know this? I don’t know. Honestly it’s a bit bigger than I thought. And I’m wondering if this little saw that I bought at the store is gonna be sufficient for it. But that’s what we do. (soft upbeat music) (saw whirring) – Here we go. We got it. Woo! First of all, are you surprised
that we got this done? – Yeah ’cause they were so confident that you wouldn’t be able to. – This isn’t some giant cable. It’s not like your cable that
you see going into your house, it’s the Internet cable that has this big copper wire that’s in it. The majority of this is just protection. – [Nat] It has these two
layers of galvanized steel. And then underneath that
you have a plastic tube that is what would be at the deep ocean where it doesn’t need as much protection. And inside that is this copper sheath, and that’s what powers this. There’s not really power
at the bottom of the ocean. But every 50 miles there
are these repeaters that are these big bulges about this big. And they amplify the light so it can travel these thousands of miles. – Woah.
– Actually under the copper, you can see smaller
galvanized steel strands. Then under that, a small plastic tube with a bit of gel in it and
the glass fiber strands. – The payload is just basically
as thin as Lincoln’s hair. And that’s the fiberglass. So all of this is to protect basically something as thin as your hair. – There’s a video that I’ve seen, I think it’s a comedy sketch where somebody was talking
about how we get on an airplane and if the Internet isn’t working as fast as we want we get all mad. And then they’re like, don’t you realize that you’re flying in a metal tube 30 thousand feet above the earth and you’re mad about the
Internet not being fast enough? So if you’re at home and your
Internet’s a little bit slow, just be grateful. Because somebody went and
laid this all around the world and put satellites in the sky just so you could watch your videos. Between the two videos, we just barely scratched the surface of this. – I got a sneak peek of Nat and Lo’s video and it is so educational. I learned so much on it. And it was very cool, the
adventure that they took. – While you’re over on their channel, just go get lost for awhile. And you’re going to learn so many things about the Internet and about
Google and about YouTube that you may not have thought of. I’m taking this home with me, so. – [Nat and Lo] (laughs) – How is that gonna fit in the suitcase? – Don’t worry about that. – Is anybody in here? Okay this is a bathroom. We’re in the bathroom. Somebody is in here, okay.

Danny Hutson

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