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Sharks are eating the internet in Vietnam

Undersea cables are being mistaken for food

Christopher Hooton
Wednesday 07 January 2015 14:23 GMT

Goddamnit sharks, first you threaten Los Angeles in a giant tornado, and now you've set your sights on the internet?

The underwater trans-Pacific cable that provides internet to much of Southeast Asia saw the latest in a series of ruptures that have blighted Vietnam and other countries in recent months yesterday, causing millions to experience slow or intermittent connections.

While previous theories have included foul play and snagging by anchors, the reason behind the breakages is increasingly thought to be sharks chomping down on the cables.

Indeed videos such as the one above clearly show sharks biting fibre optic cables, perhaps because they mistake electromagnetic waves for bioelectric fields that surround schools of fish.

According to the cable operator Asia-America Gateway (AAG), the ruptures were reported offshore Ba Ria in Vung Tau Province and are now being located.

The 20,000km system required fixing three times last year.

Google went to great lengths to help reinforce undersea cables following a series of shark bites last summer, cladding ones across the Pacific in Kevlar-like material.

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