When you happen to be one of the biggest companies in the world, do you think that people wouldn’t notice when you have a couple of barges floating off the coast? The company in question is Google, of course. And, in case you’re not up on current events, Google has now placed not one, but two barges on each coast of the U.S.
CNET’s Timothy Brandon broke the story back on October 25, which regarded a mysterious barge being spotted in the middle of the San Francisco Bay. Since then, another barge has appeared off the coast of Portland, Maine and people have been coming up with all sorts of theories. To make matters worse, Google has been extremely tight-lipped on what exactly its doing. The Big G has even gone as far to make everyone involved sign a very strict nondisclosure agreement – which includes the Coast Guard. Of course, this would spark all sorts of wild sci-fi speculation.
Until we get some sort of confirmation from Google, here are 11 facts you should know about these barges.
- The barge is 250 feet long, 72 feet wide, and 16 feet deep, and was built by C & C Marine and Repair in 2011 in Belle Chasse, LA.
- The barge is constructed of 40-foot interchangeable shipping containers that are stacked into a single rectangular structure — four shipping containers long, four containers wide, four containers high – which can be assembled and disassembled whenever Google wants.
- Early speculation was that the barges would be used as data centers. The data centers would use the water they are floating on to cool everything down. Google came up with a patent for such a center in 2009.
- It’s currently believed that Google will use the barges as luxury showrooms, with a party deck for Glass retail. The sleek showrooms will float from city to city.
- The barges are owned by a shell company in Delaware – By and Large. This is a reference to the Buy N Large corporation Pixar’s “Wall-E.”
- In 2012, a 5-foot-high fence was built around the Hangar 3 parking lot, where the barge in San Francisco is located. Hundreds of laborers, welders, and plumbers were spotted on the site, working at least two shifts a day.
- Some of the features on the barges include: huge glass windows, Wi-Fi antennas, sewage pipes, air-conditioning ducts and staircases and balconies. These features seem to prove that they will be used for hosting events.
- There are a total of 3 barges – 2 in San Francisco and the one in the Portland harbor. Plans are calling for 4 barges altogether.
- The barges are registered as the following: BAL0001, BAL0010, BAL0011 (Portland) and BAL0100.
- The project is being overseen by Google founder Sergey Brin himself and members from the top-secret Google X team.
- The San Francisco location – Hanger 3 on Treasure Island – is a man-made island created in 1937 for the Golden Gate International Exhibition. In 1942, the island was seized by the U.S. Navy during World War II. Beginning in the 1980s, Treasure Island’s old aircraft Hangar 2 (Building 2) and Hangar 3 (Building 3) became sound stages for film and TV. Movies such as The Matrix and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade had scenes filmed at Treasure Island.
So, what do you think the purpose is of the secretive barges that Google has been constructing ? Do you think that they are indeed retail locations for Glass? Or, do you think that Google is up to something more nefarious?
Image via Wikipedia