A lot of people aren't aware that there are communication and electric cables strewn along the ocean floor connecting countries and continents. These cables carry telephone, data and internet signals across the world. Cool right?
A submarine communications cable is a cable laid beneath the sea to carry telecommunications between countries.
The first submarine communications cables carried telegraphy traffic. Subsequent generations of cables carried first telephony traffic, then data communications traffic. All modern cables use optical fiber technology to carry digital payloads, which are then used to carry telephone traffic as well as Internet and private data traffic. They are typically 69 millimetres (2.7 in) in diameter and weigh around 10 kilograms per metre (7 lb/ft), although thinner and lighter cables are used for deep-water sections.
As of 2003, submarine cables link all the world's continents except Antarctica.
Here is a map illustrating the undersea communication cables as of 2009.
Here is an example of the type of ship that lays these cables.
Here is a map from 1901, showing undersea telegraph cables.