CNET's Daniel Terdiman broke the story that Google appears to be building a mysterious four-story-tall barge just off the coast of Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay:
Google did not respond to multiple requests for comment. But after going through lease agreements, tracking a contact tied to the project on LinkedIn, talking to locals on Treasure Island, and consulting with experts, it's all but certain that Google is the entity that is building the massive structure that's in plain sight, but behind tight security.
Could the structure be a sea-faring data center? One expert who was shown pictures of the structure thinks so, especially because being on a barge provides easy access to a source of cooling, as well as an inexpensive source of power — the sea. And even more tellingly, Google was granted a patent in 2009 for a floating data center, and putting data centers inside shipping containers is already a well-established practice.
Until Google talks openly about the floating structure, I think it's time for some wild supposition. Is Google secretly constructing a Googly Promised Land to survive the apocalypse, which the search company's complex algorithms predict will be arriving any day now? Are they building a structure in which to imprison Bing and store it safely away from humanity forever? Does it all, finally, come down to Godzilla?
Get the best of the Mercury each week in your inbox!