Is Google building a secret floats-on-water data center in San Francisco?


Google appears to be working on something big and mysterious on San Francisco’s Treasure Island. No one is quite certain what it is, but from the looks of it, this thing comes off as a massive data center. The structure stands around 4 stories tall and was created with a series of modern containers.

At the moment, locals refer to this mystery structure as a secret project. However, we’re going out on a limb to call this a data center since back in 2009, Google was granted the patent to build a floating data center. Furthermore, putting data centers inside shipping containers is already an established practice, so there’s nothing particularly new about this design.

Google is known for putting data centers in places with cheap cooling, but a floating data center that gets its cooling from sea water is something else entirely.

As of now, Google is being tight lipped about this project, so even though we might class it as a data center, it could very well be a house, so don’t take our words for it until concrete evidence pops up.

Still, for those who are not patient enough to wait for Google’s explanation, take a look at the image below. It’s a diagram of Google’s floating data center from the company’s 2009 patent. Looks familiar to the above image right? Yes?


The big question is though, how does a data center in the sea affect aquatic life in the long term? I guess we’ll find out eventually.


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