The Google barge mystery: what's the big secret?
Silicon Valley is awash with speculation over the purpose of a giant floating structure
GOOGLE is remaining tight-lipped after being linked to a mystery barge currently under construction in San Francisco Bay.
The search company will neither confirm nor deny that it owns the structure that boast 12 spires, rumoured to be antennae, the Independent reports.
It is four storeys tall, 250ft long, 72ft wide and is built from white shipping containers with small vertical slits in the sides.
The sense of secrecy has been stoked by the revelation that government officials and at least one coastguard employee have signed non-disclosure agreements preventing them from talking about it.
Kpix, a local news station, suggested that the barge could be a floating store for Google's new high-tech specs, Google Glass.
However, technology website CNET thinks the barge, moored against the backdrop of the Bay Bridge, is more likely to be a massive sea-going computer server. They point out that Google was granted a patent for a "water-based data centre" in 2009.
The structure is registered to a Delaware company called By and Large LCC, which, it was reported recently, owns a near-identical barge under construction 2,700 miles away in Portland, Maine.
A local construction worker told Reuters that work on the vessel had been going on for over a year.
He said he had seen 40 welders a day turn up for work on the barge, all of them refusing to say a word about what they were doing there.
"It was a phenomenal production," he said. "None of them would tell us anything." ·