How does the internet get to us?

The internet can seem vast and intangible but there’s a very physical system of cables, servers and exchange points across the globe (and yes, even under the oceans). In this episode, we find out how a video shows up nearly instantly on our screens and about insanely thin, clear glass tubes are the key to our digital communication.

Explore a cool interactive map of the cables that crisscross the globe under the ocean made by Nicole Starosielski.

See a map of all the submarine cables here.

A fiber optic cable is being installed on the bottom of the ocean.   (Jean-Sebastien Evrard | AFP | Getty Images)

A fiber optic cable is being installed on the bottom of the ocean. (Jean-Sebastien Evrard | AFP | Getty Images)

Workers laying submarine telegraph cable between England and France in the late 1800s.  (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Workers laying submarine telegraph cable between England and France in the late 1800s. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Watch: Journalist Andrew Blum talks about the physical infrastructure of the internet: