Googletopia? A Googler pod? Twitter’s funny mystery barge theories

A camouflaged Death Star? A pod to grow future Google employees?

With so many people increasingly curious about the mystery barges docked on either side of the country, a lot of people are taking to Twitter to test out their own theories.

And they’re having some fun with all the secrecy surrounding the barges that are docked in San Francisco and Portland, Maine.

Seriously, if no one – and I mean no one -- from city officials to the U.S. Coast Guard to construction and tugboat companies – is  going to offer up any information about what is going on with these barges, people might as well come up with their own theories. And they are.

OK, here’s what we actually know. Well, here’s what we think we know.


Google is supposedly behind the whole thing. And since Google won’t comment – no one there will even pick up the phone or write an email to say “no comment” – it only increases suspicion.

The barges have similar names – BAL0011 and BAL0010 – and are both owned by the company By and Large LLC, which has no known address or phone number.

There have been reports the barges could be floating data centers, stores for Google Glass or even Apple-like retail stores for all things Google.

The mystery has grown to such proportions that even comedian and host of The Daily Show Jon Stewart had some fun with it this week, calling out Google to fess up to what they’re doing.

“What are you up to Google?” asked Stewart. “Let’s be clear, It’s not normal for an Internet search engine to launch secret ocean vessels. That’s why there’s no Bing Dingy or Bingy.”

He theorized that Google is using barges to teach ocean creatures to fly so they can rule the sea and air.

Ummm, OK. Thanks, John.

His theory isn’t a whole lot more “out there” than many of the others posted on Twitter.

“Today we’re pleased to announce Googletopia, a barge where the best of humanity will be cryogenically stored until the 25th century,” tweeted @FutureBoy.

Another Twitter user, @techiesmarts, offered, “Let me get this straight… Each coast has a #MysteryBarge floating off it. Everybody suspects #Google. What is it’s zombies?”

One Twitter user, @robey, said Google is simply growing more Googlers, tweeting, “Inside the mystery barge, aisle upon aisle of half-grown interns, still in their protective cocoons.”

And @allenhklee says Google is simply working to keep people watching funny videos YouTube, tweeting, “Rumors say that Google’s mystery barge in SF bay is filled with enough cats and kittens to fuel content into Youtube for the next decade.”

One Twitter user, @therichbrooks, noted, “It’s just a transporter to the other mystery barge in San Fran. Oh, shit. I’ve said too much.”

Others, though, seem to think Google may have more nefarious motives.

“Google clearly building a Death Star. We should have acted when we had a chance,” tweeted @83ste.

And @willsmith (no, not the actor) tweeted, “Do you guys remember that time when the killer drones swarmed out of Google’s secret barges and subjugated us all? Good times.”

Others still, had some Halloween fun in mind.

“Most popular costume in most of America: Miley Cyrus. Most popular costume in Silicon Valley: Google Barge,” tweeted @AlexJamesFitz

And @FutureBoy got back in the game, tweeting, “My Halloween costume: Google mystery barge. I’m going to sit in the corner under a sheet of netting and not talk to anyone.”  

Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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