For almost a week now, the internet's been trawling the depths of its imagination trying to figure out what the heck Google is doing building barges. Obscure patent documents suggest they're floating data centers. Local reporters think they're clandestine Google Glass stores. But nobody really has a clue.
On Wednesday, the Coast Guard boarded one of the mystery barges, docked at Treasure Island near San Francisco—there's also one in Portland, Maine, and there are two that are unaccounted for. It was a brief visit, and they haven't offered any clues as to what the barge is for or what the Coast Guard might have been looking for—probably because they'd signed nondisclosure agreements.
So here we are, oblivious as ever, staring at dozens of shipping containers stacked up on barges, bringing Google all kinds of breathless free publicity.
The only consolation, for now, is the opportunity to come up with new conspiracy theories. So what are yours? What's Google really doing with these mystery barges? What are they building in there? A top secret military project? A stupid marketing effort? A water-evaporating microwave-emitting device? Let us know in the comments.