24 Very Ambitious Visualizations Of The Internet

Ever since the very first message was exchanged between computers almost 45 years ago, people have been very imaginative when describing, or visualizing, the network of computers, routers and servers that comprises the Internet and holds the World Wide Web.

As former Alaska senator Ted Steven’s “series of tubes” comment exemplifies, we tend to get very creative when illustrating information’s digital¬†connective tissue (Q.E.D.).

Here are some of the most well, ambitious examples we’ve found. And yes, very many of them allude to literal surfing.

By Bryce Durbin and Alexia Tsotsis.

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A Series Of Bendy Straws

Ever since the very first message was exchanged between computers almost 45 years ago, people have been very imaginative when describing, or visualizing, the network of computers, routers and servers that comprises the Internet and holds the World Wide Web.

As the late Ted Stevens’ “series of tubes” comment exemplifies, we tend to get very creative when illustrating information’s digital¬†connective tissue (Q.E.D.).

Here are some of the most well, ambitious examples we’ve found. And yes, very many of them allude to literal surfing.

Gallery by Bryce Durbin and Alexia Tsotsis.

@ Internet

The Internet is like a magical forcefield around the earth which you can only ride if you’re under 5 foot and own a hover-keyboard.

Scholastic, 2000

Surfin' the Net!

The Internet is people, literally people stuck in an old PC.

PopSci for Kids, September/October 1995 via vintagecomputing.com

To The Lighthouse

You know, just some computers floating on a tranquil ocean.

Image: Getty

Image: Getty

Crashing Waves

The Internet is a tidal wave.

Image: Getty

SGML

Oh wow, surfing the web. Ha! I get it. So clever.

Image: Getty

On The Grid

Tron.

Image: Getty

Delivering @s To Your Desktop

I would literally soil myself if a metallic hand ever reached out of my computer like this.

Image: Getty

Surfing Binary

Binary, the third in our “surfing” series.

Image: Getty

Computers Talk To Each Other

No words.

Image: Getty

E-Commerce

We’ve found Satoshi.

Image: Getty

Online…

This ClipArt artist basically invented the iPad.

Image: Getty

Ride The Keyboard

Another hover-keyboard. Might want to take off your tie sir.

Image: Getty via Alex Nautilus

Information Superhighway

The Internet is Los Angeles.

Popular Mechanics, January 1994

Online Shopping

This is actually how Clinkle works.

Image: Getty
Image: Getty

Business Connections

Jazz hands.

Image: Getty

Make Calls From Your PC

Zack Morris phone over IP.

Image: Getty
Image: Getty

Going Global

You’ve got world mail.

Image: Getty

Put This In Your Eyeball

And this ClipArt artist invented the Google Contact lens.

Image: Getty

Why Does He Need A Flashlight?

A masked David Hackerhoff is going to steal your data!

Phreaks, Spies, and Salami Slicers via Erin Alexa

Touch Screen PCs Are The Future

But really, how come we don’t have these yet?

Image: Getty

He's Got The Whole World In His Hands

This is that Earth-like planet scientists just discovered.

Image: Getty

Globes, Money, Et Cetera

Whatever, let’s just throw a bunch of stuff in there.

Image: Getty