Google solves mystery of barges off US coast

Media captionThe BBC's North America technology correspondent Richard Taylor reports on how the Google barge mystery was solved

The mystery of why Google has moored two barges off the US coast appears to have been solved.

The search giant has issued a statement saying it intends to use the structures as learning spaces for people to find out about new tech.

The announcement follows feverish media speculation over the past fortnight about the company's plans.

One popular theory had been that the vessels would be used as floating wave-powered data centres.

Government inspectors had signed confidentiality agreements about the four-storey building in San Francisco Bay and another similar structure off Portland, Maine.

"Google Barge... a floating data centre? A wild party boat? A barge housing the last remaining dinosaur?" a spokeswoman joked.

"Sadly, none of the above. Although it's still early days and things may change, we're exploring using the barges as an interactive space where people can learn about new technology."

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