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Google's Story of Send shows an email's journey

Google takes us on the email journey in The Story of Send, an animation that gives us a sneak peek inside Google's setup.

Ever wondered what happened to an email when you click send? Google takes us on the email journey in The Story of Send, an animated look at how green and efficient the big G is. Along the way it's revealed how 100 Google searches are equivalent to a tablespoon and a half of orange juice, and a DVD is the same as three days of YouTube.

On the Google home page, click The Story of Send. Hit the 'send' button on the screen and watch your missive zip into your Wi-Fi router and down your phone line to the nearest Google data centre, as shown by an interactive HTML5 site with pop-up videos, photos and infographics.

Google then shows off the security measures at the data centre, including airport-style body scanners, eye scanners and fingerprint scanners. We also learn that constantly keeping the temperature in the server centre at 80 degrees Fahrenheit helps clean nearby rivers and means employees wear shorts.

Your email is then pointed in the right direction by the network room, before heading into the server room. They're filtered for spam, scanned for viruses, and duplicated for backup in the cloud. Finally the message is beamed to the recipient's Inbox, on their phone or computer, completing your message's digital odyssey.

It's an epic journey, up there with Ulysses 31 trying to get home, salmon swimming upstream to spawn, and the fat guy in our office trying to make it to the vending machine when the lift's out. But the whole journey takes less than five seconds for nine out of ten emails, and can sometimes take less than a second.

Google claims it's working towards powering its data centres and servers entirely from renewable energy. Which is nice. Let me know what you make of the animation in the comments below or over on our Facebook page.