One of the mysterious barges owned by Google but designated for unknown purposes is leaving Portland, Maine, where it had been docked since last October.
The barge, which houses four stories of 63 shipping containers, is owned by Google but no one knows exactly what the company’s plans are for it.
The barge set to depart the Portland area is not Google’s only ‘mystery’ barge. Two similar barges owned by the company are currently docked in Stockton, California. They were kicked out of San Francisco earlier this year. And there may be a fourth: Valleywag reported that four barges were registered with the U.S. Coast Guard.
There has been no shortage of speculation as to the purpose of the barges. Are they party boats? Floating stores? Data centers?
Google released a statement in November saying they would be “an interactive space where people can learn about new technology.’’ But the company declined to elaborate further, leaving us still largely in the dark.
Portland’s ‘mystery’ barge appeared off Rickers Wharf in October, towed there from New London, Connecticut. Now it’s being towed again, the Portland Press-Herald reports, but so far no one’s saying where it will end up. It left Portland July 30, bound for South Portland. The owner of the South Portland terminal told the Press-Herald it had been purchased by an “international barging company’’ and would soon be embarking on an “ocean voyage.’’
Portland was able to collect $400,000 in property taxes for the time the barge spent in city waters, the Press-Herald reported.
Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.