Keep a Look Out For Red Balloons Today

You've got to follow your balloon. Photo: DARPA

Today's the day that internet-creating military research wing DARPA placed 10 tethered balloons all around the U.S., giving the most well-coordinated team that finds them all first the chance to win $40,000.



"To mark the 40th anniversary of the Internet, DARPA has announced the DARPA Network Challenge, a competition that will explore the roles the Internet and social networking play in the timely communication, wide-area team-building, and urgent mobilization required to solve broad-scope, time-critical problems.

The challenge is to be the first to submit the locations of 10 moored, 8-foot, red, weather balloons at 10 fixed locations in the continental United States. The balloons will be in readily accessible locations and visible from nearby roads."

The balloons went up at 10am EST and will be taken down at 4pm. Right now, 206 submissions have already been made, but the internet is clogged with conflicting reports, so the winners could still be working it out. Most teams are hoping to split the money, but at least one, internet darlings John and Hank Green's massive Nerdfighters team, will be donating the money to charity if they win, making everyone else kind of look like jerks. May the best team win!