Most of us
find the vast expanse of the Web more than a
little overwhelming, so we rarely have an opportunity to think about 'what else
might be out there'.
are also vaguely aware of the existence of a rich universe of virtual worlds layered
across the vastness of the Internet. These make it possible for millions of
people to spend a significant portion of their time interacting in digital
universes or collaborating across obscure academic, military or commercial
To those people, the rest of us exist on the surface. The clearnet - or
surface Web - is more than a nickname. It's a hint as to how this abstract
universe is stacked, digitally overlaid atop the ecosystems of the Deep Web
whose secretive existence is made that much more intriguing by its diversity of
names. Indeed much of what exists below the Web we know goes by nicknames such
as Darknet, Undernet, hidden Web or Invisible Web.