What is the origin of the image of the massive interconnect on this site's 404 page?

Trying to access a page that doesn't exist on this site returns a colorful 404 page. For example, try to access the question number $$\\sqrt{-1}\$$ and you get the 404 page with the image below.

I'd really like to know the origin of this image. Is this a computer interconnect architecture? A notable or historic effort?

I'm not asking for pure speculation. A google image search shows this image is used in several places for effect (e.g. slide 14 "The Yellow Wall"), but I haven't been able to track down the original source or a discussion of what is being shown.

• I've asked a related but different question on the main site here first but it's been put on hold fairly quickly. Here I'm only asking for the origin of the image that the site has chosen to use on its 404 page. – uhoh Feb 24 '19 at 5:29
• a page from 2008 bbxdesign.com/2008/10/17/trucs-sympas-du-web-part-05 (tin eye helped) said page cites 3 sources, but links are dead – Jasen Feb 24 '19 at 6:15
• well that explains the spool of black cable: must be spare co-ax! – Jasen Feb 24 '19 at 7:51
• Related (doesn't really answer this question though): 404/Error/Captcha Images – Andrew T. Feb 24 '19 at 17:22
• @uhoh That's probably the right answer, you should post it. I actually made an answer saying exactly this, but then later saw your comment. – dim Feb 25 '19 at 15:01
• @dim oh please go ahead and regenerate it if you like. I'll check back later, if there's still no answer, I'll do so. Thanks! – uhoh Feb 25 '19 at 15:16
• @uhoh Done. I could find another source too. – dim Feb 25 '19 at 15:27
• I remember when I first joined this website, I used to think the Yellow Wall was a giant haystack... But then I saw it more and more often and I was like, "Wait a minute... These are Ethernet chords!" – user103380 Feb 25 '19 at 20:10
• If you buy all jumper cables of the same color it will be cheaper they said... I am now a bit more inclined to think that 9/11 was an inside job, i wonder if they investigated the Lehman Brother's IT personnel. – Edgar Brown Feb 26 '19 at 16:15
• It's clearly a server hall dedicated to run spaghetti programming programs. – Lundin Mar 4 '19 at 14:43
• They could only buy one color? Who thought that one up? – Voltage Spike Mar 4 '19 at 21:39

1 Answer

There is more info in this reddit thread: https://www.reddit.com/r/cablefail/comments/1vdhky/the_great_yellow_wall_more_pics/

From "scattyboy":

I took these photos along with the original yellow wall in 2000. This was in the Lehman Brothers data center in 3 World Financial Center. In addition to the CAT5 cabling there was so much coax under the floor that the tiles would not lay flat.

This seems confirmed by some other source: https://royal.pingdom.com/the-worst-cable-mess-ever/

User "Bob johnson" says

This picture is of Lehman Brothers World Financial Center 3 data center. Pre 9/11 it was the primary Data center, post 9/11 this site was breached by the dust and written off completely. Which was a good thing since there was no other way to fix that mess. Days were lost just trying to trace a single connection. There is a smaller gray version of this wall one of the NJ data centers thats still in use.

• Thank you! Luckily my question didn't return a 404 as an answer ;-) – uhoh Feb 25 '19 at 16:10