With the holiday shopping season in full swing, there's a good chance you've scrolled through the virtual aisles for the world's largest online retailer, Amazon.com.
The Seattle-based company's "busy season," to put it mildly, is in full swing. It has hired 50,000 seasonal workers to staff its 80 massive warehouses that dot the globe and deliver gifts everywhere in time for Christmas, according to according to ABC News' Neal Karlinsky, who visited one of those "fulfillment centers" in Arizona.
In that way, Amazon is like a second Santa Claus (except you have to pay for the goods in cash money, instead of in milk and cookies).
One of the company's most intriguing innovations, its so-called "chaotic storage" system, is hidden away from consumers. And it's not every day that Amazon, known for its secrecy, opens the doors to its mega-warehouses, where items are stored and retrieved in what appears to be a chaotic hurricane of books, lawnmowers, rainboots, DVDs and much, much more.
Instead of placing similar items next to or nearby each other, the warehouse workers store goods wherever there is room. If you order a backpack from Amazon, it may be sent to you after being plucked from a shelf in Arizona, where it had been nestled between a football and a tablecloth. The system works because everything is tagged with barcodes and scanned by employees who are trained to navigate these depositories.
Visit ABC for the full report on these buzzing storage hives behind the scenes of Amazon.com, or watch the video (below). Check out the images in our gallery to see stills from the massive warehouses.