Domain Names

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http://ubuntuforums.org – How do Big Name Companies such as Google, Facebook, etc. get their domain names? I am very certain they do not go up to domain.com (or other of these kinds of registrars) to get their domain name. Do they somehow host it themselves, or is there a super-secret league of evil internet master-minds that magically add themselves to every DNS server in the entire interwebz, including the little dinky atom box in your attic? (ok lol the latter is untrue). I'm just a curious cat that wants to know the magic behind everything. (Hardware)