Google Unveils Stunning Underwater Street View

YouTube/Screen capture

We've come a long way in the world of underwater diving technology; gone are the days of diving bells and clunky metal suits -- heck, now even scuba gear might seem a bit too cumbersome. Thanks to a remarkable new street-view style map unveiled by the team at Google, a memorable trip into that stunning world beneath the waves can be had in your robe and slippers.

Working with in partnership with the Catlin Seaview Survey, Google Map engineers applied the same technology behind their revolutionary land based street-view maps to capture detailed, digitally-swimmable scenes of several gorgeous aquatic ecosystem.

Go ahead, take a dive!

Heron Island Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

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Molokini Crater Maui, Hawaii, United States

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Lady Elliot Island Lady Elliot Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

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Lady Elliot Island Lady Elliot Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

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Hanauma Bay Oahu, Hawaii, United States

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Apo Islands Dauin, Philippines

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From Google Map's blog:

Today we’re adding the very first underwater panoramic images to Google Maps, the next step in our quest to provide people with the most comprehensive, accurate and usable map of the world. With these vibrant and stunning photos you don’t have to be a scuba diver—or even know how to swim—to explore and experience six of the ocean’s most incredible living coral reefs. Now, anyone can become the next virtual Jacques Cousteau and dive with sea turtles, fish and manta rays in Australia, the Philippines and Hawaii.

While exploring these underwater street-view images is certainly a great way to pass the time, it also serves as an important reminder of just how beautiful and precious life beneath the waves really is -- and just how crucial it is that they be preserved for future generations.

After all, as immersive as these 360 degree images are, they can never replace the real thing.

Tags: Oceans

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