Google Street View has an underwater version that lets you explore the world’s seabeds

No diving skills required.
No diving skills required.
Image: YouTube/Earth Outreach
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Now you can swim with humpback whales, explore coral reefs in the Pacific, or walk on a beach in Bali—all from the comfort of your desk chair.

To encourage us humans to learn more about the ocean, Google has released a tranche of new underwater images for its Google Street View application.

The shots come from partnerships with the Catlin Seaview Survey, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Chagos Conservation Trust, and have led to some truly amazing moments. The point is that by better documenting our oceans and our affect on them, we will be inspired to learn more about them, and better protect them, Google says in its announcement.

“I think we made a wrong turn by Hawaii.”
Image: Google Maps Blog

Last week at Google’s I/O developers conference, the company introduced an updated version of its Cardboard virtual reality system. Google also recently announced that Street View is available for Cardboard in certain locations. So it’s not much of a stretch to think that at some point soon, using just a smartphone and a piece of cardboard, we could be exploring the depths of the world’s oceans in immersive 3D.

Google was not immediately available to comment on whether this was part of their, um, roadmap.