Google Street View Lets You Explore Oceans Around the World

by Keith Wagstaff /

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No need to put on scuba gear. Google added 40 underwater locations to Street View on Thursday in preparation for World Oceans Day on June 8.

Virtual divers can check out a humpback whale swimming near the Cook Islands, a shipwreck in Aruba and reefs all around the world.

While there are plenty of underwater wonders to marvel at, the images also show the deterioration of some environments. In American Samoa, before and after images of a reef taken six years apart show how rising temperatures can result in coral bleaching.

Google partnered with groups like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and the XL Catlin Seaview Survey to release the images before World Oceans Day, a day of awareness coordinated by conservation group The Ocean Project.

Related: Google Street View Straps Camera on Camel to Explore Liwa Desert

"Mapping the ocean is key to preserving it," Jenifer Austin and Brian Sullivan of Google's Ocean Program wrote in a blog post. "Each image in Google Maps is a GPS-located digital record of these underwater and coastal environments, which can be used as a baseline to monitor change over time."

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