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Google’s New ‘Seaview’ Makes Amazing Coral Reefs Accessible

Goggle Seaview

Google Streetview is great for discovering far-off lands you’ll probably never visit in person, or to check out a neighborhood of prospective new homes. Thanks to a partnership with The Catlin Seaview Survey, Google Maps is now offering an even more remarkable adventure. You can now Streetview, or rather Seaview through images of the Great Barrier Reef and popular underwater seascapes near Hawaii and the Philippines.

Using a one-off camera called the SVII, divers working for The Catlin Seaview Survey swam 4 kilometers an hour to capture footage throughout Oahu’s Hanauma Bay, Maui’s Molokini crater, of all sorts of sea life such as turtles, manta rays, and seahorses.

The mapping has already given us some interesting new finds, such as the tiny pygmy seahorse seen in Australian waters for the very first time. The seahorse is about 1.5 centimeters long, and has previously only been found living on coral reefs off other Pacific nations. This time it was found off Heron Island on the Great Barrier Reef.

Denise's pygmy seahorse

The technology and coverage is still in the early stages, so it’s still a bit difficult to find areas to check out. Orange circles mark seaview spots, which show up when the map is zoomed nearly all the way in. You can easily see some ocean views at maps.google.com/ocean as well as the Catlin Seaview Survey website.

Who needs vacation days to go to Hawaii when you can go deep sea diving from your desk or couch?

Denise’s pygmy seahorse image: Jenny Huang, Taipei,  Wikimedia Commons

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