Google Ocean Takes You Under The Deep Blue Sea

Attention armchair scuba divers: Now you can dive deep into the water without worrying about the bends, thanks to Google Ocean .

The new feature is part of an updated version of Google Earth 5.0 that was launched Monday.

Using sophisticated visualization tools, Google Ocean's features let users navigate the ocean blue around the globe, from the Hawaiian Islands to the Arctic, and allow users to "swim" in the Mediterranean Sea.

Additional deep sea virtual expeditions include watching Jack Cousteau divers and following the path of migrating sharks in Asia.

Ocean observers can also take the plunge to the deepest part of the sea in the world, the Mariana Trench, which has a depth of 36,201 feet.

And if you happen to get lost searching for gold on a shipwreck or want to discover scuba spots, Google Ocean provides directions, too.

But while entertaining, Google Ocean is also a serious endeavor and wants to educate people about how global climate changes and pollution are affecting life underwater.

"In discussions about climate change, the world's oceans are often overlooked despite being an integral part of the issue," said Eric Schmidt, CEO. "Biodiversity loss in our oceans in the next 20 to 30 years will be roughly equivalent to losing an entire Amazon rain forest, but this goes unnoticed because we can't see it. This is why the launch of Google Earth 5.0 is so important—it gives us an opportunity to change everyone's perspective."

Partners in the Google Ocean project include National Geographic, the BBC, The Cousteau Society and The Marine Conservation Society.

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