If you’ve always dreamed of diving in the oceans’ most beautiful habitats, you may have to wait a while to do so in person. Fortunately, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) is making it easier than ever to see some beautiful underwater sights from the comfort of your home.
To keep people entertained and educated about our oceans’ delicate ecosystems, NOAA has created a series of virtual dives that take viewers into a wide variety of underwater paradises. The featured sanctuaries include American Samoa, the Florida Keys, Flower Garden Banks off Galveston, Texas, Gray’s Reef in Georgia, Monterey Bay, the Olympic Coast in Washington state, Stellwagen Bank in Maine and Thunder Bay in Michigan.
Viewers get to see a 360-degree virtual reality view of rare coral, beautiful fish, and playful sea lions. There is something for everyone, even shipwrecks. For instance, you can explore the Paul Palmer, a sunken coal schooner built-in 1902 that now lies off the coast of Massachusetts.
The images were shot by specialized divers with VR experiences in mind and allow viewers to explore every angle and corner of the habitats. You can even connect the platform to VR goggles for a realistic diving experience. Whether you’re teaching your kids about underwater ecosystems or just want to experience your own underwater escape, NOAA’s program will captivate your attention with hours of ocean exploration.