Google Maps Explores The Briny Deep In Honor Of World Oceans Day

There's a vast world out in the ocean. As Google points out, the ocean covers more than 70 percent of the Earth's surface, much of it unchartered with ecosystems that have yet to be discovered. What we have been able to see, however, is pretty magnificent, and if you're not in a position to don a scuba suit and swim with the fishes, you can stay dry by exploring new Street View imagery of more than 40 locations in and around the vast ocean.

Google added the locations in time for World Oceans Day on June 8, an annual celebration of the world's oceans and marine life. There's a lot of nice imagery to sift through, perfect for a Friday afternoon as you sit stuck in a cubicle waiting for the end of the work day. However, giving working stiffs a visual and mental getaway isn't the goal.

Google Street View Sunfish

"Mapping the ocean is key to preserving it. 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," Google explains in a blog post. "This comprehensive record of coral reefs showcases the beauty of these ecosystems and highlights the threats they face, such as the impact of increasing storms in the Great Barrier Reef and of rising water temperatures, factors causing the reefs to bleach white."

That's admirable and all, but for us non-scientists, the really cool thing about all the new images is the ability to dive below the water and swim alongside sea turtles and other exotic underwater creatures, even great white sharks. And if you'd rather stay above water, there are plenty of gorgeous coastlines and locales to treat your eyeballs to as well.

Take a moment to appreciate what Google is doing here. Street View is probably one of the most underrated assets out there. While it may not get a ton of media coverage, Google keeps adding to it with fantastic locales, including Mount Everest, landmarks like the Grand Canyon, a Royal Caribbean cruise, and even trips back in time.