Google unveils virtual tour of great barrier reef

Get ready to explore the great barrier reef – the best part, you don’t even need to get wet.

Scientists have teamed up with google to offer high definition underwater panoramas of the reef to anyone with access to the web. Tens of thousands of images have been stiched together to create the virtual dive in the hopes it will bring attention to how climate change is affecting the 2,300 kilometer long reef.

Google users will be able to log on to take a dive as of today.

The lead scientist behind the project says it could even bring some unexpected surprises.

“We already found a new species of seahorse and types of corals that have never been seen before.”

A specially designed camera explored depths between 30 and 100 meters – a region that makes up 93 percent of the reef. Users can click a map and then dive beneath the surface to explore the reef.

People will even be able to help scientists with the study by helping to measure the size of the coral and the number of fish. If it’s a success, the project could be expanded to other parts of the world.

(Copyright 2012 KTSF. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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