Apple may still be struggling to iron out the kinks in its new Google-free mapping service (failing to locate emergency rooms, directing people to parks that don't exist, generally provoking nightmares), but Google is so relaxed that it's started mapping things that don't even need mapping, just for the fuck of it.
Google's new underwater "Street View" offers 360 degree vistas of ocean scenes in the Great Barrier Reef, Hawaii, and Philippines.
By zooming in on select areas of Google Maps, users can pretend they are experiencing that queer moment, just before succumbing to death by drowning, when the world goes perfectly still and clear, panic evaporates, and a passing sea turtle gazes into your eyes as if to say, "This is what it means to live."
The easiest way to see the images is to click on direct links for Heron Island, Wilson Island, Apo Island, Hanauma Bay, or the Molokini Crater. Otherwise, you have to waste time clicking around a zoomed in cartoon map of water, trying locate a small orange circle viewable only when the "Street View" marker is placed over the area.
Google explained that the feature was born out of a partner ship with The Catlin Seaview Survey, "a major scientific study of the world's reefs." Photographers used a special underwater camera (obviously) with a depth of 100 meters to capture the 360-degree panoramas.
While not Google Maps in the traditional sense (you can't use the feature to find an image of your house looking ugly, from above, in wintertime), the panoramas are still pretty cool. Break them out the next time you find yourself immersed in awkward silence with a child.