Dive with a manta from a sofa – virtual reality makes it possible
Want to draw attention to the death of coral reefs and the extinction of animal species: Dr. Erika Woolsey makes it possible to dive into the depths of the sea from your living room.
Voice d. Erica Woolsey reached the ear. Giant manta rays swim. They can be noticed for a short time. It appears close enough to the touch. Meanwhile, a marine biologist explains what the degraded biodiversity of the oceans is all about. “We lose species before we discover them,” she explains.
While diving into the seas, the young marine biologist saw with her own eyes how climate change is damaging coral reefs and the underwater world. No wonder she was looking for a way to share her experience and draw attention to it.
“How can we worry about something we never see?” Woolsey begins, speaking at a National Geographic event. Right question. Very few have a chance to see the beauty of the ocean and the destruction of coral reefs up close while diving. In order to change that and bring people underwater, the marine biologist and her non-profit organization “The Hydrous” published a short film in 2017. Through virtual reality, it takes every viewer to the depths of the ocean.
Enjoy snorkeling with manta rays, turtles and sharks on coral reefs in Palau. Doctor. Erica Woolsey guides you through the dive and, with the help of other marine biologists, explains what can be seen in the movie. Immerse premiered at the International Ocean Film Festival in 2017 and won many awards. Woolsey also leads virtual diving events, such as a virtual dive for 450 participants at the National Geographic VR Theater in Washington in 2019. Virtual diving not only conveys the beauty and dramatic setting of the oceans, but also knowledge against the extinction of species and coral reefs.
Diving during a pandemic
Only in the past year – in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic – has virtual diving really popular. Since June 2020, nearly one million people between the ages of 8 and 90 have disappeared. At a time when people are stuck in their four walls, diving offers a different world and an instant transmission of a few minutes of festoon madness directly into the depths of the ocean.
Woolsey told CNN: “At the moment, we are not only separate from our oceans, but also from each other.” “These dives are a great tool not only for reconnecting with our natural environment, but also with each other.” She hopes that advances in camera technology will enable her team to “move more and more people to places in the ocean that have not yet been explored and distance them from human civilization.”
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