The United States is home to many underwater gems: the haunting shipwrecks of Thunder Bay, the colorful corals of Gray’s Reef, the barnacle-covered statue of Christ in the Florida Keys.
For most Americans, however, these sights are out of reach. Though half of the U.S. population lives within 50 miles of a coast, merely a tiny fraction — fewer than 5 percent, according to some industry estimations — actively dive or snorkel.
But thanks to an online project spearheaded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, everyone can now experience these underwater wonders in vivid detail. Diving knowledge isn’t required and you won’t even get wet; all you need is a smartphone, tablet or computer.