MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Sept. 13 (UPI) -- Google says armchair explorers can now experience the Galapagos Islands, one of Earth's most biodiverse places, direct from their computer.
Google is unveiling footage it collected in May of the Pacific Ocean island chain as part of its Street View special collections, marking the 178th anniversary of Charles Darwin's historic first encounter with the Galapagos, Mashable reported Friday.
Much of the islands' wildlife -- including marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies and frigate birds -- can be viewed in a panorama that includes the Galapagos giant tortoise breeding center, a tour of the Charles Darwin Research Station and underwater footage of sea lions.
The footage was captured by a team of hikers wearing backpack mounted cameras with 15 lenses taking photos every 2.5 seconds, Google said.
The project was a partnership between the Galapagos National Park, the Charles Darwin Foundation and the Catlin Sea Survey, Mashable reported.
The footage is also intended to be a research tool in ongoing studies of the islands, their animal migration patterns and the impact of tourism, Google said.