Explore the Amazon Rainforest with New Virtual-Reality Film

23/02/2017 Live Science - Kacey Deamer

Photo: Lucas Bustamante/Conservation International

Photo: Lucas Bustamante/Conservation International

You can explore the Amazon rainforest's spectacular beauty and biodiversity right from the comfort of your home, thanks to a new 360-degree virtual-reality film from Conservation International. The film, called "Under the Canopy," brings viewers into the depths of the Amazon, with the region's diverse environment on full display. But beyond the picturesque views, the film also shares a message with viewers: This incredible landscape is threatened and needs to be protected. The annual forest loss due to deforestation in the Amazonia region is more than 1.5 times the size of Yellowstone National Park, according to Conservation International, the nonprofit environmental organization that developed the virtual-reality experience. 

The film begins at the top of a 200-foot-tall (60 meters) Ceiba tree. After descending to the rainforest floor, viewers set out on a journey with an indigenous guide named Kamanja Panashekung. Panashekung's family has lived in the region for generations, and he shows viewers how the rainforest supplies everything his people need to survive, according to Conservation International. [Beyond Gaming: 10 Other Fascinating Uses for Virtual-Reality Tech]

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