Explore Australia’s big blue backyard with today’s Google Doodle

                                                                                         Photograph captured by The Ocean Agency
Today holds different meanings for Australians around the country. For some it’s a celebration, for others it’s a time of sombre reflection – and for many it’s just another sticky summer’s day.  

As the world’s only island continent, what binds us together – physically and culturally – is the ocean. It frames us, hugs us and shapes us. Wherever we’re from, we’ve all had those salty, sandy moments catching wild waves, leapfrogging rock pools, or feeling that silent serenity gliding through underwater galaxies.

Today’s Google Doodle celebrates Australia’s big blue backyard and treasured natural World Heritage Site, the Great Barrier Reef. With help from The Ocean Agency, we chose to honour the precious creatures and coral in this underwater world  – featuring protected species such as the Green Turtle, Pipefish, Barramundi Cod, Potato Cod, Maori Wrasse, Giant Clam and Staghorn Coral.  

We’ve been working over recent years with The Ocean Agency to put our oceans on the map, capturing their beauty and allowing people to explore them from anywhere in the world. Millions of people are lucky enough to visit the reef every year, to dive or snorkel in this majestic underwater world, but many more aren’t as fortunate – and time is not on their side. According to The Great Barrier Reef Foundation, coral cover in the Great Barrier Reef has declined by 50% in the past 30 years. Naturalist Sir David Attenborough says the reef is in grave danger.

More than ever, we’re compelled to look beneath the surface.

Australians are increasingly showing their curiosity and care for this intricate, fragile ecosystem. Google Searches for “Great Barrier Reef” and “biodiversity” landed among the top Google searches in of 2016, while related searches for the Great Barrier Reef and "Coral Bleaching" increased by +250% compared to 2015.*  

Whether you’re spending today in the bush, on a boat or in your mate’s backyard, we invite you to click on the link below today’s Google Doodle to dive into the reef with Street View. Click the < and > buttons to venture into Norman Reef, Knife Reef, Myrmidon Reef, Ribbon Reef 10, St Crispins, The Cod Hole and Tijou Reef (all captured by The Ocean Agency).  

*Google Trends

Posted by Alan Noble, Director of Engineering, Google Australia and New Zealand