We now have the ability to find water on Mars, but the scientific community still uses such rudimentary techniques as tape measures to study our own coral reefs. With climate change threatening the Earth’s coral reefs, scientists need a more systematic way to observe these endangered species.
Enter The Hydrous, which has mapped coral reefs in Palau, Saipan, Guam, Indonesia and Hawaii – and is now focused on the Maldives. Using underwater cameras, teams of divers photograph the reefs from every angle. These images are then fed into 3D modeling software to produce high-resolution, interactive visuals that help scientists get more exact measurements of the size and shape of each reef over time.
With this knowledge, scientists can observe the corals’ growth rate. And along with artists, entrepreneurs, local citizen scientists, and local educators, these scientists can then push for environmental safeguards that improve the reefs’ resilience. By opening access to our oceans, The Hydrous is helping to make a massive impact on a world that depends on these life-sustaining waters.