There’s something about the ocean that everyone can connect with on some level—maybe because oceans are the largest ecosystems on earth or because the oceans are the earth’s largest life support system. Maybe it’s that the ocean has so many natural and easily accessible forms of therapy. Here are six apps to channel the powers of technology to enhance your sea-going passion, from surf reports to interactive ecology games for the kids.
The name of the app is MagicSeaweed, and it’s all about science when it comes to predicting tides, waves and storms. This mobile app provides long-range surf forecasts for thousands of beaches across the globe as well as forecasts of wind vectors, pressure and current sea state with swell height and period. The data is computed using observations from weather stations and buoys. Their 16-day forecasts give you the best possible early warning of changing conditions or significant swells so you can plan the best possible surfing trip.
Shark Net is an app that will bring you and your kids face-to-face with great white sharks, with the safety of your phone screen between you and Jaws. With the creation of this app, the Stanford University research team allows users to detect the comings and goings of great white sharks along the Northern California coast. The Shark Net app for iPhone and iPad brings a variety of individual sharks to your screen in real-time and provides notifications when their electronic tags are detected by underwater listening stations. Scary but fun!
Explorium: Ocean for Kids
Oceans are a great place for learning. It might be learning about tides or about erosion, or it might be learning about ecosystems or coral reefs. It might be learning about the animals of the ocean, big and small. Explorium: Ocean for Kids, ages 4-8, is a Learn & Play app that combines a quest, mini-games, and facts about the underwater world to ensure your children never lose interest. It’s even fun for parents who want to dive in with their kids.
Check out the digital sea monsters on Cachalot, a French word often used for the sperm whale. Cachalot was created by faculty and students of Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment and Computer Science Department in conjunction with National Geographic and other ocean brainiacs. Learn about the biggest and most compelling creatures of the sea from the expert scientists who study them.
The National Ocean Service App
This is the top app for all things ocean, working in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The US Department of Commerce focuses on the conditions of the oceans and the atmosphere, so they know what they’re talking about. Not only does this app give you ocean facts, podcasts and up-to-the-minute news about the oceans, but they have plenty of other apps about coral reefs, tsunami information and fish alerts.
Pacifica—Anxiety, Stress, & Depression relief
The ocean is so vast that humans still have not figured out everything that goes on under the sea. While we can use apps for predicting tides, following whales and learning about sea creatures, the ocean can be a calming influence on us as well. The Pacifica—Anxiety, Stress, & Depression relief app gives you the sound of the waves lapping onto a calm beach while giving you daily ideas to keep anxiety and stress at bay. It’s not only beneficial to learn about the oceans so we can protect them, but we can all use an app with the sounds of the ocean to calm us down.