New Virtual Reality Film Allows Users To Tour Amazon Rainforest

Amazon Parrot: "Under the Canopy" is an amazing virtual-reality filmAmazon Parrot: "Under the Canopy" is an amazing virtual-reality film

Thanks to a new virtual reality film offering 360 degree viewing, armchair travelers around the world can now visit places like the Amazon rainforest. Courtesy of Conservation International, you'll be able to take in the spectacular beauty and amazing biodiversity that is dished up in a film entitled "Under the Canopy" without worrying about being eaten alive by insects, jaguars, giant snakes or bird spiders. That's a comfort in itself, isn't it? Besides that, and saving on airfare and getting your passport updated, the film is said to be simply incredible in its clarity and realism. But the purpose of the film goes beyond just providing viewers with dazzling visuals in a virtual experience. It's also about awareness.

Save the Rainforests

The makers of the film want to bring awareness to the fact that this once vast wilderness and it occupants are shrinking rapidly and disappearing due to deforestation. In other words, the magnificent sights and sounds that you'll enjoy during your virtual traipse around the Amazon's lush rainforests need badly to be protected. If you're not aware, one of the more sobering statistics in connection to annual forest loss in the region can be put in perspective by using this comparison: the loss is equal to 1.5 times the size of Yellowstone National Park. Now, if you're still a little hazy on the significance of this, Yellowstone is 3,472 square miles in size, which is 2,221,766 acres, if that helps you out. Pretty sobering, huh?


Sunset on the Amazon: View of the river with the rainforest in the backgroundSunset on the Amazon: View of the river with the rainforest in the background

Explore the Amazon

The richly textured film starts out by taking viewers to the top of a Ceiba tree measuring 200 feet in height. Not a bad way to begin your bird's-eye journey. Once back down firmly on the ground, your virtual tour guide takes over from there. The man is Kamanja Panashekung, a native to the area whose ancestors have lived in the region for countless generations. During his educational tour Panashekung explains to viewers of the film the many ways in which the rainforest supplies his people with everything they need to survive on a daily basis, according to Conservation International. His story is actually pretty fascinating, especially if you're a city dweller and can't imagine what it would be like living in such a wild and remote area of the world.

Welcome to the Jungle

There are over 30 million people currently calling the Amazon home. They are made up of over 350 indigenous communities, all of whom rely on the rainforest in one form or another for their survival. But they're not alone in their dependence on the rainforest. We, too, the world over are dependant on rainforests for our very survival. That's because they provide much of the air we all so gladly gulp every day and, to some extent, the water we slake our thirsts with. If that weren't enough to get you to sit up and take notice of the perils that rainforests face, then consider this: much of the world's medications are derived from plants scientists discover there, including new remedies and cures for formerly incurable conditions.


Poison Dart Frog: One of the many residents of the AmazonPoison Dart Frog: One of the many residents of the Amazon

Take Me to the Movies

During the film, viewers are treated to images of exotic birds and butterflies, and then, of course, the obligatory tree sloths that travelers to South America expect to find. To enjoy a truly immersive experience, you'll want to slide on a virtual reality headset, of which you can get just about anywhere anymore. Once you're tuned in, you'll witness firsthand what the inhabitants that reside their experience each and every day of their lives, while learning more about the consequences of deforestation in connection to the impact on their ecosystem and how climate change is not helping their cause, either. All in all, the film is said to be a trip well worth taking, and you'll never even have to worry about a spider the size of a dinner plate covered in hair leaping out of a tree onto your back. Happy traveling!