If your work requires you to be constantly online, it’s easy to feel detached from the natural world. Going for a walk now and then helps a lot, but if you can’t get away, knowing about the right sites can help.
Today, Cool Websites and Apps explores five sites that bring the natural world to your computer, tablet, or phone. We’ve got photos, documentaries, live cameras, and even GIFs of animals and natural wonders.
It’s not a full alternative to a hike, sure, but it can help.
Explore.org: Live Nature Webcams
The best way to experience nature is to get out there and explore. If you’re stuck at your desk, though, webcams give you the opportunity to passively watch animals while you do something else. We’ve pointed out multiple unique webcam feeds, but Explore.org is noteworthy for providing a wide variety of cams from all over the world.
I’ve personally enjoyed watching eagles hatch and be raised on this site, and watching bears hunt salmon in the spring is also always a highlight. I’m sure you can find something interesting on this site, so dive and let us know what you find.
EarthPorn on Reddit: More Mind Bogglingly Beautiful Nature Photos than You Can Ever Look At
There’s no end to content on Reddit, and that includes more than a few photos. The subreddit called EarthPorn might sound risque, but it actually consists of amazing photos from beautiful places all over the world.
We mentioned this community while talking about how to use Reddit to become a better photographer, but it’s worth pointing out again because of how many great photos can be found here. Oh, and thanks to an IFTTT recipe, you can automatically set these pictures as your Android wallpaper.
There are many different insanely specific subreddits, and most of them have active communities. EarthPorn’s sidebar can point you to a variety of even more communities with great photos with specific things, so be sure to explore that as well.
Free Nature Stock Photos: Stunning Photos You Can Use on Your Website
EarthPorn has a lot of great nature photos, but you can’t necessarily use them on your blog or website. You’ll need to ask individual photographers for permission to do that.
Not the case with Free Nature Stock Photos, a site with a wide variety of pictures you can use for any purpose – even commercial ones. Go ahead and make one of these the background on your website, or stick it on your company’s pamphlets: they’re totally cleared for any use at all.
But they’re not just free: they’re beautiful. We’ve explored the best sites with royalty-free stock photos before, but this is the best collection of nature-specific ones we’ve found.
PBS’ Nature: Fantastic Nature Documentaries You Can Watch Online
This is a long running show on PBS, America’s public TV network. If you haven’t heard of it, you should check it out, because it offers some pretty great documentaries on a weekly basis. The content is HD, and one of the best for catching original natural history shows.
I’m throwing this in here mostly because of how much I enjoyed Moose: The Life of a Twig Eater. It’s a beautiful film with some really intimate footage, and makes moose interesting in a way I never thought possible. Watch it now.
I suspected this content would be region blocked, but a quick VPN test revealed they’re available everywhere. So dive in, Americans and international users alike, and find something amazing to watch.
Head Like an Orange: Great Collection of Nature GIFs
GIFs are the language of the web, but almost all of them seem to be from TV shows or movies. If you want some stunning GIFs from the natural world, look no further than this amazing Tumblr blog. You’ll find a wide array of gifs from the natural world.
I could scroll through this thing all day, and I recommend that you do the same thing. You’ll like it.
How Do You Bring Nature to Your Tech?
These are a few great sites for exploring the natural world on your computer, but we know there are more out there. For example, we’ve talked before about finding free nature sounds, and ways to make nature sounds part of your day, for example. But we want to know about more.
What are your favorite websites for experiencing nature on your computer, tablet, or phone? Let’s see what you can dig up.