Google is expanding 'Google Earth' to include large swathes of the ocean floor and abyssal plain.

The map includes 20 content layers, containing information from the world's leading scientists, researchers and ocean explorers.

'Google Ocean' aims to let users visit some of the more interesting locations, including underwater volcanoes, as well as running videos on marine life, shipwrecks and clips of favourite surf and dive spots. Conservation organisations hope the tool will raise awareness of the challenges faced by undersea life.

Carl Gustaf Lundin, head of the global marine programme at the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, said 'With this, everybody can see the unbelievable beauty of our marine life and how incredibly threatened it is'.