Academy Award-winning digital effects artists and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History are helping downloadable nature experience theBlu recognize World Oceans Day today, June 8.

TheBlu is a globally-connected 3D digital ocean in which every species and habitat is created by an artist, animator, developer or other user. Among the talented people involved in making theBlu are Oscar winners Andy Jones (Titanic, Avatar) and Kevin Mack (What Dreams May Come, Big Fish) along with Tahakio Akiyama (Final Fantasy) and dozens of other luminaries. The project’s advisory board team includes: Joi Ito, director of the MIT Media Lab and general manager of Neoteny Lab; and Yair Landau, partner at MK Capital, president and founder of Mass Animation, and former vice chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Users can explore scientifically accurate information about everything that coexists under the waves as they customize their experience and build a collection of sea life. Social networking is built in to the app, so users can share photos, events and even follow creatures as they move from one area to another.

TheBlu is free, but users are invited to purchase a premium version and certain additions to their collections, with the money going toward conservation and other causes related to the earth’s oceans.

Neville Spiteri, co-founder of theBlu, said, “TheBlu reflects the very special and powerful intersection of art, technology, and social change.”

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