We’re all used to the idea that more and more of our lives are being lived online, as all sectors of the economy and leisure industry offer their services through the web. But the internet still has the capacity to surprise us. Here are five things that you can do online that you may not know about.
1. Play scratchcards
Instant lotteries, often known as scratchcards, are lottery lines that are drawn immediately after you buy them. You’ll know whether your line is a winner in seconds, not days, unlike conventional lotteries. Scratchcards are so popular they can be bought at many stores, but did you also know that you can play scratchcard games online through SkyCity and other sites?
Almost every online casino offers a variety of scratchcard games. To begin playing, you must first create an account and deposit real money, and you will sometimes find you can claim promotions relating to your favorite scratchcard games, which can give you additional games or bonuses.
A digital scratchcard resembles its traditional counterpart nearly identically. The online game is played by disclosing all of the symbols concealed behind panels or windows one by one, exactly like a real-life card found at a kiosk. Usually, the scratchcards pay out when you match a series of symbols, and there will be a handy paytable on the site telling you how much each set of symbols will pay.
The symbols may be disclosed by clicking on each window individually or, if you want to save time, there is usually a button to click that will reveal all of the symbols immediately. Some online scratchcard games attempt to provide a more “genuine” gaming experience by enabling players to expose symbols by dragging a finger or mouse pointer over them in a similar manner to scratching.
It is important to remember, however, that you should only play online scratchcards with registered and licensed online sites, and that all of these games are completely random, so never play with money you can’t afford to lose.
2. Track sharks around the globe
Sharks have gotten a bad press over the years, but there is increasing recognition of their vital role in the ecology of our oceans and of the fact that many species are at significant risk.
Many of the attempts to safeguard and understand the world’s shark populations involve tagging and tracking individual sharks to learn more about their habits, the distances they cover and the places where they are most common. One of these efforts, conducted by the marine research group OCEARCH offers us the chance to join in with this monitoring of sharks with a fascinating online tracker tool.
The tool is available for free and enables you to follow the progress of individual sharks as they swim around the world. Each shark has been given a name and when you click on the relevant icon, you will find out more about it and its habits. There is something strangely compelling and fascinating about following the journey of these amazing creatures around the world, made possible by the internet.
3. Take a museum or garden tour
In recent months, it has been difficult for many of us to visit the museums and gardens that we wanted to explore, and the result has been a growing realization that you can see some of the world’s most spectacular and notable tourist sights without leaving the comfort of your own home.
A selection of world-class museums provides virtual tours on their websites, allowing you to examine your favorite classic works of art from the comfort of your own home. Through your computer, you can admire some of the most stunning masterpieces on show across the globe, from various perspectives. The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in New Mexico and the Louvre in Paris are just two of the many institutions offering this capability.
And if nature is more your thing, then why not check out a virtual botanical garden tour. Around the globe, gardens and arboretums provide video tours of their grounds in full bloom. Some of the delightful gardens offering this facility are the Chicago Botanic Garden, the Zilker Botanical Garden in Austin, Texas, and Kew Gardens, part of the Royal Botanic Gardens in England.
4. Find your ring size
This is one of the more unusual but useful options online. If you’ve ever been in the situation of finding a lovely ring at an online jeweler’s store, but being unable to buy it because you don’t know your ring size, the good news is that there are now sites that will help you to find out your size.
The methods that are used vary according to the site and some may be more effective than others, so a little research may help you identify the best. But the advantage of being able to work out your ring size online without having to visit a jewelry store in person is obvious. And in some cases, you may even be able to use these sites to calculate someone else’s ring size, which can come in handy for couples on occasions such as birthdays or Christmas!
5. Explore space
Have you ever wanted to travel in space? Chances are you won’t be able to do so in our lifetimes but there is a way to experience some of the wonders of the galaxy through the NASA site.
NASA provides an app that enables you to journey through the galaxy in a variety of ways. For example, the Eyes on the Solar System app enables you to visit comets, asteroids and their moons, and the craft that are currently exploring these areas. You will even have the chance to fly to Pluto on the New Horizons craft or orbit Mars in the MAVEN explorer.
Even more exciting is the Eyes on Exoplanets app, which enables you to visit celestial bodies that lie beyond our system. Utilizing a scientifically accurate 3D representation of the universe, the app enables you to look more closely at over 1,000 planets orbiting distant stars, and provides information such as which planets may support life and how long it would take to travel to them.
The NASA online platform is regularly updated with the latest discoveries and is a fascinating way to learn more about the universe without leaving home.