Watch the northern lights without leaving your couch - and other webcams we love

Feeling cooped up inside these days? You're not alone. Around the world, people are #socialdistancing and staying at home to avoid further spread of the coronavirus.

We know you had to cancel your travel plans, but thanks to today's technology, you can still experience the wonders of the world right from your own living room.

And did we mention there are health benefits too? A 2017 UC Berkeley study found that watching nature clips “increases in feelings of awe, contentedness, joy, amusement, and curiosity, [and] also acted to reduce feelings of tiredness, anger, and stress.”

Sounds like a win-win to us!

To help you get started, we've rounded up the 5 best live cams from around the web for your viewing pleasure.

Northern Lights, Manitoba, Canada

Northern Lights | Unsplash Photo by Vincent Guth

Our absolute favorite site for watching nature live cams is No matter what you're interested in - from national parks to puppies - they've got you covered.

One you have to check out right now is the Northern Lights over Manitoba, Canada. According to the website, the northern lights, also known as aurora borealis, are "a luminous display visible when the earth's magnetic fields interact with charged particles from the sun." Late winter and early spring are the best time to watch, so clear your schedule this weekend! (Oh, and if you can't tune in at night, you can always rewind the live cam to catch the action.)

Saipan Beach, Northern Mariana Islands, Pacific Ocean

Saipan Beach | Unsplash photo by Vincent Camacho

Another favorite source for interesting livestreams around the world is EarthCam. You can see all their videos on their homepage, or browse a map view here.

Right now we're loving the Saipan Beach Cam, because let's be honest - who doesn't wish they were on a beach right now?

Alaskan Brown Bears, Katmai National Park

Brown Bears at Brooks Falls | Photo by runt35 / CC BY / Creative Commons

Even though fat bear week won't come again until the fall, viewers of the Brooks Falls Brown Bears livestream on will still get a thrill of adventure by watching the brown bears of Brooks Falls in Katmai National Park in Alaska. Check out the bears competing for the best fishing spots, snatching salmon out of thin air, and rolling around in the shallows playfully after a good snack.

Times Square, New York, and Shibuya Crossing, Tokyo

Times Square, Unsplash photo by Jorge Fernández Salas (R) | Shibuya Crossing, Unsplash photo by Martijn Baudoin (L)

These two webcams are a tie. Normally two of the busiest city streets in the world, it's downright spooky to see them deserted as people stay home during the pandemic. Whether your friends are near Times Square in New York, or near the Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo, thank them for staying home and being responsible in this crisis.

The Alps, Menuires, France

Actual screenshot from webcam of Les Menuires in the French Alps

Are you missing out on ski trips this winter? Head for the Alps - virtually of course - to get your dose of snow-covered mountains. The best part about this webcam is how easy it is to look through the archives. So if you're ready for summer already, rewind a few months and have a picnic with these scenic green hills as your backdrop.

Did we miss your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

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