Top 10 Google Easter Eggs

The good folks at Google are always hard at work, bringing us some of the most amazing free (and paid) tools and services on the web. But they also have a mischievous and fun side to them. Over the years funny and interesting easter eggs were discovered in many of their products, in this list i bring you the Top 10 Google Easter Eggs. I had a great time researching and compiling this list, i hope you enjoy it.

10. Google Hacker & Pirate Interface

Want to experience Google through a different interface? Google offers its interface in different languages, including several, uhmm … “uncommon” ones, such as:

hacker google

9. Recursive Recursion

Searching Google for “recursion” shows “Did you mean: “recursion” on top of the search results page, which allows you to recursively run searches for “recursion”.

recursion

8. YouTube Hidden “Snake”

On YouTube, if you open a video, click inside the frame right after the video starts loading, then press one of the arrow keys on the keyboard. This will start a hidden game of “Snake” with the loading dots on the paused frame. Just don’t run into any walls!

youtube snake

7. Google Earth Flight Simulator

Not really an Easter egg (the option is quite visible in the “tools” menu), but The built-in flight simulator in Google Earth is just too damn fun and unknown to many, so i just had to include it.

To load the simulator, just press CTRL+ALT+A (or CMD+OPT+A if you’re on a Mac), and you can take a flight from any number of airports all over the world. You can pick either the F-16, or the SR22 plane, and there is also support for a joystick (if you’ve got one).

google flight simulator

6. The Answer to Life The Universe and Everything

Searching Google for “the answer to life, the universe, and everything” or ”the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything” returns an answer from Google’s calculator that equals “42″. This is a a reference to Douglas Adams’s novel “ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”.

Some other questions the google calculator accepts and answers:

  • “the number of horns on a unicorn” – returns “1″.
  • “once in a blue moon” – returns “1.16699016 × 10−8 hertz”. (Blue Moon)
  • “a bakers dozen” – returns “13″.
  • “the loneliest number” – returns “1″ (a reference to the song by Harry Nilsson).

The Answer to Life The Universe and Everything

5. Tilt, or Askew

Searching for “tilt” or “askew” on Google causes the search results page to actually tilt, or askew.

Note: Only works in Webkit based browsers (Google Chrome, Firefox 7+, Safari, or Android/iOS built-in browsers).

tilt or askew on google

4. Barrel Roll

Searching Google for “do a barrel roll” or “Z or R twice” produces a spinning view of the search results page. This is a reference to the video game Star Fox 64 by Nintendo .

Note: Only works in Webkit based browsers (Google Chrome, Firefox 7+, Safari, or Android/iOS built-in browsers).

do a barrel roll

3. Conway’s Game of Life

Searching Google for “conways game of life” returns a search results page with Conway’s Game of Life running in the background, complete with a set controls – play, pause, step, maximize / restore and close.

This google easter egg is a tribute to The Game of Life (or “Life”), devised by the British mathematician John Horton Conway in 1970.

conways game of life

2. “I’m Feeling Lucky” Button Scroll

On August 2012, Google tweaked the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button on its front page (the option that fetches the first search result based on your search queries) And now scrolling over the button leads to other types of “feelings,” which return various results from other Google properties.

It is in fact a showcase of Google’s various projects and Services.

Currently,  the “feelings” are:

  • “I’m feeling hungry” – leads to the Google search page for restaurants.
  • “I’m feeling playful” – leads to an interactive Google Doodle.
  • “I’m feeling stellar” – leads to images of random celestial bodies on google images.
  • “I’m feeling artistic” – leads to a random collection from the Google arts project.
  • “I’m feeling puzzled” – leads to the ”a-google-a-day” game.
  • “I’m feeling wonderful” – leads to a random world wonder from the world wonders project.
  • “I’m feeling trendy” – leads to the “hot searches” page from Google trends.
  • “I’m feeling doodley” – leads to a random Google Doodle.

im-feeling-lucky

1. Zerg Rush

Searching Google for “zerg rush” returns a results page with the “O’s” from the Google logo taking over the page and eating the search results. Clicking the O’s until their individual life gauge runs out kills them, and a score count is kept in a small window on the side.

After all links on the results page are destroyed, the O’s all join forces to form the letters “GG” (good game). There is also a “share score” button, for sharing your score on Google+.

This google easter egg is a homage to Blizzard Entertainment’s computer game Starcraft. “Zergs” are an alien race of insectoids in the game, and they would often descend upon, and in many case destroy the player in a “blitz” attack.

zerg rush google

Honorary Mention:

During major Holidays, there were special “festive” easter eggs that google hid in their search engine, the ones i spotted were:

  • Around Christmas time (first spotted on December 2011-January 2012), Searching for “let it snow” returned a search results page with simulated snowfall and frost. After some time, the screen fogs up and the blue search button changes to “Defrost”, allowing the user to defrost the page by clicking and rubbing it like a window.
  • Searching for “hanukkah” changes the horizontal ruler between the search bar and search results into a row of lights, shaped like little Stars of David.
  • Searching for “kwanzaa” changes the horizontal ruler between the search bar and search results into a row of “Kinara”.

[Update: 11/12]

Google Halloween Easter Egg:

In addition to a special Halloween Google Doodle, complete with haunted house sound effects and scary creatures, Google also hid a nice little Halloween Easter egg:

To activate, just search for a well-known Horror movie title, and on the top of the knowledge graph box you should see 3 bats hanging, waiting for you to hover over them with your mouse pointer and scare them away flying.

Google Halloween Easter Egg 2012

 

This concludes our list of the top 10 Google Easter eggs, we hope you enjoyed reading it as much as we enjoyed compiling it!

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