Google are one of those ‘cool’ tech companies – at least to me anyways. On top of offering one of the most widely used and most relied upon tools in the entire world, they are also a company that’s not afraid to try out the more futurist ideas – such as self-driving cars, Google Glass and wave powered, floating server farms – to the sometimes seemingly insane ideas – such as mapping the moon and throat tattoo microphones (yep, those are real).
Aside from the cool futuristic stuff though, the big G still has a little bit of fun thrown amongst the typical business-as-usual elements of the company. Over the past decade Google has included fun little features into their most well-know tool – the search engine.
These little features are known as Easter eggs. Fun little activities and quirky features that make the often mundane and second-nature task of looking for things via search a little more entertaining. Below is a compilation of Google Easter Eggs and fun features you can do with a simple Google search.
This is one of the best ones to date. Go to your Google Image search and type in the name of one of the classic Atari games breakout, and you get to play the game using the directional keys of your keyword. Caution: this one will eat up a lot of time, so don’t do it in front of the boss.
Searching for the word tilt within the search engine will skew your search results at a slight angle. All SERPs are still accessible and the browser defaults to normal upon searching for an additional term. The term ‘askew’ also performs this feature.
For almost 20 years now, the game of 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon has existed. The game aims to prove that between any two people on earth, there are only 6 people or fewer between individual one and Kevin Bacon. Typing ‘Bacon Number’ followed by any actor/actress you can think of will display their Kevin Bacon number. EG: Bacon Number George Clooney.
‘Do a barrel roll’
Typing in this command into your Google search window will cause your entire search result to spin completely off the screen and back again.
‘Google in 1998’
My favourite one. Typing this one will render the Google interface, as it existed in 1998. It displays the site courtesy of The Way Back Machine – a service that lets you take a glimpse into how sites used to look many years ago.
Another really fun one. Typing this one in your Google search window will cause the O’s in the Google logo to attack your search results. Clicking really fast on the O’s will cause them to lose strength and disappear. See if you can beat the attacking O’s before they destroy the entire page.
Typing this command will increase he spacing between the letters in the search results by 1 pixel.
You know when you’re going up an escalator and there are mirrors on both sides, and it’s essentially infinite? It’s a reflection of a reflection of a reflection etc. This is known as recursion. Typing recursion into Google results in Google suggesting that you were actually looking for recursion instead. Click on recursion will result in recursion, which in-turn results in recursion which… I’m sure you get the idea here.
‘Conway’s Game of life’
This is a really nerdy one. Conway’s game of life is a mathematical equation created by mathematician John Horton Conway that simulates cellular automation. You can read more about it here – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conway%27s_Game_of_Life – but be warned, it gets super nerdy really quickly.
One for the Seinfeld fans. Festivus is an alternative to Christmas made popular by George’s dad (who is actually Ben Stiller’s dad in real life) in Seinfeld. Festivus is a holiday celebrated by people who dislike the commercialization of the Christmas holiday season. Part of the tradition is the Festivus pole, a non-decorated metal pole in a stand – which is an alternative to a Christmas tree. Typing this result displays the Festivus pole up the entire left-hand side of the search results.
‘The answer to life the universe and everything’
For fans of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy – which if you’re not one, then get the hell off my site – this search result answers the ultimate question.
An anagram is a word play game that lets you shuffle the letters of a word or set of words to take on an entire new meaning. Typing anagram into Google provides an anagram of anagram – nag a ram.
Similar to anagram, typing in define anagram provides a results asking you if you actually meant to search for Nerd Fame Again.
Typing this one will display the results found option at the top of the screen as a scrolling marquee. It’s suitable, but still a little bit of fun.
This one will make the words Blink and HTML in the description and titles of your search results flicker on and off.
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Bonus Fun Things
Not exactly Easter eggs, but a couple of other features that make searching on Google a little more fun.
The Muppets – Swedish Chef search
Ever wanted to know what it’d be like if the Swedish chef from the Muppets was running the Google show instead of Sergey and the team. Then check this one out.
For the Star Trek Nerds – check out your search results in Klingon. It’s only a matter of time until this one is on the Big Bang Theory.
Elmer Fudd search
Looking for a Wascally Wabbit – try this one
Have you found any more? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll add them to the list (with a credit to you)