List of Google Easter eggs

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The technology giant[1][2][3] Google "prides itself on being a playful company" and has added Easter eggs and April Fools' Day jokes and hoaxes into many of its products and services, such as Google Search, YouTube, and Android since at least 2000.[4] They are often well hidden, so that users find it gratifying when they discover them, helping form bonds between Google and its users.[5]

An Easter egg in Google Maps warned users asking for walking directions from "The Shire" to "Mordor" that they should "Use caution – One does not simply walk into Mordor."

Search engine[edit]

A Google web search for:

  • "a long time ago in a galaxy far far away" resulted in the same tilted, scrolling style that the introductions to the original Star Wars movies were presented in.[6] This included the music,[6] which was muted but could be heard by clicking on or selecting the muted speaker icon on the page. However, this no longer worked as of 28 Jun 2017.[7]
  • "anagram( see it )" shows "Did you mean: nag a ram?" [8]
    • "define anagram( see it )" shows "Did you mean: nerd fame again"[9]
    • "anagram" in other languages, for example google.de shows other anagrams.[citation needed]
  • "askew( see it )" causes and "tilt" once caused the results page to be tilted, leaning down, left to right.[10][11]
  • "bletchley park( see it )" shows the name of the attraction being decoded in the Knowledge Graph.[12]
  • "<blink>( see it )" or "blink html( see it )" includes samples of the blink element in the results.[13]
  • "conway's game of life( see it )" on a desktop browser generates a running configuration of the game to the right of the search results. The process can also be stopped and altered by the user.[14]
  • "do a barrel roll( see it )" or "z or r twice( see it )" causes the result page to do a Star Fox-style barrel roll.[15][16][11]
  • "drag queen" or "drag king" causes a rainbow to display next to the search results.[17]
  • "festivus( see it )" shows an image of the Festivus pole beside the search results.[18][16][11]
  • "gay pride( see it )", "homosexuality( see it )", "stonewall( see it )" and other LGBT related searches, at times of gay pride festival activity, cause the results page to have a rainbow themed header.[19]
  • "gilbert baker( see it )" will result in a colorful rainbow down the side of the page in memoriam of Gilbert Baker, inventor of the Gay Pride flag.[citation needed]
  • "google in 1998( see it )" on a desktop browser will generate a layout similar to the one Google used for its search engine in 1998.[20][11]
  • “is google down( see it )” returns with "No".[21]
  • "kerning( see it )" will add spaces between the letters of the word "kerning" in the search results.[22]
  • "<marquee>( see it )"[citation needed] or "marquee html( see it )" will apply the marquee element to the results count.[23]
  • "recursion( see it )" includes a "Did you mean: recursion" link back to the same page.[15]
  • "sonic the hedgehog( see it )", "green hill zone( see it )" and "sanic( see it )" will give a knowledge graph with Sonic waiting. Clicking on Sonic will make him jump; if clicked on 25 times, Sonic will transform into Super Sonic.[24]
  • "super mario bros( see it )" shows a knowledge graph for Super Mario Bros. that contains a flashing ? Block which generates a coin and 200 points when clicked. After 100 coins are collected, the "1UP" sound plays.[25]
  • "webdriver torso( see it )" turns the Google logo into the moving colored blocks. This is a reference to an automated YouTube channel made by Google to test YouTube's performance. This does not work on mobile devices. This does not work when there is a Google Doodle on that day.[26][11]
  • "wubba lubba dub dub( see it )" results in Google's Search asking "Did you mean: i am in great pain please help me"[27] or, when using Google Home, Google Assistant responds with "Are you in pain? How can I help?" or "Sorry, I don't speak Birdperson", referencing the adult animated science fiction sitcom Rick and Morty.[28]
  • "zerg rush( see it )" causes an army of Google Os to attack and destroy the search results, which can be defeated by clicking on them.[29] Once you are defeated (as victory is impossible[30]), the Os form two Gs, meaning Good Game.[31][11]

Embedded tools[edit]

A Google web search for:

  • "flip a coin( see it )" will flip a coin: heads or tails.[32][11]
  • "fun facts( see it )" or "i'm feeling curious( see it )" will show a fun fact when you enter the words "I'm feeling curious" within Google's search engine. Once a search result has been given you can click on "Ask another question" to show another question. It will show a short fact in about 1-3 sentences and a link to the website where the fact was found within a featured box at the top of the search results.[32] [33]
  • "play dreidel( see it )" will spin a dreidel, landing on Nun, Gimel, He, or Shin.[34]
  • "random number generator( see it )" or "rng( see it )" will generate a random number between 1 and 10. Changing the max/min to a number greater than 9,999,999,999 or less than -9,999,999,999 will generate a dizzy face emoji 😵.[citation needed]
  • "roll a die( see it )", or "roll die" will roll a die: between 1 and 6.[32][11]
  • "solitaire( see it )" will have a playable game of solitaire. You can select between two modes: easy and hard.[32][11]
  • "spinner( see it )" will have an interactive spinning wheel and a fidget spinner[35] which can be toggled via the switch. For the spinning wheel, a dropdown menu lets you change the amount of numbers on the wheel: from 2 to 20.[36] Whereas, for the fidget spinner, you have to mimic a rotating motion[35] in order for the spinner to spin.
  • "tic tac toe( see it )" will have a playable game of tic tac toe.[32][37][11] You can select to be either player 1 (x) or player 2 (o).
  • "what sound does a dog make( see it )" will sound out what a dog will make. Replace dog with another animal of your choice.[32]

Calculator[edit]

Late 2011, Google added a graphical calculator to search results.[38][39] By using natural language processing, Google's algorithms have calculated[40] that the result might be mathematical in nature.[41] Woven into this feature are several not entirely academic understandings, which might be considered Easter eggs.[42]

A Google web search for:

Results may be calculated; for example: "the number of horns on a unicorn plus the answer to life the universe and everything( see it )" will return "43".[43]

Image search[edit]

A Google image search for "atari breakout( see it )" starts a game of Breakout, using the gallery of image results as bricks. Once the bricks are destroyed, a random phrase is automatically searched and the game will restart.[46][11]

Google Maps and Google Earth[edit]

  • The world of "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" may be explored with Google Street View. Visit New York City in 1926 as brought to life in the film, as well as the real locations today. Fans can visit MACUSA (Magical Congress of the USA); Steen National Bank, where Newt first meets Jacob Kowalski; the underground speakeasy The Blind Pig; and the magical apartment of Tina and Queenie Goldstein, two of the film’s key characters.[47]
  • Another 3D buildings easter egg involves the famous bridge jump scene from The Blues Brothers, which is recreated in Google Earth at the Tacony–Palmyra Bridge linking New Jersey and Philadelphia.[44]
  • The Mars Feature of Google Earth allows users to speak to a primitive ELIZA clone on the planet, by searching for "Meliza".[48]
  • On July 20, 2005, the 36th anniversary of the first human landing on the Moon, Google debuted a version of Google Maps that included a small segment of the surface of the Moon. It is based entirely on NASA images and includes only a very limited region. Panning causes the map to tile. Zooming to the closest level used to show that the Moon was made of cheese.[49] The map also gives the locations of all Moon landings, and the Google Moon FAQ humorously mentions a connection to the Google Copernicus hoax, which Google claimed to be developing. Supposedly, by 2069, Google Local will support all lunar businesses and addresses.[49]
  • In Street View, on Earls Court Rd, London, United Kingdom, a TARDIS from the famous science fiction series Doctor Who is on display. Street View allows one to enter the TARDIS( see it ) where it is "Bigger on the Inside" and explore the set actually used in the show.[50][51]
  • When navigating from Snowdon to Brecon Beacons, the user can choose to travel by dragon, which takes 21 minutes.[52]
  • When navigating from Urquhart Castle to Fort Augustus, the user can choose to travel by the Loch Ness monster, which takes 25 minutes.[53]
  • When navigating from Magadalene College to President's Lodge Queens College, the user can choose to be punted, which takes 45 minutes.[54]
  • Searching for public transportation from Windsor Castle to Buckingham Palace, offers you the Royal Carriage option. [55]
  • Certain navigation within the greater London area showed the as-yet unopened Crossrail (Elizabeth Line) in royal purple (April Fool's Day, 2016).
  • There is a flight simulator in the Google Earth desktop app. To access it, press Ctrl+Alt+A on Windows or ⌘ Cmd+⌥ Opt+A on OS X.[56]
  • To promote the upcoming release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, users could explore Bruce Wayne's residence and the Batcave.[57] This no longer exists as of Aug 19, 2016.[citation needed]
  • For April Fools' Day 2015, when in certain areas in Google Maps, there was a Pac-Man button. When clicked (if one's in a suitable area for it to work), a Pac-Man game started, controlled by arrow keys, using the roads as paths for Pac-Man to go.[58] A similar feature was brought back for April Fools' Day 2017, allowing users to play a version of Ms. Pac-Man upon clicking the icon on the Google Maps webpage or mobile app.[59]
  • In early test versions of Google Maps, searching for a route between locations separated by expanses of water (e.g. Paris and New York) provided road directions to the coast of the embarkation country (in this case, the west coast of France) before suggesting "Swim the Atlantic Ocean (3,500 miles)" or another ocean for a different distance.[44]
  • While Google Maps' walking directions were in beta, requesting them from the start point of "The Shire" or "Rivendell" to the destination of "Mordor", the directions returned the warning: "Use caution – One does not simply walk into Mordor."[60]
  • Searching for "R'lyeh" would take you to the coordinates of the sunken city. It was listed as a "Place of worship".[61]

Pegman[edit]

Google homepage[edit]

  • From May 20 to 24, 2010, Google replaced its usual homepage with a playable Google-style Pac-Man game to celebrate its 30th anniversary.[11] By pressing Insert Coin (which replaced the I'm Feeling Lucky button) a second time, users could play a 2-player version of Pac-Man, starring both Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man (moving with WASD) in the same game. This was a first in the history of Pac-Man[77] by the creators of Google Pac-Man at the 2011 Google I/O conference.[78] Google's game is still playable by visiting Google's Doodles collection that can be found by pressing I'm Feeling Lucky without text in the search bar.[79]
  • At other times, rolling over the I'm Feeling Lucky button would cause the button text to spin, landing on a random phrase. Clicking on the button without text in the search bar will serve you the corresponding web page.[80][81]
The initial configuration of Google's Pac-Man banner.
I'm feeling Result
Doodley Random Google Doodle
Artistic Random Google art project
Hungry Google search for "restaurants"
Puzzled "A Google A Day" home page
Trendy Google Hot Trends
Stellar Google Earth page on the Hubble Telescope
Playful Random interactive Google Doodle
Wonderful Random "World Wonder" project
Generous Google "One Today" homepage
Curious Google search for "I'm Feeling Curious"

Google interfaces[edit]

Google has made several alternate homepages for different fictional languages.

Language URL Reference
Pirate www.google.com/?hl=xx-pirate( see it ) [45][21]
Hacker (Leet) www.google.com/?hl=xx-hacker( see it ) [21][82]
Bork www.google.com/?hl=xx-bork( see it ) [45][82]
Klingon www.google.com/?hl=xx-klingon( see it ) [45][82]
Pig latin www.google.com/?hl=xx-piglatin( see it ) [83][82]
Elmer Fudd www.google.com/?hl=xx-elmer( see it ) [82][84]

Google subpages[edit]

The teapot found at Google's 418 error page.
  • "www.google.com/heart( see it )" will redirect to an archived page which is a preservation of the old Google interface, complete with a banner that states "This site is an old friend from Google’s past, kept in its original form. Enjoy!" However, if you type something in the search box and click "Google Search", it will take you back to the current Google interface. A Java applet with an interactive jumping heart shows under the Google logo on the search page. The applet was made in 2000 by Ken Perlin.[85] Note: To view it, you must use a browser that supports Java.
  • "www.google.com/humans.txt( see it )" is a simple plain text file serving to remind its readers that Google isn't only built on technology but, is created by many humans too. It asks for interested readers to visit their careers page.[86]
  • "www.google.com/killer-robots.txt( see it )" is a humorous plain text file in robots.txt format.[87]
  • "www.google.com/teapot( see it )" states, "418. I’m a teapot. The requested entity body is short and stout. Tip me over and pour me out." Clicking on the picture of the teapot (or "teabot"[citation needed]) or tilting your mobile device will result in an animation of it pouring tea into a teacup. The web page is a reference to the Hyper Text Coffee Pot Control Protocol.[88]

Android[edit]

  • Since the version 2.3 (Gingerbread) of Google's Android operating system an easter egg containing an animation has been hidden. The easter egg can be accessed through the "Settings" application, in the "About phone" section, by repeatedly tapping the "Android version" section. The animation is different in every version of the OS.[89]
    • In 4.1 – 4.3.1 (Jelly Bean) a red jelly bean appears, which if pressed will show its face along with the OS version. If this jelly bean is then long-pressed, an interactive jelly bean minigame will appear. This is where one can fling the jelly beans around.[90]
    • In 4.4 (KitKat) a rotating letter "K" appears, which if continually tapped turns into the text "Android" in the styling of a KitKat logo. If the Android logo is then long-pressed a tile interface, known as "a daydream" called "Dessert Case", loads with icons from all previous versions of Android. It appears to be a mock of the Windows Phone interface.[91]
    • In 5.x (Lollipop) and 6.x (Marshmallow), a colored circle appears (or a circle with a stylized M inside in Marshmallow). If continuously tapped, it will turn into a lollipop with the text lollipop inside (or the M changes into a marshmallow in 6.x). Tapping the circle changes the color. When long-pressed, a game of Flappy Bird starts with the Android mascot instead. In Marshmallow, tapping the plus sign adds extra players (up to five), which can be controlled by the user or other players.[92][93]
    • In 7.0 (Nougat), an "N" appears, which will enable another Easter egg if tapped. This Easter egg, titled "Android Neko" as a reference to the cat collecting mobile game Neko Atsume, can be accessed from the Quick Settings menu, and allows the user to create virtual treats, which will eventually attract kittens. The kittens can be viewed in a gallery-style screen. Additionally, long-pressing on the aforementioned "N" repeatedly will alternate between displaying the no symbol emoji and the cat face emoji, respectively toggling the Easter egg on and off. "No" and "cat" is a mondegreen for "nougat".[94]
  • On YouTube Creator Studio, swiping down the screen repeatedly will show a cat at the top of the screen.[95]
  • Spells may be cast on an Android phone by saying "Ok Google" followed by "Lumos" or "Nox" to turn the flashlight on and off, or "Silencio" to silence the ringer and notifications.[96]

Android applications[edit]

  • In the Google Play Games app, if the player swipes the Konami Code, a box will appear with three buttons – a B, an A and an . Pressing B then A then unlocks a secret achievement called "All your game are belong to us", a reference to the well known "All your base are belong to us" phrase.[97]
  • In the Google Play Store app, when viewing the Google MyGlass app page, the fifth screenshot is a picture of a dog in pajamas.[98]
  • In the Google Phone (Dialer) app, inputting the "Emergency Number", advertised to replace "999" in The IT Crowd's season 1 episode "Calamity Jen", will prompt the phone to vibrate and the action button flash blue & red.[99]
  • In the Google Allo app, if you send the Konami Code to the Google Assistant by typing "up up down down left right left right b a start", it will respond with "Cheat mode enabled".[citation needed]
  • In Google+, if the device is shaken while viewing a photo, snow will fall; if the device is shaken again it will save an animated GIF of the image with falling snow to the pictures directory.[100]
  • Searching for "let's go caroling" or "let's go carolling" on Google Now will result in an extra card which displays a list of Christmas carols. The phone will play the music and show the words if one of them is selected.[101]

Chromecast[edit]

  • The model numbers for the first generation Chromecast unit and its power adapter read H2G2-42 and MST3K-US, respectively.[102]

YouTube[edit]

  • On a video published by Numberphile on June 22, 2012, titled "Why do YouTube views freeze at 301?( see it )", the view count is frozen at 301,[103] referencing the bug in the now changed subject behavior.[104]
  • Adding "&wadsworth=1" to a video URL will apply "Wadsworth's constant", skipping the first 30% of the video.[105]
  • Whilst viewing any video, type "awesome" and the progress bar and other player elements will flash multicolored. Typing "awesome" again will stop it.[106]
  • YouTube's robots.txt file at "www.youtube.com/robots.txt( see it )" states that it was "Created in the distant future (the year 2000) after the robotic uprising of the mid 90's which wiped out all humans."[107] This is an ostensible reference to the song "Robots" by Flight of the Conchords.[108]
  • When the live-stream countdown reaches 24 hours before it is scheduled to start, a "Dawn of The Final Day -24 Hours Remain-" is shown along with a sound effect, referencing the video game The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask.[citation needed]
  • On December 12, 2015, in order to promote the then-upcoming release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the progress bar was changed in order to look like a Lightsaber. By signing up to a specially created promotional page, users were able to follow the Light Side (which would change the progress bar to blue) or the Dark Side (which would change the progress bar to red). This was turned off after February 1, 2016.[109] Along with this, whenever you would mouse over the volume controls, a lightsaber sound would play like it was turned on, and when you mouse off of it, a power off sound would play.[citation needed]
  • A Snake game could be activated by pressing a combination of arrow keys whilst videos were paused or playing. Once started, the snake could be controlled by further use of the arrow keys, directing it to "gobble up dots" to increase its size. If the snake hit the edges of the video window, the game ended.[110][111]
  • When watching a video with "fidget spinner( see it )" in the title, the buffering icon will change into a spinning fidget spinner.[112]

Search[edit]

A YouTube search for:

  • "beam me up scotty", a reference to Star Trek, would cause the search results to beam down onto the screen, as in Star Trek.[113]
  • "doge meme( see it )" changes the font on the search result page to pastel color Comic Sans typical of the Doge meme.[114]
  • "do the harlem shake( see it )" will cause the Harlem Shake song to play and the results to dance around.[115]
  • "use the force luke( see it )" causes the results to levitate, as if by the force mentioned in Star Wars.[29]
  • "webdriver torso( see it )" will return the results but with a red background and a blue rectangle around some videos. It also says "aqua.flv – Slide 000[0–9]" at the bottom left of the page. This is a reference to the Webdriver Torso mystery. Google has confirmed that it is behind the Webdriver Torso mystery; it is one of many test channels used by YouTube to ensure video quality.[116]

Other[edit]

  • On Google Chrome, if the user tries to browse when offline, a message is shown that they are not connected to the Internet. An illustration of the "Lonely T-Rex" dinosaur is shown at the top, designed by Sebastien Gabriel.[117][118][11] From September 2014, tapping the dinosaur (in Android or iOS) or pressing space or (on desktop) launches a browser game called "T-Rex Runner" in which the player controls a running dinosaur by tapping the screen (in Android or iOS) or pressing space, or (on desktop) to avoid obstacles, including cacti and, from June 2015, pterodactyls. In 2016, another feature was added to the game. When the player reaches 700 points the game begins to switch between day (white background, black lines and shapes) and night (black background, white lines and shapes). Reaching a score of 900 will switch the colour scheme back to day, and the switch back and forth will occur at further subsequent milestones.[118][119][120][121] The game's code is available on the Chromium site.[120][122]
  • When using the Google Chrome app in an Android device, you can enter the tabview and swipe a tab five times to make it do a backflip.
  • Pressing Ctrl+⇧ Shift+Y in the Picasa desktop application will cause a teddy bear to appear on the screen.[123]
Password Page theme
IIIOOIII cat
OOIOIOIO outer space
IOOOOOOI Pong
IOOIOOOO bacon
IIOIOOII Simon
OIOIOOII 8-bit
IOOOIOOO synthesizer
IIOIIOII song
OIIIIIII ASCII
OIIIOIOI bowling
OIOOOIOI rocket
OOIIIOOI hamburger
IOIOIOIO metaball
  • In the Google I/O 2013 page, "instrument.github.io/google-io-2013/( see it )", one can click the letters "I" and "O" to input passwords.[124][125]
  • In Google Glass, tapping Settings -> Device info -> View licenses, then tapping the touchpad 9 times, will show a Tap Meet Team option. Tapping again will show a photo of the Google Glass development team.[126]
  • Any photograph with Christmas lights uploaded to Google+ will be turned into an animated GIF, showing sparkling lights.[101]
  • On the Google Play Store, clicking the search button with a blank search field will search "unicorns".[127]
  • When using Google Translate to translate the German version of The Funniest Joke in the World ("Wenn ist das Nunstück git und Slotermeyer? Ja! Beiherhund das Oder die Flipperwaldt gersput!( see it )") to English, the result will be "[FATAL ERROR]".[citation needed]
  • In Google's iPhone and iPod touch search application, swiping downwards (past About) repeatedly in the Settings interface brings up a hidden menu item, called Bells and Whistles, allowing customization of colors, sounds and more within the app. However, this no longer works as of the newer app updates.[128]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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