In recent months, Google has thrown up some very popular Easter eggs through its search engine with “Let it Snow” and “Do a Barrel Roll” proving to be instant hits with internet users. However, the concept of hidden Easter eggs is nothing new to Google. Here are eight hidden gems you may have missed.
Avid followers of Channel 4’s The IT Crowd will know that if you type “google” into Google, you can break the internet. The folks at Google had a better idea, with “Google Gravity”. This Easter egg is slightly difficult to find, since the instant prediction function became available in late 2010, but it is still possible to see if you change the search setting and switch off the auto search setting.
Now if you type “Google Gravity” into the search bar and click “I’m feeling lucky” you might get a Chicken Little sense of the internet. It is still possible to use the search bar after this Easter egg has been found, resulting in the search results piling on top of each other under the full effects of gravity. Click here for a direct link to the feature.
Google’s holiday trimmings
“Let it Snow” is not the only festive Easter egg that Google has rolled out in recent weeks. To help people get into the holiday spirit, it has decorated the search results page with various festive symbols based on what is being searched for. Searching for “Merry Christmas”, “Christmas Lights” or just simply “Christmas” will decorate the results with multicoloured Christmas lights. Google has also marked the start of Hanukkah by decorating the page with the Star of David symbol any time Hanukkah or variations of its spelling are searched for.
One does not simply walk into Mordor
The classic line from The Lord of the Rings film has produced many internet memes and Google is not one to miss out on such an opportunity to join in. Google Maps has in the past thrown up some surprising travel routes for users, requiring them to “Swing across the Atlantic Ocean” or “Kayak across the Pacific Ocean” but in trying to get walking directions from “The Shire” to “Mordor” Google can offer us some useful advice. “Use caution – One does not simply walk into Mordor”.
Thomas, the Picasa Bear
Not every Easter egg has a story quite as deep as “Thomas, the Picasa Bear”. For those who use the desktop version of Picasa for photo editing, Google has kindly included some useful shortcut keys. There is one combination of key strokes that will yield some epic cuteness. Pressing “Ctrl + Shift + Y” together will cause an image of a little brown teddy bear to appear. If you keep pressing the combination, more and more will appear of varying sizes. Google dedicated this post on its blog to explaining the Easter egg.
Back in 2004, the innovative photographer and photoblogger Noah Grey was working with the Photos team on developing Picasa. He contributed a great deal to the design and evolution of the software, but one of Noah’s most unforgettable contributions can be seen by pressing Control-Shift-Y while in Picasa. Continue pressing it, and watch what appears all over your screen. Given to Noah as a gift by an old friend, this bear has had a special place in Noah’s life for more than 15 years; and Noah decided to return the favour.
The answer is 42
More pop-culture references can be found in Google’s search engine through its calculator function. For various searches, this function proves to be invaluable, like trying to search for “How many kilometres in a mile” will return as 1.609344 as the top result. However, a nice little “Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy” Easter egg can be found when searching for “Answer to life the universe and everything”. Google’s calculator will return with the only answer it can possibly be: 42.
Spam, spam, spam, egg and spam
To Google Mail next (or Gmail as it is better known), and something which has probably stared us all in the face a number of times but has gone unnoticed by all. In truth, how many of us look at the Google Ads at the top of our Gmail inboxes? I can imagine only a few. Even fewer will look at the ads on Spam mail. Google has realised this would be an unattractive space to place ads so have used this to display food recipes using the Monty Python favourite ingredient – Spam!
Say hi to Google’s Dublin employees
To most people, the adoption of Google Streetview was an opportunity to see if they could find their house and possibly catch a glimpse of themselves walking down the street with their faces blurred out. No such blurring is necessary for the employees in Google’s EMEA office on Barrow Street, Dublin, where you can see the majority of the office’s personnel unblurred on Streetview.
Hewwo seawch baw hehehehe
I know to the untrained eye that title makes no sense whatsoever. But to the eye which has seen Elmer Fudd in countless cartoon episodes, it reads perfectly. Google prides itself on having a multi-language presence on the internet, but sometimes it might take this too far. Presenting; the Elmer Fudd search. Users can use the traditional “Google Seawch” or “I’m Feewing Wucky”. Also part of the special language search range is “Pig Latin” and “Kilngon”. Unconfirmed rumours of Corkonian have proved unfulfilled as of yet. Like!