It is almost impossible to find someone who uses (or has ever used) the Internet, and doesn’t know about Google. The near ubiquitous technology behemoth, although mostly known for its namesake search engine, also offers a whole slew of other products, including email (Gmail), a video sharing platform (YouTube), an online office suite (Google Docs), and a heck of a lot more. And even though most of Google’s services are free, they are all incredibly good, with some being the best in class.
But they can be a lot of fun to use as well, thanks to dozens of Easter eggs, hidden across the length and breadth of all major Google products and services. Jumpy already? Strap in, as we run down the listing of 30 best Google Easter Eggs.
Google Search Easter Eggs
Majority of Google’s Easter eggs are hidden in its most popular product (i.e. Google Search), and can be accessed simply by using a specific word or phrase as the search string. Here are a few of them:
1. Do a barrel roll
Wanna roll a little? Type in Do a barrel roll in the Google search box, and you’ll see the entire webpage rotate clockwise by a full 360 degrees.
Probably the most popular arcade game of all time, the classic Pacman is still as enjoyable as it was years ago. And if you ever find yourself itching for playing a level, all you have to do is run a search for Pacman and a card will show up with a playable version of the game.
3. Atari breakout
Now that we’re on the topic of games, how about playing another one? Called Image Breakout, it’s Google’s take on the classic Breakout arcade game, developed and published years ago by Atari. To access this Easter egg, do a Google image search for the Atari breakout string, and the images in search results will turn into colorful bricks, which you can smash with the ball, while bouncing it off the paddle. If you manage to finish the game, the search automatically redirects to results from any random Image search. And if you can’t complete it, you can always aim for the highest score, which can be shared via Google+ with one click.
4. Zerg rush
This one is especially fun. Search for Zerg rush, and your search results will be attacked from all sides by hordes of O alphabets. The Os can be destroyed by clicking on them repeatedly. The game ends either when all the search results have been destroyed, or when you’ve defeated all the Os. The high score can be shared as well.
Don’t like things to be symmetrical? This is just the Easter egg for you. Key in Askew as the search term, and the entire webpage will be skewed, or tilted to the right side.
6. Google in 1998
Like pretty much all great things, Google also had humble beginnings, when it started off in 1998. Wanna know how the most popular search engine looked back then? Use Google in 1998 as the search phrase, and go back in time.
7. Flip a coin
No matter how big or small a dispute is, it can always be sorted out by flipping (or tossing) a coin. And thanks to this Easter egg, you don’t even need to have one in your pocket to toss. Search for Flip a coin, and see whether you get Heads or Tails.
8. Roll a die
There are numerous games that involve rolling the ever familiar six faced die. And having Google do that for you just makes it that much cooler. All you have to do is run a search for Roll a die, and you’ll get a random number from 1 to 6.
9. Google gravity
Even the world’s most popular search engine can’t escape from the pull of gravity, and that is something clearly evinced by this Easter egg. Type in Google Gravity, and click on the first search result. You’ll see the webpage’s UI elements crumble to the base, all thanks to gravity. This holds true for all the searches (and their results) on this page as well. Funky, right?
10. Once in a blue moon
Often Once in a blue moon is a phrase associated with events that almost never happen, or happen rarely. But that’s a vague term, and one that Google finds irksome. Search for Once in a blue moon, and find out exactly how much it actually is (hint: It’s in Hertz).
11. Blink HTML
How’d you like your search results blinking at you? That might sound a little weird, but it’s actually a reference to the namesake tag. Use Blink HTML as the search string, and all the occurrences of the words Blink and HTML in the search results will start blinking. How cool is that?
They might not seem much, but Anagrams (words that are formed by re-arranging the letters of existing words) can be a lot of fun. So much, that Google has an Easter egg dedicated to them. Search for Anagram, and apart from the relevant search results, Google will also question whether you meant Nag a ram (which is an anagram formed by re-arranging the letters of the word anagram itself).
The practice of recursion involves repeated application of certain recurring procedures. So when you run a Google search for Recursion, Google asks whether you meant to search for, you guessed it right, Recursion.
No, the seemingly complicated mathematical expression referenced in this point’s title isn’t some random stuff. In fact, when this expression is plotted on a graph, it creates the shape of a heart. Unbelievable? Search (sqrt(cos(x))*cos(500*x)+sqrt(abs(x))-0.4)*(3-x*x)^0.1, and see for yourself.
15. Answer to life the universe and everything
If someone is seeking the meaning of topics such as the life and universe, one would assume the answer to be extremely complicated. But the answer is actually extremely simple, if you try to look it up on Google. This Easter egg is an ode to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series by Douglas Adams. Search with the phrase Answer to life the universe and everything, and you’ll get the answer as 42.
16. Bletchley park
Secret codes and phrases have always been used in the past to communicate sensitive information, especially during wars and other such conflicts. Bletchley park was actually the home for the British code-breakers during World War Two. And a Google Easter egg perfectly pays homage to the importance of the location and the people who worked there. Search Bletchley park, and the you’ll see the Google search information card on the right play an animated alphanumeric code sequence, eventually spelling out Bletchley park.
17. Hacker, Pirate, and Pig Latin interfaces
Normal languages that we use daily are perfectly fine, but they aren’t that fun. And certainly not when compared to Hacker, Pirate, and Pig Latin lingos. To try out Google search in one of these languages, simply search for the term enclosed between words Google and UI (e.g. Google Hacker UI), and click on the first search result.
18. Bacon number
This is one of those Google Easter eggs that you’ll love, especially if you’re a fan of famed Hollywood actor Kevin Bacon. It actually builds on the “six degrees of separation” concept, and states that just about any popular actor can be linked via their film roles to Kevin Bacon in six steps. To find out an actor’s bacon number, just use the search string Bacon number <actor name>. This is totally amazing!
This Easter egg is a reference to the Festivus holiday (a parody holiday meant as an alternative to the pressures and gatherings of the Christmas holidays season), which features an aluminium Festivus pole. Search Google for Festivus, and you’ll see the Festivus pole appear at the left of the search results page.
Hanukkah and Christmas are probably the most important festivals/holidays for Jews and Christians respectively all around the globe. And if you happen to be in a festive mood, Google can help make things better. Search for Christmas or Hanukkah, and a gorgeous looking thematic header will be overlaid on the top of the search results.
21. A long time ago in a galaxy far far away
Without a shadow of a doubt, Star Wars is one of the greatest media franchises ever created, with a fan following that numbers in billions and spans the entire globe. So it’s only fitting that this adventure, that takes place A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, gets its own Easter egg. Type in just that into Google search, and get mesmerized as the search results appear in the form of the iconic Star Wars text crawl that eventually disappears into space, as in the case of the classic intro to every Star Wars movie. You can click on the search results too, but who cares for that, especially with the Star Wars theme playing in the background.
22. Lightsaber Escape Google Chrome game
How can we talk about Star Wars without mentioning Lightsabers? It’s impossible. And that’s why Google has yet another Easter egg, this time an amazing game, dedicated to the franchise. Only this one requires you to use Google Chrome both on your PC and your phone. Just go to Lightsaber Escape’s homepage, follow the steps to pair/configure your phone with your PC (via Google Chrome on both devices), and have endless fun!
Google Docs Easter Eggs
The online collaborative productivity suite of Google also has some really neat Easter eggs of its own hidden in it. Here are some:
23. (LGBT) PRIDE
The LGBT community has faced discrimination for a really long time, and even though things are steadily improving, there’s much work left to be done. And thanks to this Google Docs Easter egg, showing off your LGBT pride is easier than ever. Simply open up a blank Google Spreadsheet, and type in the five letters of the word PRIDE in five adjacent cells, one letter in each cell. As soon as you do that, the columns will be highlighted in the different rainbow colors, symbolic of the LGBT community.
24. Conway’s Game of Life
Conway’s Game of Life is an amazing game, comprised of cells and how they interact with their neighbours. And if you want to give it a shot while working on a document, this is the Easter egg for you. Open up a blank Google Docs document, and press Ctrl+Alt+Shift+E and then Ctrl+Alt+Shift+C. This will launch an interactive table in the document that can be used to play the game. Have fun!
YouTube Easter Eggs
Although it’s true that YouTube, the world’s largest video sharing website, has more than enough videos to last anyone more than a lifetime, that’s not the end of it. Dig deeper, and you’ll find some amazing Easter eggs on YouTube. Most of them can be accessed by entering specific search strings, just like Google Search. Here are a few:
25. Use the force, Luke
The Star Wars goodies just keep on coming, don’t they? Every Star Wars fan knows that “The Force” is a central theme in the franchise, and is explained to Luke Skywalker by Master Yoda. Just type in Use the force, Luke in YouTube’s search box, and see the search results warp around on the screen.
26. Webdriver torso
There isn’t much to say about this one, except that it’s totally freaky. If you’re a fan of blue and red rectangles, this is just the thing for you. Type in Webdriver torso in YouTube search, and prepare to get bewildered.
27. Doge Meme
Memes and Cute dogs rule the Internet. But when you combine the two, it probably becomes too much even for the Internet (and by extension, YouTube) to handle. Look up Doge meme on YouTube, and all the text will converted to Comic Sans, rendered in a variety of pastel hues.
28. Do the Harlem shake
Everyone knows about the Harlem shake meme (If you don’t, read more here). So it only makes sense that there’s an easter egg related to it. Key in Do the Harlem shake in YouTube’s search box, and enjoy the search results (and other UI elements) groove to the shake.
Miscellaneous (More Star Wars stuff!)
Star Wars is super big, and super awesome. So of course, there are more Google created easter eggs dedicated to it. Read more about them below:
29. Google’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens experience
Created to mark the release of the latest entry in the Star Wars movie series, the namesake Star Wars: The Force Awakens experience lets you choose the light or dark side, by signing up via your Google account. Go to this link, and follow the easy steps to configure your Google experience based on your chosen side.
30. Learn Aurebesh with Google Translate
Google Translate already helps you translate text between numerous languages spoken by people across the world. But the language used in the Star Wars universe is Aurebesh. So if you’re looking forward to taking your linguistic endeavors to a galaxy far, far away, all you have to do is go to Google Translate, and choose Aurebesh as the target translation language. May the force be with you!
SEE ALSO: 60 Google Search Tips and Tricks
Ready to explore all the Google Easter eggs?
Google has a whole truckload of useful and insanely fun Easter eggs scattered across its numerous products and services. And as you now know, finding them isn’t really that hard, you just need to look a bit deeper. Try all of these Google Easter eggs, and see which one(s) you like the most. Know of any more hidden features that could’ve made the cut above? Do mention in the comments below.