I mentioned the odd internet phenomena of 241543903 yesterday, and a few people have pointed out the existence of Google’s Easter Eggs since then. Now, I know I’ve talked about Easter Eggs before, and the great Easter Egg Extravaganza from once upon a time, but this is a more technical meaning of an Easter Egg, being a hidden feature on some sort of technical platform. There was even a Doctor Who episode about Easter Eggs, with Blink – which introduced us to the Weeping Angels, and featured Carey Mulligan – where clues were Easter Eggs on DVDs.
The clever chaps and chapesses at Google have added a series of odd, unusual and quirky features to their various products. Here are a few that you can try, although they will not work on all browsers, and are particularly less likely to work on mobile browsers. Give them a go, though…
Type tilt. The same works for “askew”, as your screen takes a slight tilt.
Type “Do a barrel roll”, and you will get a full spin rather than just a tilt.
Type Zerg Rush. One of my favourites, for no particular reason, as your screen is invaded by zeroes.
Search for binary (or Octal or Hexadecimal) and the results will be in that number set.
Search for anagram and you are asked “Did you mean Nag A Ram?”
Try “Google in 1998” to see what Google used to look like.
Search for any actor, followed by Bacon Number, and their Bacon number – the degrees of separation through film from Kevin Bacon – will be displayed.
Search for “Conway’s game of life” and look to the right of the screen….
…or “Webdriver torso” and look to the top left.
Search for Recursion. You will be asked if you meant recursion.
Search for “<blink>”. Watch it blink…
If you want some more interaction, search for Atari Breakout, and look at the images. You should be given a functioning level of Atari Breakout.
If you prefer pacman, go to http://www.google.com/doodles/30th-anniversary-of-pac-man
The Easter Eggs are not limited to the search engine. Go to Google Maps, and search for directions from The Shire to Mordor. Select walking as an option, and read the warning. It may only make sense if you are a fan of Lord of the Rings.
On YouTube, have a search for “Do the Harlem Shake”, and the page should do the Harlem Shake.
Search on YouTube for Doge Meme, to have the screen in Comic Sans.
Update: As of December 2015, try going to Google and search for “a long time ago in a galaxy far far away” to get the response in the Star Wars title crawl format.
There are plenty of other Easter Eggs out there, and they are not just limited to Google. Have a bit of an explore, see what you can find…