Just in time for the super-long weekend, here’s an indulgence that won’t rot your teeth or expand your waistline: a complete list of Google easter eggs.
Easter egg picture from Shutterstock
For the uninitiated, in this context “easter eggs” are surprising results, hidden games and other tweaks that show up when you search for specific phrases. We’ve run versions of this guide in the past, but it was due for an update to add newer options (and remove some older ones that no longer work — I miss the ability to search for “binary” and see the number of results in binary).
For this roundup, we’re looking purely at easter eggs which Google has actually built into the site, rather than “search bomb” results where searching for a particular term produces a surprising result. (Those are fun, but won’t necessarily work long-term, given that Google constantly tweaks its search algorithms. The introduction of Google Instant, where search results are predicted as you type, also means people are much less likely to see the ‘I’m Feeling Lucky’ button anyway.)
Unless we specify otherwise, you activate the easter egg by searching for the suggested term on Google’s own site. We’ve included links where appropriate, but some easter eggs only work as you are typing.
Life, The Universe And Everything
Hold down the left arrow key while watching a YouTube video and you’ll get to play the classic phone game Snake. (Availability for this can vary depending on the video.)[imgclear]
The TARDIS Map
Tricky to get to, but one of our favourites: the TARDIS interior on Street View. To access it, visit this link and then press the Up key on your keyboard.
Do The Harlem Shake
Search for do the Harlem Shake on YouTube and Google will, well, shake up the results.
Search for Zerg Rush and your search results will be transformed into a game where you have to stop the letter ‘O’ from destroying your search results.
Search for recursion and Google asks: “Did you mean recursion?” We love a good geek gag.[imgclear]
The Blink Search
An HTML tribute gag : search for “blink html” or “blink tag” and everything will blink.
Once In A Blue Boon
Search for once in a blue moon and you probably won’t get the result you expect.[imgclear]
Type “Do a barrel roll” into Google and the site will itself do a barrel roll. (You do have to be on the Google site for this to work; it won’t operate from a link or if you use your browser search bar.)
Search for doge meme on YouTube and there will be doge. Much doge.
The Loneliest Number
Conway’s Game Of Life
Search for “Conway’s Game Of Life” and a version of this well-known life simulation appears on the screen. This is oddly soothing.
Search for the word ’tilt’ on your mobile phone, Google will tilt the results screen. Similar effects can be seen with ’tilted’ and ‘askew’.
Visit Google Play and click on Search without entering anything for happy unicorn fun time.
Search for anagram and Google will helpfully ask: “did you mean nag a ram?” Yes. Yes I did.
Spotted an (official) Google easter egg we’ve missed? Share it in the comments.