Google is a company of frightening scope. The sheer amount of info it has on internet users is astounding, and the fact that so many of us are reliant on its apps to function means it should only keep growing.
It’s also pretty nerdy. Or at least, that’s the impression it gives off whenever it adds to the enormous collection of Easter eggs snuck within its services.
Google’s search engine, in particular, holds many of these in-jokes. If you’re not familiar with them, though, we’ve rounded up a handful of our favourites from over the years.
1. If you search 'solitaire,' you can play a round of the classic card game. It's only the standard version, though -- sorry, Freecell fans.
2. Likewise, searching 'tic tac toe' will let you start up that game. You can set it to play against a friend or Google itself. For a real challenge, set the difficulty to 'Impossible,' and try to get anything done at work.
3. If you're still in the holiday spirit, you can play a digital game of dreidel by searching 'spin (or play) dreidel.'
8. My personal favourite on the list, a search for 'recursion' -- a programming term referring to a function that calls back to itself -- will ask if you meant 'recursion.' Now try clicking on it repeatedly. Get it?
9. Searching 'what sound does a dog make' will bring up the appropriate sound effect. You can swap dog out with cow, pig, duck, and a few others. This one's good for the kids, or just for those who want to creep out their coworkers.
10. For the rest of us -- or just hardcore Seinfeld fans -- there's the Festivus pole. That pops up whenever you search for Frank Costanza's favourite holiday.
11. If you're generally feeling curious, search 'fun facts' (or 'I'm feeling curious'). That'll return a Snapple-esque piece of random info, which you can refresh right on the page.
12. Searching 'google in 1998' will bring you to a page reminiscent of what Google looked like a couple decades ago, complete with company background info and that truly horrid logo.
13. Some of these get after deep thoughts, too. Searching for 'the answer to life, the universe, and everything' brings up a calculator result of 42, a reference to Douglas Adams' 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.'
14. A slightly more obscure one: Googling 'conway's game of life' returns a sprawling digital animation to the side of the screen. This is a reference to the famous self-simulating 'cellular automaton' created by British mathematician John Conway in 1970.
15. There are clearly a few gamers on Google's Search team. Search 'Super Mario Bros,' for instance, and one of the '?' Blocks from that series will show up in the appropriate Knowledge Graph cards. Click it, and you'll be treated the same coin-dispensing sound effect you'd hear in the original games.
16. For the Sega people out there, searching 'Sonic the Hedgehog' will bring up that beloved mascot in the Knowledge Graph. Clicking on him will make him do his trademark spin, and eventually transform him into his powered-up Super Sonic form.
17. Searching 'zerg rush,' meanwhile, will unleash a torrent of O's that gradually eat away at your results. This is a reference to a type of attack in the popular strategy game series 'StarCraft.'
18. A treat for those who remember Nintendo's 'Star Fox 64': Searching 'do a barrel roll' will spin the results page a full 360 degrees. You can also search 'Z or R twice' -- that is, the command you had to hit on the Nintendo 64 controller to do said barrel roll in the first place.
19. Googling 'pacman' will allow you to play the interactive doodle Google created for the little yellow guy's 30th anniversary back in 2010.
20. Move over to Google Image Search, and searching 'atari breakout' will turn that page's images into a big game of, you guessed it, Breakout.
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