Google Tricks, Easter Eggs & Secrets

Google's engineers love to hide some pretty cool tricks at the most unexpected places. Add to that Google's policy of giving 20% of working time to its engineers to do what they want, and you have a search engine filled with lots of entertaining Easter eggs and tricks.

Sadly, most of these tricks are still a secret, but every now and then, Google employees leak these cool insider pranks and the whole world gets to know about them. Here, I have created a list of some such known Google tricks and Easter eggs that are still "working."
Google Tricks

Google in 1998
Search Google for "Google in 1998" and you will be taken to the past to a search results page that shows how Google looked in 1998.

Kerning means adjusting the spacing between characters. So, how would you expect Google to describe it? Literally, off course. When you search Google for Kerning, the spacing of the word Kerning is changed as compared to that of other words in all search descriptions. This only works with personalized results disabled.

Conway's Game Of Life
Conway's Game Of Life is a game that showcases how cellular life evolves based on the initial configuration. If you search Google for Conway's Game of Life, you will get a results page with the game running in the background. This will only work on modern browsers supporting HTML5 and CSS3.

Chicxulub or Meteorite: The Chicxulub crater is a meteorite impact crater underneath the Yucat√°n Peninsula in Mexico. Searching Google for Chicxulub or for the term meteorite will show you a meteorite impacting the search results that will leave the search results shaken. This will only work on modern browsers supporting HTML5 and CSS3.

Ever had the chance of searching Google for Askew? If you have, then you already know what comes up. If you haven't, do it now and you will see the search results page literally tilt to give you a better idea of what this word means. This will work only if you use latest browsers which support HTML5 and CSS3.

Do a barrel roll
Google Tricks & Easter Eggs
'Do a barrel roll' in its true sense means to do a 360 degree spin. Google takes practical demonstrations way too seriously for this one and literally spins the search results page to give you a clearer idea of the meaning of this phrase. Don't believe me? Go search Google for Do a barrel roll now and see your world turn around.

This Easter egg is apparently a tribute to Star Fox, a video game series developed by Nintendo, because searching Google for Z or R Twice also does the barrel roll, just like in Star Fox. Many bloggers interpreted a lot of different things from this, but Google clarified that this fun trick was created by a Google Engineer solely for the purpose of entertaining users along with showing the power of new HTML5 and CSS3 technologies. Like the previous Easter egg, this will only work in modern browsers.

The Last of Us
A tribute to the video game based HBO TV series of the same name. Search Google for "The Last of Us" and a small red mushroom will appear at the bottom of the screen. Clicking on the red mushroom will start the growth of Cordyceps fungus on your screen. The Easter egg can be also accessed by searching Google for Cordyceps or Cordyceps fungus. Your browser needs to support HTML5 and CSS3 for this to work.

The "Did you mean?" feature of Google often helps many users to get to the right results when they type something different from what they intended to search. If you search Google for recursion, the same feature takes you to an endless loop of clicks all linking to the same results page thereby completing recursion, which occurs when something calls itself. Seriously geeky.

Recursion Google Easter egg

Another one of those "Did you mean?" Easter eggs. Search Google for Anagram and Google will instantly ask whether you meant "Nag A Ram" which is one of the anagrams of the word "anagram." Googlers really show their word-playing skills with this one.

Asking Google to define Anagram makes Google ask if you meant nerd fame again (an anagram of the search phrase).

Grogu or the Mandalorian
Searching Google for any of these terms will return Baby Yoda at the bottom right corner of the screen. Clicking on Grogu will make him use the force to destroy a portion of the search results. This easter egg is apparently a tribute to Star Wars TV series: The Mandalorian. Your browser needs to support HTML5 and CSS3 for this to work.

DART Mission: Double Asteroid Redirection Test by NASA is the first mission to demonstrate asteroid deflection by kinetic impactor as planetary defense against near Earth objects. Searching Google for it shows you the impact and leaves your search results redirected. This will only work on modern browsers supporting HTML5 and CSS3.

Is Google Down?
Searching Google for this phrase will make Google return No as the answer.

Google knows how to celebrate the holidays
Searching Google for a holiday will make Google return an item representing that holiday in addition to the normal results. The item returned is distinct and attention seeking in comparison to the rest of the page. Clicking on that item will open an Easter egg related to that holiday. For example, searching Google for Christmas returns a gift clicking on which opens the Google Santa Tracker game. This also works for Diwali, Holi, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah and Halloween. Searching for Festivus will return a festivus pole and a message "A festivus miracle" next to the number of search results. Note: Clicking on the Festivus pole does not open any Easter egg.

Are you a fan of ASCII art? Google surely is. Search Google for ASCII art and Google will greet you with a search results page having an ASCII version of the Google logo at the place where normal logo should have been. Update: This Easter egg does not work anymore. When it did work, it looked like the image given below.
ASCII art Google Easter Egg

Google Calculator Easter Eggs:

These Easter eggs should work normally with simple searches. If they do not work for you, try opening Google Calculator first and then entering these keywords in the search bar.

The Loneliest Number
Search Google for the loneliest number and Google Calculator will give "1" as the answer. This is a reference to a Harry Nilsson song of the same name.

Once in a Blue Moon
Google Tricks Easter Eggs
Ever wondered how much is 'once in a blue moon'? You must have heard this phrase often but Google calculator will give you the exact value of this phrase and surprisingly, it denotes frequency rather than time. Go search Google for this to get "1.16699016 × 10-8 hertz" as the answer.
Note: For some users, this result will be displayed in the right sidebar (knowledge panel) in addition to the primary results.

The number of horns on a unicorn
Want to know the number of horns on a unicorn? Google calculator can help. Searching Google for the number of horns on a unicorn will give 1 as the answer.

Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the universe and everything
Google Easter eggs
Google is omniscient. Even the "answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything" is known to Google. Just search Google for the above phrase and Google calculator will give you an answer. What are you waiting for? Just go to Google and find the true meaning of life.

[Pause to give you the time to search]

Surprised by the answer (42)? This is a reference to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, a popular novel based on a radio show (by the same name) of the late seventies. Google engineers surprised you with these tricks, didn't they?

Recommended: Google : I'm feeling lucky tricks and jokes.

Reader Comments

Sara Bose said...

Thanks for revealing these superb valuable resources.

Anonymous said...

On Youtube, to skip 30% through the video append &wadsworth=1 (aka. the Wadsworth constant) to the URL.

Anonymous said...

cool stuff

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous: Wadsworth constant trick does not work anymore.

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Author About

Akhilesh Sharma maintains and writes Tweak And Trick. He is a technology enthusiast and a science student.
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