Whether you’re at work or just killing time on the internet, you probably use Google’s search engine quite a bit. Some of us search things like “top real estate agents” or “sec reporting requirements” while others search for things like “funny cat memes” or “britney spears shaved head”. No judgment here.
However, what you might not know about the world’s favorite search engine is that it’s full of fun little Easter eggs that are great for killing endless hours of time. If you’re in the dark about what an Easter egg is, they’re basically hidden little tricks and games that you can play by typing certain words into your search bar.
One Easter egg that has gained a great deal of popularity recently is the one achieved by typing “I’m feeling curious” into your search bar. Go ahead, give it a try! And if you’re too lazy to do it by yourself, what happens is that Google supplies you with a random fun fact. The last time I tried it, Google told me the origin of the word “cookies”. Cool?
Anyway, this is far from the only Easter egg that exists within Google’s search engine. There are a ton of goofy tricks and functions within Google for you to try out, and probably some still unbeknownst to the general public. So get searching!
Games and Gadgets
Some of you reading this may have run into these little widgets on your own, but if you haven’t, you should know that by searching certain terms, you can access some games and useful gadgets embedded right into Google’s search engine.
By searching “play snake” or “snake game”, you can play that classic windy snake game where you avoid hitting walls or eating your own tail. You all know the game I’m talking about. Google also apparently made a deal with Bandai Namco so that anyone Googling “pacman” could play the retro arcade game right in their browser. Other games that Google has include “solitaire” and “tic-tac-toe”.
Google also makes it easy to access certain knick-knacks and gadgets that can come in handy sometimes. If you need to make a big decision, you can Google “flip a coin” and get a virtual coin that will flip itself. There’s a built-in “metronome” for all you aspiring musicians out there. If you’re playing a party game, but are lacking certain materials, you could try Googling “roll the dice” or “spinner”. There’s even a “fidget spinner” for… you know… whatever those are for.
Apart from helpful tools and fun games, Google also has some Easter eggs that will change the entire appearance of your search browser. And if you don’t know they exist, some of these tricks can be pretty startling!
Before setting out to write this article, there was one Easter egg that I was previously aware of. I typed in the word “askew” to make sure I was using it correctly, and suddenly the internet window on my computer developed a slight slant to the right. I tapped my computer screen several times to see if it was a problem with the monitor, then I tried switching to another tab, and sure enough, my internet window was back to normal.
Yes, if you type the word “askew” into your search bar, Google will display your search results with a slight right tilt. After realizing this, I definitely felt a little silly. Google takes this even further, however. If you type in the words “do a barrel roll”, your search results will roll over like a well-trained dog. Awesome!
Another trick to change your interface is typing in “blink html”, which makes the words “blink” and “html” appearing anywhere in the search results blink in and out. As you can imagine, these words appear quite a bit, since you’re literally searching for them. Also, if you type “Google in 1998” into your search bar, it will revert your search results to the Google interface as it was back in that year. Don’t worry, do another search and it’ll bring your browser back to modern times.
There are also some Google Easter eggs out there that don’t change your interface, but are rather just meant to convey what a wonderful sense of humor Google’s developers have.
Funny Answers and Word Puns
Some of Google’s Easter eggs show very clearly that someone working at Google is a big fan of dad jokes. You know those jokes that you really don’t want to laugh at, but you just can’t help but snicker a little bit. I mean, they are coming from a search engine in this instance, which makes them a little funnier.
If you type the word “anagram” into Google, it will give you the real definition, but will also give you an anagram of the word “anagram” in the “Did you mean:” section. In this case, the anagram is “nag a ram”. If you click on that, you’ll get an Urban Dictionary result explaining that this phrase means “to bother a ram”. How enlightening! Likewise, if you Google the phrase “anagram meaning”, you’ll once again get the real definition, but also “Did you mean: nerd fame again”.
If you search for the word “recursion”, you’ll get the actual definition of the word, which is “the repeated application of a recursive procedure or definition”. You may also notice above the definition, it says “Did you mean: recursion”. If you laughed at that, you almost definitely majored in computer science. If you still don’t really get it, don’t worry, I don’t fully get it either.
While the last joke was exclusively for computer geeks, this next one is for anyone who’s ever seen or read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. If you type in the phrase “the answer to life the universe and everything”, Google will display its calculator app with the simple answer “42”. If you don’t know what that’s all about, go watch the movie and then try it again.
But that’s not the only cool little trick that you can do with Google’s calculation function. There are also some funky shapes that people have made using Google’s graphing tool.
Google Graphing Hacks
I’m sure that no one reading this misses graphing calculators and complex calculus from their classes in university, but some math nerds out there did find a way to make these two exceptionally boring things a little more fun.
Let’s say it’s Valentine’s Day, and you want to do a cute-yet-super-dorky trick for your significant other. Ask them to come over to your computer and then type these coordinates into the Google search bar:
sqrt(cos(x))*cos(300x)+sqrt(abs(x))-0.7)*(4-x*x)^0.01, sqrt(6-x^2), -sqrt(6-x^2) from -4.5 to 4.5
The result is that Google displays a heart shape on the graphing app! Your significant other will either kiss you on the cheek or run away in horror of your nerdiness. Either way, they’ll think you’re smart!
And to end this article, I thought I would include the Easter egg that is literally just that, an Easter egg. If you type these coordinates into your search bar, a 3D Easter egg will appear in Google’s graphing app:
1.2+(sqrt(1-(sqrt(x^2+y^2))^2) + 1 – x^2-y^2) * (sin (10000 * (x*3+y/5+7))+1/4) from -1.6 to 1.6
That’s pretty literal.
If one or more of these Easter eggs doesn’t work, it’s probably because Google has taken it out of their search engine. However, that means there are more Easter eggs that have been added and are out there to be discovered. If you know of any other Easter eggs, let me know in the comments!