On the hunt for Google's Easter eggs

Here is a roundup of Google's jokes and hoaxes currently on the loose. Did you miss the Tardis?

Charlie Osborne Contributing Writer
Charlie Osborne is a cybersecurity journalist and photographer who writes for ZDNet and CNET from London. PGP Key: AF40821B.
Charlie Osborne
2 min read

Google's "Atari Breakout" Easter egg Screenshot by CNET

Google is renowned for creating Easter eggs, which in the tech world mean coding or features on the Web that either shouldn't be there or that you don't expect to find.

Our colleagues at ZDNet gathered up some of Google's Easter eggs currently in circulation. There are more, so happy hunting. Here's a basketful:

  • Zerg Rush. Searching for "Zerg Rush" in Google will transform your results into a game. To stop your search results from getting obliterated, you must prevent the letter "O" from going too far.
  • Tardis. Visit this link for Google Maps in London and spot the Tardis from "Doctor Who." If you'd like to take a peek inside, simply press the Up key.
  • Harlem Shake. Searching "do the Harlem Shake" on YouTube will not only result in numerous videos of people dancing, but will also shake up your results.
  • Your Bacon number. Apparently, many actors are connected to Footloose star Kevin Bacon. If you type in any celebrities' name together with "Bacon number" in Google search, you can find out just how many degrees apart they are.
  • Atari Breakout. A nod to old-school arcade games, typing in "Atari Breakout" within Google Images will bring up a game you can play that is similar to the original Breakout series.
  • Blinking HTML. Searching for either "blink HTML" or "blink tag" will alter your page to reflect this HTML code. In other words, your results will blink. You can also type in "shake" and "tilt" on Google to skew your results page.
  • Google in 1998. Feeling nostalgic? Type in "Google in 1998" to be transported back to how the search engine looked way back when.
  • Conway's Game of Life. British mathematician John Horton Conway is well known for research in finite grouping and combinatorial game theory. If you search for "Conway's Game of Life" in Google, the mathematician's life simulation will be displayed within your browser.
  • Unicorn apps, games, movies. If you purposely leave the search bar blank when visiting the Google Play store, then "unicorns" will automatically be searched for you.

Google's unicorn egg. Screenshot by CNET

This originally appeared as a ZDNet slideshow titled "2014 Easter egg hunt: Google hoaxes and jokes."