They’re built into practically every Google product — if you look hard enough, you’ll find that entering the right search term or typing a code can make Google collapse, spin or create fictional characters. Here are 15 easter eggs (hidden, entertaining things developers build into a website or program) for you to discover the next time you’re Googling.
1. Walking to Mordor:
If you’ve ever watched The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (or just seen various versions of the meme) you may never stop laughing at this Google Maps quirk (or maybe it’s just me). If you try to get walking directions from “The Shire” or “Rivendell” to “Mordor” (just type in the words and ignore all the auto-complete suggestions that pop up), Google will give you the route… and a warning. In other news, according to my Google Maps, Mordor is located just outside Cape Town, South Africa. Nice.
2. Barrel roll:
Endlessly entertaining, this one trended worldwide on Twitter in November. Simply search “do a barrel roll” — if you have Google’s instant results functions enabled, your results page will be spinning before you’ve completed the instruction.
What is 42, you ask? Geez, it’s only the answer to life, the universe and everything. Ok, so if you’ve never read or watched The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, you won’t get this one. But Google’s built-in calculator will.
If, by any chance, you feeling like searching “Google gravity” and hitting “I’m feeling lucky”, don’t be surprised if Google comes crashing down around you the second you move the mouse. (Hint: you can disable Google’s instant results in your account preferences page to make sure you get the ‘I’m feeling lucky’ option).
Google pokes fun at its own “did you mean” suggestions if you search recursion (repetition or returning) by questioning your spelling even though you didn’t make a mistake.