17 of the coolest hidden Google tricks

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Google is awesome. Yes, there have been questions raised about its new privacy policy and creepy Safari tracking and frankly, it just knows way too much about everyone who has ever created a Google account. But let’s put that aside for a moment and focus on all its cool quirks, shall we?

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:

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:

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.

3. 42:

42

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.

4. Gravity:

gravity

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).

5. Recursion:

recursion

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.

6. Klingon:

klingon

So “GoogleDaq ylnej” means “Google search”. Hmmm. Who knew? Well, you, if you speak Klingon. Yes, there is a Klingon version of Google. There is also a pirate and Elmer Fudd version, if that’s more your thing.

7. Kerning:

kerning

Designers will love this one — kerning is the spacing between letters in a word. When you do a search for kerning, Google changes the spaces between letters in the word ‘kerning’ in all the results. Heehee. You see what they did there?

8. Hello, Nessy:

lochness monster

Picture this: You’re working under a tight deadline, your clock is slowly counting the minutes past 3AM and your coffee and Red Bull combo is failing. The sleep deprivation is starting to affect you — you are starting to see things. You click to your home page, and there, rising gracefully from the dark waves in your iGoogle theme, is the Lochness Monster.

No, you’re not hallucinating — you really did see Nessy. If you are ever awake and online at 3:14 AM (those are the first three digits in Pi, by the way), and have the iGoogle beach theme installed, Nessy will come to visit for a minute. If you’re not an insomniac, you can always just change the timezone on your computer and in your iGoogle settings and just wait until 14 minutes past the hour (I was in Bangkok last night, as far as Google knows). Unfortunately, it looks like the monster will be no more after iGoogle is retired in November 2013.

9. Nagging Rams:

anagram

Similar to the ‘recursion’ response, if you search for ‘anagram’ (rearranging the letters in a word to make a new word or phrase, in case you didn’t know), Google rearranges the letters to suggest you were really searching for ‘nag a ram’.

10. Antarctic Penguins:

penguin

If you ever want to creep the Antarctic on Google Maps, you may be surprised to find the little orange peg man you drag and drop to change to Google Street View has transformed into a fat little penguin. Awwww.

11. Doodles:

doodles

What do you get if you don’t actually search for anything, and just hit ‘I’m feeling lucky’? A catalogue of all the Google doodles — all the way back to 1998. There were just three in that year — there have already been 69 in 2012.

12. Konami ninja:

ninja

If you type in the Konami code (a cheat code used in Konami games) in Google Reader, the side panel will turn blue and a cute ninja will appear on the left of your screen. Use your arrow keys and keyboard to enter the code — it’s up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, followed by the letters B and A. Like iGoogle’s Nessy, this one is going away after Reader is retired in July 2013.

13. Street View team:

street view

Ever wanted to see the people who work at Google doing cool things like Google Street View? Well, if you hop along to the back of the Google offices in Mountain View, you can see them all.

14. Laundry:

laundry

There are a lot of things Gmail can do for you — filter spam, flood you with ads, apply a plethora of pretty coloured labels to your messages — but, as yet, it can’t do your laundry.  However, it is an option on the ‘suggest a feature’ page for Gmail.

15. Pacman:

pacman

It started out as a Google doodle to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Pacman in 2010, but the Google Pacman game was so popular, it was given a permanent home.

16. Zerg rush:

Zerg rush

Google “zerg rush” and prepare to defend your browser against hordes of the letter ‘o’ in Google’s logo, which will start to destroy your search results. They’re apparently undefeatable, but you can try to fight them off by clicking on them and share your high score on Google +. For those who aren’t familiar with StarCraft, a ‘zerg rush’ is a tactic where swarms of aliens known as ‘zergs’ descend in multitudes in order to overwhelm their enemies.

17. You’ll never find Chuck Norris

Chuck Norris google

Because Chuck Norris jokes never get old, there is a warning hidden in Google search results to ward off those who dare to attempt to find him. Just search ‘find Chuck Norris’ and hit ‘I’m feeling lucky’ and you’ll see what I mean.

Update:

Still not convinced that Google is awesome? Maybe our new list (of 13 more cool hidden Google tricks) will be able to persuade you. We’ve also put together a few videos showing you how some of our favourite mobile and Maps tricks work:

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  • http://www.facebook.com/dirkiemeyer Dirkie Meyer

    The guess on mordor was quite good, only that it’s located in Hatfield, Pretoria (South Africa) – The student capital. Drop Zone has been given the nickname of ‘Mordor’, always being the last club you’ll visit when you go drinking in Pretoria. No matter how hard you try, you’ll always end up there at 4am. What happens in Mordor… stays in Mordor.

  • http://twitter.com/mspr1nt Ant Sims

    Probably located above Gandalf’s where Mordor used to be…

  • Yahya

    There’s also a ‘Moria’ in South Africa, located in the Limpopo province, where the ZCC holds its annual Easter gathering….

  • cyberlion

    JRR Tolkien, tehe author, was from south africa. so that makes sense….google nerds :P

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  • Kreshna

    try goolging “askew”

  • Colematheson

    also google food

  • ihavenoideaforaname

    how do u do the konami ninja one?

  • Alexandra V.H.

    try googling tilt

  • justanswering

    in google reader press: UP, UP, DOWN, DOWN, LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT, RIGHT, B, A…. then you got it

  • Stephanie Sankar

    google is  awesome!!<3

  • Belshy

    that didnt work for me

  • http://www.mashabletricks.blogspot.com/ Mandy44

    cool tricks thanks

  • http://www.mashabletricks.blogspot.com/ traew11

    Aussome tricks very nice tricks

  • http://www.mashabletricks.blogspot.com/ senti

    I think more cool tricks

  • http://www.mashabletricks.blogspot.com/ mashable

    mashable tricks i like it

  • http://www.mashabletricks.blogspot.com/ mashable tricks

    very cooooooolllll i like it

  • emma

     google find chuck norris

  • Gavin Russell

    awesome ++++++

  • dualscr33n

    type in “konami code” in the search first, press enter… then do the code

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  • Lalala

    That didn’t work for me

  • Lalala

    Type in, let it snow, and google it

  • Nathan Duckett

    try googoth and hit im feeling lucky
     

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Kline/826872559 David Kline

     just do the code, you dont have to search for anything

  • elizabeth diaz

    the code will not work for me
     

  • Blahblahblah

    type in google sphere andclick im feeling lucky

  • kirsty

    the chuck norris thing didnt work for me

  • kirsty

    go to gogologo click im feeling lucky then type your name then press enter

  • Human-dictionary

    I’ve no chance to click “I’m feeling lucky” cause it always go to another web page whenever i type something. :(

  • Kl91590

    If you hover over the drop downlist to the right of the options you can click I’m Feeling Lucky

  • experimentsteam

    turn off google instant

  • experimentsteam

    you have to write ‘find chuck norris’ and hit im feeling lucky

  • DAVID

    125445544554

  • CookiemonsterXx530

    type let it snow in google then click I’m feeling lucky

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  • http://www.facebook.com/Jsorce801 Jake Sylvester Sorce

    type in ascii art and look at the google image at the top left 

  • Ayearkey

     You can change your search settings.
    Go
    to Google.com and click on the search settings. Make sure your Google
    Instant predictions is set to “never show instant results”. NOW go back
    to the Google search page and type in: “Find Chuck Norris.” Now push the
    “I’m Feelin’ Lucky” button. Then laugh.

  • Jennifer

    Go to search settings after you search something!(:

  • Briedw911

    they forgot about lol lime wire :D D

  • Deh Rodrigues

    At the results page there is a setting buttom on the right corner, click to set options.
    Then you turn off Google Instant . Problem solved!

  • Guest

     if you go to google and then type something in when the screen pops up go to your settings which should be on the right hand side under sign in if you click on it and go to search settings scroll down and under google instant predictions click never show instant results and then scroll down some more and click on the save button and then if you ever go to google again you can type in something and you’ll always have the chance to click i’m feeling lucky

  • pasindu@blogtricks

    You have listed some cool tricks.Realy nice work.You can get the full description about google garvity by following below link.

    http://www.tech-cave.com/2012/05/google-gravity-google-trick-google.html 

  • t dog

    You have to do it in google reader

  • Eevee In

    turn instant results off :|

  • http://twitter.com/BoredomDiesHere Elijah Joseph Evans

    type in epic google

  • Oo

    http://mrdoob.com/92/Google_Gravity  it is just another website.

  • People

    ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

  • JEDE

    GUYS IM FEELING LUCKY IS JUST THE FIRST WEBSITE FOUND WHEN YOU TYPE IN SOMETHING ON GOOGLE. TYPE IN WHAT THEY TELL YOU AND CLICK ON THE FIRST LINK. SIMPLE AS THAT, NO DROP DOWN MENU OR CHANGING OPTIONS. ITS ALWAYS THE FIRST WEBSITE

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