Tuesday, March 3, 2015

8 amazing Google Easter egg hacks and games in Search, YouTube and Chrome

Google has plenty of secret Easter eggs and hacks hidden in their products that can make everyone's day a little bit more fun! Here are the best Easter egg hacks found in Google Search, YouTube and Chrome.

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For software developers, hiding Easter eggs in the software is an old tradition. An Easter egg is typically an undocumented feature or function in the software usually made for humorous reasons. When a user executes a certain set of commands or in interacts with the software in some secret pre-defined way, an unexpected chain of events may occur. Easter eggs can be as simple as actually showing a picture of an Easter egg, reveal a hidden game within a software or simply displaying a picture/animation of something interesting or funny.

Of course Google has also embraced the Easter egg tradition and plenty of Easter eggs have come and gone throughout the years in the Google products. Some of the best Easter egg hacks, however, appear to be here to stay. Read on for the top best Google Easter egg hacks in Google Search, YouTube and chrome guaranteed to make your boring day not so boring anymore!

1. YouTube: Play Snake Game in any YouTube clip


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Bored by the YouTube clip you accidentally started to watch, or is it simply too slow? Perhaps one of the most well made and thought through Easter egg is the one which allows a user to play the classic game Snake in all YouTube clip! Start playing Snake in YouTube by following the below instructions:
  1. Go to YouTube and start any YouTube clip.
  2. Press and hold either the left or right arrow key for 2 seconds. 
  3. Press the up arrow key while still holding the arrow key from step 2.
Immediately after pressing the up-key a small in step 3, the secret Snake game is started!

Control your snake with the arrow keys and collect the small dots that appear randomly over the YouTube clip which will continue to play in the background. Just as the traditional Snake game, your snake will grow longer for each dot (goodie) that you collect and the goal is to make the snake as long as you can without crashing into the borders or biting yourself!

Great fun and secret that can make any boring YouTube clip endurable!

2. Google Search: Play Atari Breakout game


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Many of us remember the classical Atari Breakout game that we spent hours and hours in front of as kids, and some of us even spent countless of pennies on it in arcade halls. Now everyone can enjoy Atari Breakout for free right on Google Search in in the web browser through this hack!

This Easter egg is very polished and activating it is actually really simple, the trick is to know and use Google Images Search as follows:
  1. Go to Google Images Search.
  2. Search for Atari Breakout and hit enter.
  3. Wait a few seconds for the images from the search result to load.
After the images have loaded, the Atari Breakout game will load. Notice that the bricks in the game are actually small thumbnails of the search results from Google Images! How cool is that?

Control the game with your mouse or your left and right arrow keys. The goal here is of course not to miss the ball.

Alternatively from going directly to Google Images Search, Atari Breakout can also be activated by simply searching for Atari Breakout on Google and then hit the Images tab in the search results.

3. Chrome: Play Endless T-Rex Runner game


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I have to admit, this Easter egg is a bit of an oddball, but it is definitely worth for everyone to try out. Finding this particular hidden Easter egg is very easy and to activate it the user simply has to try and navigate to any URL when no internet connection is available, i.e., no wi-fi or ethernet cable plugged in.

A user which attempts to go to a website without an internet connection will be greeted by an error message but also a small picture of a T-Rex dinosaur. By pressing the space bar key, the T-Rex will start to bounce and run while a desert landscape appears in front of it!

Control and make your T-Rex jump over the obstacles with the space bar key. The goal here is of course to run as far as possible without being hit in the face by a nasty cactus.

The next time you are sitting in an cafĂ© with crappy wi-fi connection, at least you have something to do when the wi-fi goes down for the millionth time for no apparent reason while you yell at the staff. 

4. Google Search: Play Zerg Rush game


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This hidden Easter egg hack in Google Search is either very annoying or very amusing depending on the mood and personality of the 'victim'. To activate this Easter egg:
  1. Go to Google Search.
  2. Search for Zerg Rush and hit enter.
The search results will load but immediately after a swarm of O's from Google (zergs) will pop up from the perimeter of the screen and eat away the search results!

Kill as many zergs as as you can and protect your search results by clicking (shooting) them with your mouse. Be aware that the zergs will invade from below as well!

5. Google Search: Tilted or skewed search results


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This is one of Google's more subtle secret Easter eggs. This hack is very simple in its design yet surprisingly beautiful and will make you wonder if something is wrong with your computer, monitor, web browser or eyes (or all of the above). Activate this Easter egg as follows:

  1. Go to Google Search.
  2. Search for Tilt or Askew and hit enter.
The search results will appear as usual but the whole screen will be tilted!  Annoying Easter egg or not it is quite a view. Try navigating and reading the search results and experience that you will slowly go into insanity or become nauseated by this simple hack!

To actually view the search results without having to become seasick, search for "Tilt" or "Askew" with the quotation marks instead.

6. Google Search: Barrel rolling search results


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This secret Easter egg is implemented into Google Search and when executed, the search results will do a barrel roll, that is, rotate a whole revolution. Similar to the above, there are actually two ways to activate this Easter egg hack:
  1. Go to Google Search.
  2. Search for Do a barrel roll or Z or r twice and hit enter.
Watch the awesome barrel roll that Google does! Similar to the above one can disable this by adding quotation marks around the search terms, although in contrast to the tilted search results, this one actually ends up in a non-distorted results page, so there is no risk for following motion sickness.

For the curious: The syntax "Z or R twice" originates from the classical Nintendo Star Fox game series. In the game, Peppy instructs the pilot (Fox McCloud) to "do a barrel roll", which for the player achieves by pressing the "Z or R" key twice!

7. Google Search: The answer to life, the universe and everything


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Everyone who has read the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy will definitely smile about this one. Google will here provide the same answer as the supercomputer Deep Though in the book. This secret Easter egg is easily revealed as follows:
  1. Go to Google Search.
  2. Search for The answer to life, the universe and everything and hit enter. 

8. Google Search: Recursion that leads to recursion...


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Finally, one of my own nerdy hidden Easter egg favourites that is revealed through the steps below:
  1. Go to Google Search.
  2. Search for Recursion and hit enter.
Notice that Google suggests "Did you mean: recursion". The more nerdy ones amongst us will definitely smile when seeing this, since recursion is a term commonly used in mathematics and computer science referring to an entity that repeats itself.

Google is after all around us everywhere these days and I hope these 8 of the best newly found Easter egg hacks will make your slow day a little bit more fun! At least I have wasted lots of time killing zergs in Zerg Rush, bouncing a small ball in Atari Breakout, running in the desert with a T-Rex, and passing time by playing Snake in crappy YouTube clips! Feel free to leave a comment or add any other fun secret Easter eggs that you feel should be in the top list!


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