The quirky developers over at Google headquarters are obsessed with implanting inside jokes or "Easter eggs" in a range of its free software, from Google Earth to Google search to Google Reader. Today, The Daily Beast's Brian Ries tips us off to a gem of an Easter egg hearkening back to the early days of Nintendo 64 when Starfox 64 reigned supreme. Here's the Starfox Easter egg followed by some of our other favorites from the Silicon Valley nerds:
"Do a barrel roll" If you've ever played Starfox 64, you'll recall the near-constant command from Starfox ally Peppy imploring you to "do a barrel roll" in your aircraft. Go ahead and type the command into Google and watch as the Mountain View company rocks your web browsing world:
ASCII Art A hallmark from the days when computers weren't especially adept at graphical processing, typing in ASCII art introduces an ASCII version of Google's logo.
Ninja Reader It's nice to know this one still works. Following Google's controversial overhaul of Google Reader, the RSS service has been on the fritz lately. Thankfully, one of its finest Easter eggs is still in tip top working order. The Ninja Reader. Type in the famous Konami code (up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A) while Google Reader is open and a darkly-garbed ninja woman will appear over your feeds.
Hidden Steve Irwin Kudos to The Telegraph's Matthew Moore for hunting this one down. Google Earth allows you to view famous building in 3D. But in some cases, independent designers have included hidden jokes. That's the case for Australia's Sydney Opera House. If you tool around the waterfront side, you'll find a comical illustration of the late Steve Irwin wrangling a croc. Crikey!
Askew One of the more subtle Easter eggs. Typing in "askew" tilts your search results just a hair to the right. Did you notice?
Once in a blue moon Google engineers are obsessed with demystifying our natural world with the power of data. As such, not even casual phrases like "once in a blue moon" are left un-computed (well, sort of). Type it in and behold a not-so serious formulation:
Chuck Norris Turn off Google Instant, enter "find Chuck Norris" and click "I'm Feeling Lucky." Poof: an important adage. "Google won't search for Chuck Norris because it knows you don't find Chuck Norris, he finds you."
Recursion Here's one for the math nerds. Recursion. It's the process of repeating items in a similar way Type it into Google and a "Did you mean" suggester pops up dumping you into an infinite loop of recursion.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.