The Internet is full of surprises. And because most of its chief architects are an undeniably quirky bunch, it is no wonder that many of those surprises are outlandish and hilarious.
Most people don’t realize it, but there are thousands of little inside jokes that programmers design into your favorite search engines, websites, blog platforms, and map databases––somewhat like ‘cheats’ in videogames, except that most of them don’t serve any practical purpose. We call these Internet Easter Eggs.
Here are some of the Internet’s most bizarre Easter Eggs:
1. Do A Barrel Roll
Type “do a barrel roll” without the quotation marks [same applies to all these samples] into Google, hit enter, and be mildly amused. If you are using the new Google instant feature it should start happening as soon as you type ‘do a barrel’. It’s a classic, simple Easter Egg, and a good place to make your first introduction to the odd world of Internet Easter eggs.
2. The Oatmeal Easter Egg
For something a bit more perverse and unconventional, visit TheOatmeal.com. Right click on their homepage background, and select “View Page Source.” I won’t even attempt to explain. It’s one of those things you just need to see for yourself. [Image CC Via Flickr]
3. Zerg Rush
Zerg Rush is a term originally derived from Starcraft, and it refers to an overwhelming attack by bazillions of Zerg soldiers. Back in 2004, it became a viral meme sensation, and has since crept into the Urban Dictionary and techie jargon. Earlier this year, Google turned it into mini-computer game. Type “Zerg Rush” into the browser and try to click all the O’s before they overwhelm the page. [Image CC Via Flickr]
4. Wikipedia’s Blank Page
5. The ‘I’m Not Old Enough’ Egg
The Black Acre Brewing Co. website has one of those disclaimers where you have to verify being 21 to view their content. If you click “I am under 21″ they’ve devised a small consolation for you. [Image CC Via Flickr]
6. Yahoo’s Yodel
Remember Yahoo’s yodel from their TV advertisements? Well, any time you feel the irresistible urge to hear it again, just visit their homepage and click on the ! at the end of their icon. [Image CC Via Flickr]
Another Google Easter Egg (there are quite a few): type “askew” into the search bar to get a slightly new perspective on the Internet. [Image CC Via Flickr]
From the wacky to the downright incomprehensible, the web’s Easter Eggs contain some unexpected odes to whimsy. Unfortunately, none of them have money or candy inside – at least none that we’ve discovered yet, anyway.
These are just a handful of the innumerable Internet Easter Eggs & oddities floating around out there in cyber space. Now that you know they exist, perhaps you’ll be able to discover (or create?) some yourself. Let us know in the comments below.