“Google has sparked mystery by launching an unexplained countdown that only appears when users press the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button on the search engine's homepage. The feature, which usually takes users directly to the top result for their query, has been programmed to display a ticker when no words are entered into the search box. As of 7.15pm GMT on Monday, the clock had reached 1,484,258. It appears that the blue numbers are only visible to people using the search giant's English language portals such as Google.com, Google.co.uk, Google.ie and Google.com.au. Attempting the same trick on Google's French and German websites presents an error box instead. Google has released no statement explaining the hidden clock, but initial speculation that the search giant had advance warning of the end of the world appears wide of the mark. Simple calculations indicate that the number will fall to zero in 17 days – around the turn of the New Year.”