There's a secret adventure game hidden in Google Search. Here’s how to play.

Easter eggs have been hidden in video games since Atari's Adventure; now Google search has hidden an entire adventure game.

Secret Google hidden game: how to play Text Adventure
  • A Reddit user discovered a hidden adventure game buried in Google search's development console.
  • The adventure game is the latest in a long list of Google Easter eggs and oddities dedicated to video games and pop culture.
  • Have some time to kill today? Read here to learn how to access this Internet gem.

Google is well-known for adding games, hidden features, and colorful doodles to its search engine, but a recently discovered Easter egg may be the most esoterically random thing the Silicon Valley giant has squirreled away in its code yet. And this is coming from a company that put a "recursion" joke into its search algorithm. (This one.)

The latest Easter egg is a secret adventure game hidden inside Google search's development console. The game was discovered by Reddit user attempt_number_1, who shared his find on the Google Reddit page.

Have some time to kill? Some work you'd like to procrastinate on? Here's how to go on your own Google adventure.

How to find Google's hidden adventure game

The Google search bar houses a fun text-based adventure game, if you know where to look.

The Google search bar houses a fun text-based adventure game, if you know where to look.

To find the game, follow these simple instructions:

  1. Start by searching for "text adventure" in Google search.
  2. On the results page, go to the development console. You can either right-click in the browser and select "Inspect Element" or hit "Ctrl+shift+J" (Cmd+Option+J for Mac).
  3. When the development console comes up, select the "Console" tab along the top.
  4. The console will ask, "Would you like to play a game?" Type "yes" to start.

(If you type "no," it will peevishly respond, "Fine, be that way.")

In the game, you play as a big blue G looking for your five friends: red o, yellow o, blue g, green l, and the "always quirky" red e. You must explore Google's Mountain View campus to find them. Along the way, you have to perform tasks like helping "nooglers" (that's "new googlers") get around and properly greeting a door-keeping alligator.

In the tradition of text-adventure greats like Zork, the game is presented and controlled entirely through text. You type "north" to move north, "grab" to grab an item, and "quack" to quack.

You win by collecting all your friends to complete the Google logo. You'll also receive a tally based on your number of actions, the time you took to complete it, and a secret score that I won't spoil here.

Google, a hidden history of secret games

Google has a long history of including video game shout outs in its search engine. To pick just a few examples; typing "zerg rush" into the search bar will cause an army of Os to attack your results (a shout-out to the alien race from Starcraft); typing "do a barrel roll" will cause the screen to flip (a shout-out to Star Fox 64's Peppy Hare); and typing "pacman google" will bring up a playable Pacman game in the shape of the Google logo (a Google Doodle crafted in honor of the game's 30th anniversary).

But it's not all video games. Google search features in-jokes and references that have no discernible reason for their existence other than they made some Google developer laugh. Some of my favorites include:

  • typing "flip a coin" into the search engine will flip a coin for you;
  • typing "wubba lubba dub dub" will ask you "Did you mean: i am in great pain please help me" (a reference to the Adult Swim show Rick and Morty);
  • typing "the answer to life the universe and everything" nets you the answer "42" (a reference to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy); and
  • the search engine's language settings include Pirate, Klingon, and Elmer Fudd.

Similar oddities can be found on YouTube, Google Maps, and in the Android OS. The list of Google Easter eggs is expansive, and as attempt_number_1 proved, new ones may be found any day. So enjoy them, but try to remember to get some work done today.

Study: Unattractive people far overestimate their looks

The finding is remarkably similar to the Dunning-Kruger effect, which describes how incompetent people tend to overestimate their own competency.

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  • Recent studies asked participants to rate the attractiveness of themselves and other participants, who were strangers.
  • The studies kept yielding the same finding: unattractive people overestimate their attractiveness, while attractive people underrate their looks.
  • Why this happens is unclear, but it doesn't seem to be due to a general inability to judge attractiveness.
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Astronomers find more than 100,000 "stellar nurseries"

Every star we can see, including our sun, was born in one of these violent clouds.

Credit: NASA / ESA via Getty Images
Surprising Science

This article was originally published on our sister site, Freethink.

An international team of astronomers has conducted the biggest survey of stellar nurseries to date, charting more than 100,000 star-birthing regions across our corner of the universe.

Stellar nurseries: Outer space is filled with clouds of dust and gas called nebulae. In some of these nebulae, gravity will pull the dust and gas into clumps that eventually get so big, they collapse on themselves — and a star is born.

These star-birthing nebulae are known as stellar nurseries.

The challenge: Stars are a key part of the universe — they lead to the formation of planets and produce the elements needed to create life as we know it. A better understanding of stars, then, means a better understanding of the universe — but there's still a lot we don't know about star formation.

This is partly because it's hard to see what's going on in stellar nurseries — the clouds of dust obscure optical telescopes' view — and also because there are just so many of them that it's hard to know what the average nursery is like.

The survey: The astronomers conducted their survey of stellar nurseries using the massive ALMA telescope array in Chile. Because ALMA is a radio telescope, it captures the radio waves emanating from celestial objects, rather than the light.

"The new thing ... is that we can use ALMA to take pictures of many galaxies, and these pictures are as sharp and detailed as those taken by optical telescopes," Jiayi Sun, an Ohio State University (OSU) researcher, said in a press release.

"This just hasn't been possible before."

Over the course of the five-year survey, the group was able to chart more than 100,000 stellar nurseries across more than 90 nearby galaxies, expanding the amount of available data on the celestial objects tenfold, according to OSU researcher Adam Leroy.

New insights: The survey is already yielding new insights into stellar nurseries, including the fact that they appear to be more diverse than previously thought.

"For a long time, conventional wisdom among astronomers was that all stellar nurseries looked more or less the same," Sun said. "But with this survey we can see that this is really not the case."

"While there are some similarities, the nature and appearance of these nurseries change within and among galaxies," he continued, "just like cities or trees may vary in important ways as you go from place to place across the world."

Astronomers have also learned from the survey that stellar nurseries aren't particularly efficient at producing stars and tend to live for only 10 to 30 million years, which isn't very long on a universal scale.

Looking ahead: Data from the survey is now publicly available, so expect to see other researchers using it to make their own observations about stellar nurseries in the future.

"We have an incredible dataset here that will continue to be useful," Leroy said. "This is really a new view of galaxies and we expect to be learning from it for years to come."

Protecting space stations from deadly space debris

Tiny specks of space debris can move faster than bullets and cause way more damage. Cleaning it up is imperative.

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  • NASA estimates that more than 500,000 pieces of space trash larger than a marble are currently in orbit. Estimates exceed 128 million pieces when factoring in smaller pieces from collisions. At 17,500 MPH, even a paint chip can cause serious damage.
  • To prevent this untrackable space debris from taking out satellites and putting astronauts in danger, scientists have been working on ways to retrieve large objects before they collide and create more problems.
  • The team at Clearspace, in collaboration with the European Space Agency, is on a mission to capture one such object using an autonomous spacecraft with claw-like arms. It's an expensive and very tricky mission, but one that could have a major impact on the future of space exploration.

This is the first episode of Just Might Work, an original series by Freethink, focused on surprising solutions to our biggest problems.

Catch more Just Might Work episodes on their channel:
https://www.freethink.com/shows/just-might-work

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