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35 Fun Google Tricks You’ll Want to Try Immediately

From functional to fun: The all-powerful search engine is packed with more cool Google tricks than you realized.

Google homepage on laptop in yellow roomGetty Images, via google.com

Fun Google tricks

Searching for information on the internet can get pretty boring, so why not make it a little more entertaining with these Google tricks? You can play games, make your search page spin, defy gravity, and so much more. Keep reading to discover all of the Google easter eggs you never knew about. For more laughs, check out these funny things you can ask your Google Home to do.

barrelvia google.com

It can do a barrel roll!

Type “do a barrel roll” into Google, click “search”, and your browser window will do a 360-degree spin. It’s a geeky reference to Nintendo’s Star Fox series, in which a wise old rabbit named Peppy (an intergalactic fighter pilot) advises your character to avoid enemy fire by pulling said maneuver. You can get the same fun Google tricks effect by typing “z or r twice” in reference to the controller buttons you’d press in the game. Don’t miss these other 12 funny Google searches that have us wondering, “who asks these questions?”

Google: Anagramvia google.com

It’s a word nerd!

Google “anagram” and the search engine will suggest “nag a ram.” Very cute. Here’s how to see (and delete) all of your Google activity.

Google: Recursionvia google.com

…a very serious word nerd!

Here’s what “recursion” means, according to Google: “the repeated application of a recursive procedure or definition.” When you search “recursion,” Google asks “Did you mean recursion?” with a link to a search for “recursion,” which then asks “Did you mean recursion?” with a link to a search for “recursion,” which then asks…you get it. Curious about the ins and outs of this genius search engine? Find out more about how Google actually works.

imagesvia google.com

It can read images!

Looking for something specific, but don’t have the right keywords to describe it? This is one of the more useful and fun Google tricks. You can “reverse image search” at images.google.com by clicking the camera icon, uploading an image, and then getting results of pictures that look similar. (Make sure you’re OK with your photos floating around the web first.) Follow this cheat sheet to learn all of the Google Home commands.

Google: Zerg Rushvia google.com

It’s overrun by the zerg!

In a manner of speaking, anyway. The “zerg” are a race of insectoid aliens in the popular Starcraft video game series. If you Google “zerg rush,” the Os in “Google” behave like zerglings, the race’s foot soldiers, and start chomping away at search results. Click to destroy them all! Need a laugh? Check out the 21 times people had instant regret while Googling (maybe you did after searching “zerg rush”).

languagevia google.com

It speaks secret languages!

On the top of your Google homepage, hit the nine squares at the top and go to My Account. Scroll to the bottom to find Language under Data and Personalization. You can change your language to fun ways of speaking like Muppets (Bork, bork, bork!), Elmer Fudd (Ewmew Fudd), Klingon, and pirate. For instance, with that last one, you’ll find “moorr” instead of “more.” Follow these steps to turn off your Google voice assistant.

shattervia google.com

It defies gravity!

Google Gravity shatters the search engine into pieces that you can drag and bounce around your screen. Here’s how you can keep Google from creeping on your location data.

pacmanvia google.com

It’s a 1980s arcade!

Google celebrated the 30th anniversary of the beloved classic PAC-MAN in May 2010 with a fun in-browser version of the game. Now it uses its homepage for fun Google tricks when celebrating other famous birthdays and holidays, too. These are the things Google Home can do that Alexa can’t.

eduvia google.com

It can boost brainpower!

ZDNet offers a handy tip to sift through university research: first type “site:edu” to limit the query to educational institutions, then try “intitle:” before your topic. For example, site:edu intitle:”American magazines” brings up results from Harvard, the University of Michigan, and more. You can also search results from a specific website in a similar way. Site:rd.com, anyone? Find out the 9 things you should never Google.

removevia google.com

It can make things disappear!

If a search result contains personal information or raises a legal issue, you can request to remove a page from your or another site. Find out another surprisingly easy way to delete yourself from the Internet.

imagesvia google.com

It’s a crime-stopper!

Reverse image technology is allowing Google to assist child protection agencies in clearing the Web of child pornography. How it works: Google indexes problematic images and finds any copies online, making it easy for Internet providers to cut them down.

askewvia google.com

It’s a little unbalanced!

Something isn’t quite right here. If you type “askew” into Google, you’ll find something funny: The whole screen tilts down a bit to the right.

answervia google.com

It knows the meaning of life!

Type in “answer to life, the universe, and everything,” and Google has a pretty clear answer: 42. The search results are a nod to Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which claims the number is, in fact, the answer to life. If it knows the meaning of life, then it definitely knows a lot more. Here’s how to find out all the creepy things Google knows about you.

loneliestvia google.com

It doesn’t like to be alone!

Google has hundreds of billions of web pages in its index (though some estimate it’s even more), so it probably can’t take loneliness very well. Type in “the loneliest number” in the search box and some fun Google tricks show you a calculated number—the same one you’ll get if you type “number of horns on a unicorn.”

Google: Once In A Blue Moonvia google.com

It likes to get specific!

Thought “once in a blue moon” was just a vague expression? Not according to Google. Search that phrase and you’ll get a very specific frequency: 1.16699016 × 10-8 hertz. It’s a play off the fact that blue moons happen every 2.71 years.

blinkvia google.com

It never stops moving!

Want to see something cool? Type “bvsdf” into your Google browser. But be warned: you probably won’t be able to handle watching the blinking words for very long. Close the page and check out the most popular “how to” searches on Google instead.

trexvia google.com

It tries to make you feel better!

There’s nothing more frustrating than that “Unable to connect to the Internet” message on Chrome. Luckily, Google knows your pain and lets you blow off some steam. Hit the space bar on your keyboard and the dinosaur will jump into action, launching a game that provides endless fun. Or at least as much fun as you can fit before remembering you had work to do.

Google in 1998via google.com

It can go back in time

Haven’t you always wondered what old web pages used to look like? Google lets you see what it looked like back in the day. Just type “Google in 1998” into the search bar and you’ll be brought back in time. Wow, the Internet really has come a long way. This is the truth about Google’s incognito mode.

atarivia google.com

It can challenge you

Want a game break? Just go to Google images and type in “Atari Breakout.” The images turn into bricks and you can move the bar along the bottom of the screen to break them. Challenge on!

timervia google.com

It can time you

If you need to time yourself for an oral presentation or maybe you’re trying to clean your kitchen in less than five minutes, there are Google tricks to help you with that. Type “set timer for x amount of time” and the search engine will pull up a timer at the top of the screen.

conversionvia google.com

It can give you a quick conversion

Still can’t figure out how to convert inches to feet or kilometers to miles? This is one of the Google tricks that can give you answers quickly. Just type any conversion into the search bar to get your answer. For example, try typing “63 yards to feet.” Check out these hidden Google Map tricks you never knew about.

IP addressvia google.com

It knows your IP address

Your IP address is a unique string of numbers that identifies where your computer is based on the Internet you’re hooked up to. If you don’t know yours, Google can tell you. Just search, “What’s my ip.” 

tipsvia google.com

It can help you tip

If you’re in a food coma after inhaling your dinner and can’t figure out what 20 percent of the bill is, just type it into Google. Type, “what is the tip for $x” and a convenient calculator will show up at the top of the screen. You can adjust the percentage you want to tip and even add how many people the bill is being split among. 

Google: Coin Flipvia google.com

It can help you win

Heads or tails? Just type “flip a coin” into Google and one will appear under the search bar.

Google: Festivusvia google.com

It celebrates Festivus

Festivus is a Google trick for the rest of us. When you type in “Festivus” to the search engine the aluminum Festivus pole appears on the side of the screen.

Google: Sunrisevia google.com

It tells you when the sun rises and sets

Want to know when the sun rises in Timbuktu? Simply type “sun rise in Timbuktu” into the Google search bar and it will tell you.

Google: Say Numbervia google.com

It can read out numbers

This Google easter egg can come in handy if you have to give a presentation that involves a lot of big numbers. If you don’t know how to say the number 92,720,383, just type “92720383=english” into Google. If you’re curious, it’s ninety-two million seven hundred twenty thousand three hundred eighty-three.

Google: Roll Dicevia google.com

It can roll a die

If you need more options that just heads or tails, this Google trick can save the day. Just type “roll a die” into the search bar.

Google: Conversion Ratevia google.com

It converts your coins

Need to know how many Euros $300 in U.S. currency is? Type “300 USD to Euros” and it will do the conversion for you. This Google trick is great to use when you travel abroad.

Google: Bacon Numbervia google.com

It can tell you how close someone is to Kevin Bacon

This Google easter egg is a perfect rainy day fun activity. Just Google “[celebrity] bacon number” and it will show you the degrees of separation between that celebrity and Kevin Bacon. Here’s how to change your Google Assitant’s voice.

Google: Lyricsvia google.com

It can finish the lyric

If you have a song stuck in your head and can’t remember the next verse, just type “lyrics to Somewhere Over the Rainbow (or the song you’ve been humming) into the search bar and the lyrics will pop up at the top.

Google: Skyvia google.com

It can help you explore the sky

Type in “Google sky maps” to explore the stars, constellations, planets, and galaxies.

Google: Restaurants Near Mevia google.com

It can help you pick where to go to dinner

If you want to eat at a new restaurant, simply type “restaurants near me” into Google and a list will pop up. If everyone in your house can never agree on where to eat, pick the first one that pops up and go there. Dinner problems solved!

Google: Flights To...via google.com

It can help you catch a flight

This Google easter egg can help you if you need to book a flight ASAP. Just type “find a flight to (your destination)” and it will show you a few different options for flights from your current location to where you need to go. It will also show you if you have the chance to save money by flying out of a different nearby airport.

marsvia google.com

It can take you to a different planet

If you thought you could spend hours exploring the street view on Google Maps, try going to Google Mars to explore the planet. Next, check out these fascinating things captured by Google Earth.

Originally Published in Reader's Digest