Funny Google: The Search Engine’s Hilarious Side
As you have probably gleaned from Google’s many “official” and “unofficial” Easter eggs, the search engine is not at all a company brimming with black-suited, dour-faced executives. As it has made its corporate character obvious and clear in the recent past, the company is serious but “fun.” In fact, there are so many funny Google aspects that go beyond merely serving some coffee break micro-entertainment for the average person searching for some information on the web. Most of the things that make Google a “fun company” are embodied by its founders and employees.
After all, if you know the corporate culture of Google, you will understand why it is the way it is. It is no secret how business and work are done at the Google Headquarters at the building formerly owned by the now-bankrupt Silicon Graphics at 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, Santa Clara County, California, in the USA. Endearingly referred to as the “Googleplex,” (a reference to the name of a very large number called “googolplex” and also, of course, as a combination of the name of the company with the word “complex”), the search engine’s headquarters is a seat of innovation and creativity, as well as technical wizardry. Well-known for its laid-back ethos, accentuated by quirky desktop gizmos, toys, and other “geeky” devices, the Google Headquarters is a modern workplace marvel. Its campus atmosphere feels more like an endless vacation, where you’re allowed to pursue your individual interests—no matter how quirky—in your own sweet time. In its brainstorming sessions or idea boards scattered around the campus, for example, no one will have the liver to tell you “how crazy” your idea may be—in fact, “crazy” is normal, as demonstrated by earnest sketches and designs on white boards of “mythical” projects such as Google spaceships, interplanetary internet, and other gizmos that may simply drop the jaws of “normal” people.
The Googleplex is also fully self-contained—it has its own in-house repair shop that is always on duty to repair any employee’s broken gadget or laptop. Those with a stiff back or aching muscles can go to any of its in-house massage centers staffed by professional masseuses. It has more than a dozen cafeterias that provide free food (even gourmet dishes) to employees—yes, all that good food is free. And reminiscent of that old Saturday Night Live sketch featuring Jim Carrey, the two swim-in-place pools are “assiduously” guarded by highly trained lifeguards—you know, just in case you stub your foot and somehow manage to “drown” in that pool.
The Google Headquarters also has in-house salons staffed with professional hair stylists to keep people’s self-esteem and confidence at all-time highs (and to absolutely avoid “bad hair days,” which might negatively affect a Google engineer’s performance). The headquarters even has “toy rooms” or play rooms where employees’ children or, well, young-at-heart Google employees can play with any toy they fancy—from electric trains, to Lego sets, to robots. And to round off the best “proofs” of how funny Google is, the company allows its employees to bring their dogs to the workplace (unfortunately, regardless of the sheer popularity of cats on the internet, Google has yet to give cat owners the same leeway as those who own dogs).
Such is life at Google. No wonder all its funny Google attitude can be often felt through the company’s way of dealing with things and through its several so-called Easter eggs.
A favorite Easter egg is also one that is called “Funny Google.” Technically, it’s not an Easter egg as Google has nothing to do with it (the site was created by someone else), but when you enter the phrase “funny google” in the search bar (with the Instant Search feature turned off) and hit the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button, you are instantly directed to a site (URL is HYPERLINK “http://www.funny-google.com” www.funny-google.com) that bears the “Funny Google” logo. So how “funny” is it? It’s the same search engine, but you should have loads of fun if you fancy replacing the staid Google logo with your own name—or your dog’s name. That’s where all the fun lies: the ability to replace the Google logo with just about anything you can think off, as long as it does not the maximum number of characters. Try it.
Unintentionally Strange and Hilarious Search Suggestions
It is very possible to spend a whole day just discovering (if that’s how you roll, I won’t judge you) the strange, unintentionally hilarious side of the search engine. In fact, Google has been “internet notorious” for its often uncannily spot-on but dark brand of search suggestions. The following are just some of the now-famous examples.
Searching for “I like to ta…”: Google will suggest “I like to tape my thumbs to my hands to see what it would be like to be a dinosaur” to complete this phrase.
Searching for “I need a…”: For some reason, 7.1 million people around the world complete this search phrase as “I need a poo.” I didn’t know there’s such a huge demand for that. You’ll have to thank Google for enlightening us.
Searching for “How much wo…”: Google will suggest completing this search phrase with “How much wood would a wood chuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood.” As it turns out, the answer from the Wall Street Journal is 700 pounds of wood.
Searching for “I am e…”: Google’s suggestions for this one seem to run on a single theme: “I am extremely terrified of chinese people” or “I am extremely scared of chinese people.” What is it with the whole supposedly “global” fear of the Chinese? But at least you get “I am evil homer” and “I am legend” included in these suggestions, just for awesomeness’ sake.
Overall, Google’s goal seems easily understandable: searching for information on the internet does not have to be clinical and boring—you can have some side-fun while you’re at it. The “fun” aspect may not be altogether vital, but it sure greatly enriches the experience of even the simplest of tasks.