You can search for these ‘Easter eggs’ on the worldwide web
During the corona pandemic, it is a lot more difficult to meet with friends and family to look for Easter eggs together. Fortunately, there are also plenty of hidden objects on the internet that you can safely collect from behind your phone or laptop.
You can now find them in almost every major app or game and on many websites: easter eggs. These digital secrets are hidden in the depths of software code, waiting for a creative user to find them.
The first easter egg was in play Adventure from 1980. Although programmer Warren Robinett had mostly made the game on his own, his employer was not allowed to put his name in some sort of virtual credits in recognition. He decided to secretly use his name in the game after all; it could be found only by performing a series of complex operations.
Robinett’s boss was then the first to call it an Easter egg, because finding it reminded him of looking for Easter eggs. It became a tradition among software makers, who have been hiding similar secrets in their apps and games for more than 40 years.
Jokes in the Google search engine
The Google search engine is full of all kinds of small easter eggs. Who is looking for ‘The answer to life, the universe and everything‘will receive the number 42 as an answer, a reference to the science fiction book The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
Perhaps the most striking Google joke happens when you enter the search term ‘Do a barrel roll‘: the entire browser window will spin in a circle, paying homage to the Nintendo game Star Fox, in which spaceships can perform this maneuver.
Hidden in navigation apps
Card services from tech giants often hold little secrets too. For example, if you visit the London Eye via Apple Maps, the Ferris wheel spins slowly as soon as you view it in 3D. If you take a 3D tour of Big Ben, the time on the clock is really correct.
If you go to Earl’s Court in London in Google Maps, you will see an old, blue police box that is Doctor Who is used as a spaceship. That can via Streetview viewed from the inside, after which you are transported to the set of the TV series.
Some Easter eggs in card apps are more subtle. If you look at Loch Ness on Google Maps, the figure for Street View changes into a small, green monster.
Easter eggs with language jokes
Anyone who changes the default language of the social network on Facebook can also choose the language English (Upside Down). This makes the social network rotate all of its text by 180 degrees. It used to be possible to set the site with a pirate accent, but that feature was later removed.
Monty Python wrote a sketch about a German joke in the late 1960s that was so funny it killed everyone who heard her. In 2021, this also applies to Google’s translation machine: who’s kidding on Google Translate?Wenn ist das Nunstück git und Slotermeyer? Yes! Beiherhund das Oder die Flipperwaldt gersput! ‘ and tries to translate it into English, it returns a ‘fatal error’.
The search engine does survive translating into Dutch, but it soon becomes apparent that half of the words are actually just made up.