The folks at Google are no strangers to science, science fiction, fantasy, or geek culture in general. Evidence of their fandom is plentiful, most commonly in the form of easter eggs and April Fools' jokes, for which the company is famous. But you do have to know where to look. Consider this your guide to the ten geekiest Google easter eggs on record.
10. Converse with a Martian
The Google Earth App is loaded with all kinds of great easter eggs, but one of the best is actually located off-planet. While in Google Earth, choose Mars from the drop down list of explorable planets and search for "MELIZA." The camera will zoom in on a little robot avatar situated beside the infamous "Face on Mars". Clicking the avatar will cause it to initiate a (somewhat unconvincing) conversation with you. (Long before there was Cleverbot, there was ELIZA, a computer program developed in the 60s to engage in conversation with human users by means of pattern matching techniques. "MELIZA" is simply a portmanteau of Mars and ELIZA.)
9. Google Advises you on Your Trip to Mordor
Visit Google Maps and select "get directions." Enter "The Shire" or "Rivendell" as your start point, input "Mordor" as your destination, and make sure you request walking directions. I think you know where this is going…
8. Google Counts in Binary
Searching for binary, hexadecimal or octal will cause Google to display the number of search results in the respective numeral system. (Make sure your search is set up to hide personal results.)
7. The Moon is Made of Cheese
When Google launched its Google Moon feature back in 2005, hi-res images of the lunar surface were lacking. For many years, zooming in as far as possible would return not the typical error response ("No imagery available at this zoom level. Try zooming out…), but a hole-ridden image of Swiss cheese. Google has since gotten rid of this easter egg, but there's still lots of stuff to do on the Moon!
Google Earth's measurement tool will actually allow you to quantify distances in "Smoots." Don't know what (or rather who) a Smoot is? Educate yourself.