Easter eggs are hidden all over the web. No, we’re not talking about delicious chocolates – these Easter eggs are intentionally hidden games, jokes and messages placed into a site’s code by trickster programmers.
Artists and writers have been placing hidden codes into their work for hundreds of years, but modern Easter eggs became popular in the late 1970s. Atari programmers began weaving their names into code, and the name was adopted because of the hunt you had to go on to find them.
Easter eggs are abundant online, and range from creepy to cute to downright weird. Here are some clues if you want to go on an online Easter egg hunt of your very own.
Google are the ultimate online Easter egg pranksters. They post an annual April Fool’s day joke, regularly include hidden references in their Google doodles and funniest of all, mess around with search results in a cheeky, cute way. Searching for “askew” will slightly tilt your screen (just slightly askew), and a search for “do a barrel roll” incites your screen to do a complete flip flop.
It’s not likely that users will encounter these Easter eggs very often by accident, but that isn’t really the point. Google knows that its wacky escapades will make people smile, capture media attention and encourage tweets and blogs – all while promoting the Google brand.
Enter the phrase “About:Robots” (making sure to include the colon) into your address bar, and you’ll be given an inside scoop into the secret robot master plan.
My personal pick has to be the easter egg imbedded into everybody’s favourite listicle repository, Buzzfeed. A little tap of the Konami classic 1980s video game cheat code, “up ,up, down, down, left, right, left, right, b, a” reveals a lovely (or terrifying, depending on your tastes) surprise – and how I personally would love to see the world.
Enter the Tardis
Google maps has its own host of bizarre Easter eggs, but one of the most elaborate has to be an inside reference to cult classic Doctor Who. Search for “Police Telephone Box,” and once you are taken to Earl’s Court Station, click on streetview. You’ll soon see the TARDIS, and if you click the double white arrows in front you’ll be transported into the inside of the time machine, and you can take a 360-degree look around.
In the hilarious 1984 Rob Reiner classic, clueless guitarist Nigel tells a journalist that his amplifiers “go up to 11.” Searching for Spinal Tap on imdb reveals that their star ranking does too (for this film only).
Beam Me Up, Youtube
Typing the phrase, “Beam me up Scotty” into Youtube’s search bar causes all of the results to “beam in” by a Star Trek teleporter aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise.
Have you found any other tricks out there? Let us know in the comments below, and don’t forget to have a go of the ones listed above. Websites are changing all the time though so don’t be too disheartened if one doesn’t work – there will be another to replace it. Some might not work on mobiles, tablets and some web browsers.