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Our Favorite Website “Easter Eggs”

Remember any easter egg hunts from your childhood? You’d run around the garden, looking under nooks and crannies, hoping to stumble upon some hidden treasure.

Well, back in 1979, Atari used the term “easter egg” to describe an enterprising developer’s message that only appeared when the player stumbled over a tiny rock in a useless passage. Since then, developers have made a habit of including jokes or messages that the average user might not find. These easter eggs can serve as a signature for a developer or even just a wink and a nudge to appreciative nerds.

You may already know about some of Google’s little tricks, but here are some of our favorites:

  • Google: Try searching for “askew,” “do a barrel roll,” “anagram,” “binary,” “recursion,” or “zerg rush.”
  • Facebook allows you to change your language settings by clicking the gear icon in the upper right and selecting “Account Settings…” but have you noticed that you can change your language to “English (Pirate)” or “English (Upside Down)?”
  • Hema: go on, try touching that blue cup in the upper right!
  • You may notice that the rating for IMDb’s page for “This is Spinal Tap” goes up to 11.
  • The “Konami Code” was used heavily by video games, and you’ll see it on several websites like Geek & Hype. Go there, and try pressing: up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A.
  • Ever play Asteroids? Try clicking “Destroy the Things” at the bottom of this site and then use your arrow keys and spacebar.
  • The Oatmeal’s site has a nice little graphic hidden in its source code. In your browser’s toolbar, go to View->View Source.

Have you found any others, or do you have any favorites? Let us know!

David Sprankle

About The Author

David is the Interactive Director at AOR, and handles most issues related to web design, email delivery, social networking, search engine optimization and video production. If you ever have a question about technology, he's the one to ask.

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