Google Nessie

Tom Spring, writing for Computer World, describes many of the jokes and tricks hidden in Google's various websites and programs. One that I wasn't aware of is that Nessie regularly surfaces on iGoogle:

set your alarm to 3:14 a.m. and your browser to the beach-themed iGoogle page. At precisely that time each day, Nessie surfaces for 60 seconds, then takes a deep breath and dives back under the dark loch's surface. Why that time of the morning? Well, according to programmers' lore, Google developers did it to pay homage to the mathematical quantity Pi.

I don't think I'll ever get to see this, since 3:14 am is way past my bedtime. (I now have great trouble staying up past midnight, unlike in grad school when I would regularly still be awake at sunrise.)

Another hidden Google joke is "Google Gothic". Type this phrase into the Google search engine, and then hit the "I'm feeling lucky" button. You'll be taken to Googoth, a search engine catering to "dark, gothic, industrial, and alternative topics."


Posted on Thu Mar 20, 2008


What 3.14 am is it? Local time to your computer or GMT, EST, CET?
Posted by mr royale  on  Thu Mar 20, 2008  at  04:13 AM
I wonder if you can change your system time so you could see it at some other time of day (yet the clock would say it's 3:14am)?
Posted by Smerk  on  Thu Mar 20, 2008  at  04:13 AM
I saw Nessie some time ago and I wrote a post about it here:
Posted by Gianni  on  Thu Mar 20, 2008  at  06:23 AM
Okay, it does seem dependent on your computer system's time. Mind you, not having much knowledge of iGoogle, I didn't see Nessie surface at 3:14am, so I wonder if that alarm setting has something to do with it? And where to find it?
Posted by Smerk  on  Thu Mar 20, 2008  at  08:02 AM
Um, Googoth isn't a "hidden Google joke", it just happens to be the top search result for those terms.
Posted by Monopod  on  Thu Mar 20, 2008  at  09:40 AM
Yeah, Googoth appears to be a totally separate site and nothing internal to google. It's not much of a search engine - no matter what terms you put into the search engine you get the same listing of sponsored sites.
Posted by Irene Ringworm  on  Thu Mar 20, 2008  at  11:04 AM
There is the famous "French Military Victories" bit that made the rounds in 2006.

I think the 3:14 AM would be GMT, or whatever it's being called now. Loch Ness is in that time zone. My question concerns DST. Is the 3:14 AM time adjusted for that?
Posted by Christopher Cole  on  Thu Mar 20, 2008  at  11:07 AM
There's 3:14 easter eggs in all the google themes. The ghost one really weirded me out the first time I caught it while pulling an all-nighter a while back.

You can see some here:
Posted by Snowy  on  Thu Mar 20, 2008  at  05:17 PM
another great little google tidbit:

Go to the Language Tools and take a look at what Languages you can switch to for "Use the Google Interface in your Language"

I never knew Elmer Fudd was a language before XD
Posted by sarahearth  on  Mon Mar 24, 2008  at  03:03 PM
Googoth didn't even function when I tried a search. Just a list of errors.
Posted by Jasmine  on  Wed Apr 09, 2008  at  07:51 AM
To me it is a large boat going quite fast leaving a trail of wake in the water.
sorry nessie fans but im 99.9999999999% right.
just take a look at other boats in the water same colour, same shape,but some are not moving.
Posted by Jake  on  Wed Aug 26, 2009  at  03:35 PM
Googoth didn't even function when I tried a search
Posted by cet  on  Thu Sep 03, 2009  at  05:35 PM
I once saw nessie in my pants!!!
Posted by Jew  on  Thu Jan 14, 2010  at  09:24 AM
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