Yesterday, Google turned 18. Here are 10 facts you probably didn’t know about world’s biggest search engine.
1. Nobody knows when Google’s actual birthday is
The company has six different birthdays each year, and has decided to pick September 27th as the one to celebrate on.
2. The Google Campus is home to a huge T-Rex model
The company’s campus hosts a huge model of a T-Rex skeleton, which is apparently meant to remind employees not to let the company go extinct.
3. There’s a T-Rex game hiding in Google Chrome
When Chrome doesn’t have an internet connection, the displayed error message is accompanies by a picture of a little dinosaur. If you press the space bar when that’s showing, it will start a game where you run along as the dinosaur, jumping over any obstacles by pressing the space bar again.
4. Google wasn’t very happy with becoming a generic word for searching
The company worried that the word – as in the phrase, “just Google it” – would undermine all of the work it had done to make its brand recognisable.
5. Google buys a lot of other companies
Some estimates put Google’s buying habits at more than one company per week. Most of them are small – but some are huge. While some get folded into others, many continue to exist in their own right – and very few are ever sold on again.
6. Google’s “I’m Feeling Lucky” button is a very expensive enterprise.
The button might costs tens of millions of dollars per year. By taking the user straight through to the first search result, the usual advertising is skipped – meaning the advertising revenue is bypassed, too.
7. The first ever Google storage was made of Lego
Nowadays, Google is one of the world’s biggest data storage companies, with entire warehouses full of files. But in the company’s early dates, it’s first storage facility was just a load of hard drives housed in a container built of Lego.
8. One Google search uses more computing power than it took to send the Apollo 11 astronauts to the moon
While searching Google is simple and takes less than a second, the computing and networking power required to look through almost all of the known internet is huge – far more than the amount of computing that it took to put humans on the moon.
9. Google hires goats
Google’s vast headquarters hosts many large green areas – instead of using energy-guzzling machines to cut its grassy lawns, Google hires a load of goats. They visit for about a week at a time, with about 200 of the animals working at once. Google employees have noted that goats cutting grass is a low cuter than lawnmowers doing the same job – not to mention, better for the environment.
10. Google Headquarters is dog-friendly
Google encourages it’s employees to bring their pups to work, as it boosts morale and office mood. Cats however are not encouraged, while they are allowed, they are simply not recommended because they tend to be upset by the dogs. Bad news for cat-loving Google employees.