A Brief Explanation of Google’s Do a Barrel Roll

Google has done something wacky yet again, this time with their search engine. If you search do a barrel roll in Google, the page will spin all the way around 360 degrees. The fun doesn’t stop there though as you can do multiple barrel rolls as long as you hold down the space bar while clicking the search button over and over again. But what exactly is going on here? What’s behind this funny trick? Let’s see if we can figure it out!

What is a DOACR?

It’s one of a number of search engine easter eggs and it may be my favorite. Ask Google to do a barrel roll and then click on any results that show up in your browser. You can also just do barrel roll—Google will respond with Sure! or whatever it decides to say at that time, and then it will proceed to rotate your screen 360 degrees, faster than you ever thought possible, leaving you wondering whether your monitor is going to tip over and hit you in the face as it swivels around so quickly. That might sound really complicated (or really weird), but trust me—it’s all part of your modern internet experience.

How Did It Begin?

The popular search engine, Google has been utilizing April Fool’s Day for many years now.

Why Does it Work?

The do a barrel roll command, in turn, links to an old version of Google’s homepage. That page features an Easter egg that performs one or two complete 360-degree rotations as part of its loading process. If you try it now, you should be able to see at least one full rotation if your internet connection is fast enough and if your browser is up-to-date (it will stop after about 45 seconds). The effect is no longer functional in many major browsers, but it still works on some less popular ones. Why did Google put something like that on their homepage? This year marks 20 years since co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin started working together at Stanford University—they were trying to build a better search engine!

Who Made It?

It was originally released by Google in April 1997 as part of their Search applet. Since then, it has been adapted for use on their sites and across many other platforms. People have written it in HTML code and added it to their own homepages, embedded it into e-mails, tweets, etc. It started as one man’s side project but has become one of the web’s most anticipated Easter eggs—and has even made its way into popular culture with references in TV shows like How I Met Your Mother and Silicon Valley . And over 16 years later, people are still using to generate fresh memes each day.

And Why is it so Famous?

In 1997, internet search engine giant Google was founded. The tech company is today considered by many to be one of America’s top companies and has an influential market presence all over the world. In 1998, Larry Page, Sergey Brin and other co-founders began working on a project called BackRub which eventually became known as Google in September 1997. A year later, they released their first official search engine service.

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