The American technology company, Google, operates the world’s largest online search engine. Accounting for 86.86% of all online searches, it is the most influential tech company in the world. Aside from searches, the company also inserts several Easter eggs, tricks, insider jokes, and cultural references to its various products (YouTube, Google search, and Android).
“Google encourages its employees to spend as much as a fifth of their time on their hobbies and interests. This has led to the creation of many gimmicks and Easter eggs.”
These tricks are often well disguised, thus elating users who happen to discover them. One of the most famous among their rank is the search related to the phrase, ‘’ I’m feeling curious‘’.
In this article, we will explore the origins, functions, and popularity of this trick.
I’m Feeling Curious Origins
The exact origin point of the gimmick is unknown. There is no official statement from Google regarding it. It is likely the work of one or several enthusiastic employees.
However, gauging from Google search trends, it’s plausible that the trick was introduced in 2015. There was a large spike in searches for the term during September of 2015. It’s likely the spike in searches was owed to people discovering it for the first time. It seems unlikely that millions of people worldwide suddenly stumbled upon the trick all at the same time.
However, the phrase ‘’I’m feeling curious’’ has search results going well back into the early 2000s. However, the interest in the term was very mild before September 2015.
The most likely scenario is that the trick was introduced in September 2015 for the first time. This caused a lot of users to discover it for the first time, and this would explain the resultant spike in interests in and around the period. Afterwards, interest in the term dramatically died down.
A less likely but still conceivable scenario would be that the trick existed long before, and someone made it viral in 2015. This is unlikely however as the phrase ‘’ I’m feeling curious’’ is not anything out of the ordinary for users to randomly type. Thus, the probability of very few people discovering it before 2015 is very mild.
This is probably the most educational of all of Google’s tricks and Easter eggs. Whenever someone types the phrase, ‘’I’m feeling curious’’, an information box appears at the top of the search results.
This asks the user a random question and provides an answer along with a link to the website giving the information. For example, ‘’ who is the first female to win a Nobel Prize? ‘’, the answer being Marie Currie is given in the box below, along with a link to the wiki page on female Nobel laureates.
Below the information box lies another table with the label, ‘’ Ask another question ‘’.
Selecting this leads to another factoid. This can continue for a near-limitless number of times, and never run dry on new factoids to pose to you. While most tricks merely entertain or pull some prank, this one provides education along with entertainment.
One can ward off boredom for many hours with the trick, and build up their general knowledge in the process with the trick, and build up their general knowledge in the process.
The exact code behind the system is unknown, just like its creators. The purpose of the trick is to provide users with facts and knowledge. It’s likely tailored for new users who are unsure of how to explore the net.
Some algorithms pull data from the index pages on Google’s databases, which encompass most of the information on the internet. Billions of questions are asked every day on Google. It’s likely that the engine simply poses those questions back to new users. It is also likely that the engine pulls snippets of data from various websites.
They display results from four categories”
- Google tricks
- Random facts
- Cool facts
- Interesting facts
After you type I’m feeling curious in the search option, Google’s autofill will suggest questions for you in any of the four categories. Some believe that it uses keywords like the word ‘’fact’’ to identify statements made on indexed websites.
This trick works on the US Google browser, as well as other Google browsers as well, like Google.co.uk, Google.co.in, Google.co.za, and others.
The exact number of facts displayed is unknown. It is near limitless as Google has access to most of the world’s data. Thus it can be highly immersive for information addicts, like people that are classified as INTP on the Meyers-Briggs personality test.
What if it doesn’t work?
For a while in 2019, it seemed as if Google had phased the trick out. The information box wasn’t showing up on searches anymore. But it came back in early 2020. Sometimes it doesn’t show up due to some other issue unrelated to Google’s actions. In this case, you should:
- Clear your browsing history. You can access it easily with Ctrl + H.
- After entering it, clear all browsing history for several days or more.
- If it still doesn’t work, simply come back later.
Here are some examples of fun facts, and the short answers provided by the algorithm:
1. i’m feeling curious – Google Fun Fact – Do mosquito eaters actually eat mosquitoes?
2. i’m feeling curious – Google Fun Fact – How much is the portrait of Mona Lisa worth?
3. i’m feeling curious – Google Fun Fact – Can you feel pain in your brain
4. i’m feeling curious – Google Fun Fact – what US president was never married
- Why do only men have Adam’s apples: When the larynx grows in boys during puberty, it sticks out at the front of the throat. This is called Adam’s apple. It doesn’t grow as much in females, so only males have Adam’s apples.
- What percentage of DNA do humans share with bananas: It is evident that humans share ancestry with all other life on Earth. Genes of animals who look very differently from us have an astonishing degree of similarity to our own. Human DNA sequences bear a 95% similarity with Chimpanzees and a 50% similarity with Bananas.
- Do monkeys eat bananas: Monkeys do it bananas. However, the ones fed to them in zoos are those cultivated for human consumption. They contain too much sugar and are unhealthy for monkeys. It’s like feeding them a chocolate cake or syrup.
Random Facts from Google I’m Feeling Curious
Here are some examples of random facts, and the brief answers provided by the algorithm:
- Why does the moon control the tides? : The tides are due to the gravitational pull of the Moon and the Sun on the Earth. Because the gravitational force decreases as the distance squared, the part of the Earth that is closer to the Moon or the Sun is pulled a little extra and a bulge is created.
- Who has the fastest mile run? : Hicham El Guerrouj is the current men’s record holder with his time of 3:43.13, while Svetlana Masterkova has the women’s record of 4:12.56. Since 1976, the mile is the only non-metric distance recognized by the IAAF for record purposes.
Interesting Facts from Google I’m Feeling Curious
Here are some examples of interesting facts, and the concise answers that are given by the algorithm:
- What percentage of the world’s population lives south of the Equator? : Only about 10-12% of the world’s population lives in the southern hemisphere. About 800 million people live south of the equator. This represents a fraction of the 7.8-8 billion people inhabiting the world.
- How long does it take for your eyes to adjust to darkness: It takes about 30-45 minutes for your retinal rods to fully adjust to night vision.
The Utility of the Trick
The trick helps users in a variety of ways. First, it helps kill boredom. It’s common for users to randomly explore the internet with no objective. The app steers people towards new information. It could lead one towards fields they were otherwise uninterested, or unknowledgeable in, before discovery.
One can pass hours through repeated use of the ‘’ask another question’’ option. It packages entertainment along with information and inducts many millions into new knowledge. Spending about ten minutes daily on the trick can increase someone’s general knowledge by leaps and bounds. Whether it be an eight-year-old child or a sixty-year-old senior, it can enlighten people of all stripes. It helps one raise their general knowledge, and awareness of the world.
It’s especially beneficial for more introvert types, who are addicted to information. It leads down the rabbit hole of more and more knowledge and facts.
It can equip you with facts that come handy in real-life situations. For example, it can lead you to sites that deal with emergencies like heart attacks, strokes, or accidents. It can teach you how to put out a fire, or how to deal with a house fire scenario.
And, it also had the less urgent but still useful functioning of impressing your peers. Using this function imbibes a person with many slick facts like:
- The heads on Easter Island have bodies
- Goosebumps have evolved to repel predators
- The Moon has moonquakes
- Pineapples can tenderize meat
- Man is the only animal that blushes
- The feeling of getting lost in a mall is known as Gruen transfer
- The wood frog can hold its bladder for up to eight months
- Libya has the hottest spot on the planet
- You can lose nearly a third of your taste buds while airborne
- Only two animals like spicy food: Humans, and the tree shrew
Yes, these random trivia probably won’t save your life, or increase your bank balance. But it makes for some interesting conversation fodder. You can always amuse and impress people around you with such snippets of information. It will give you a reputation as a knowledgeable and smart person.
In an age where information is plentiful, attention becomes valuable. The algorithm works to inject some intelligent facts into a public consciousness clogged with cheap entertainment.
It can also direct the user towards some other Easter eggs, such as:
- I’m feeling stellar
- I’m feeling trendy
- I’m feeling wonderful
- I’m feeling playful
- I’m feeling puzzled
- I’m feeling doodley
- I’m feeling generous
- I’m feeling artistic
The Future for this Trick
In this world of rapidly advancing technology, it’s hard for users to remain invested in the same gimmick for long. It’s already been present for over sixty months by now, and the craze has died down a bit. But it remains a popular trick and continues to rack up millions of hits every year.
It’s a refreshing addition to the modern internet. It not only provides entertainment but works in an educational capacity as well.
Some alternatives to the algorithm have already been developed by other programmers. One such substitute is the WTF Fun facts site. It was created in late 2019 when the Google algorithm was down for a while. They have their own, ‘’I’m feeling curious ‘’ search, that will give a user one of their 11,000 fun facts.
It’s far fewer than the Google trick’s capacity, but it’s still quite impressive. It can also lead someone to their Top 100 Random Facts page. This contains information in greater detail, should the reader be willing to invest time in the endeavour.
‘’I’m feeling curious ‘’ is undoubtedly one of Google’s finest tricks. It was wildly popular at its inception and remains in vogue today. Even today, many YouTube videos are made displaying the trick.
It helps millions around the world kill boredom, and receive knowledge in the process. It draws facts from a near-limitless store of information and applies it to steer people towards new avenues of knowledge.
It can be hoped that Google will further improve on the algorithm, and tailor it to improve its users’ informational blind spots.
In sharp contrast to other Google gimmicks, this trick has remained in the public consciousness, years after its inception. Perhaps it too will one day fall out of popular imagination, and be replaced by a newer trick. However, until that day comes knocking, we can continue to entertain ourselves with the trick and gain knowledge in the process.