Google's famous follies: 10 favorite April Fools’ gags and Easter Eggs

The Goog has a long and storied history of April Fools’ Day jokes and offbeat Easter Eggs. Here's a look at some of our favorites.

What do you mean, the pigeon thing isn't real?

Ah, Google – the slightly terrifying info-titan with a puckish streak. The company is well-known for its Easter Eggs and other displays of a corporate sense of humor, none more famous than its April Fool's jokes. What follows is our pick of the litter. If you're not amused, make sure to send Gmail messages about it, so that Google can improve for next year (and here are some other ways to celebrate April 1).

RELATED: 10 geeky and foolish ways to celebrate April Fools' Day

MentalPlex (2000)
MentalPlex (2000)

The first April Fool's Day joke perpetrated by Google was also one of its best, in part because most people weren't on the lookout for it. Stare at the hypno-GIF, and MentalPlex reads your mind for search queries!

TiSP (2007)
TiSP (2007)

It's Google Fiber, delivered via your toilet. You flush the weighted end of a fiber cable down the drain and presto! High-speed Internet connectivity, delivered in the most disgusting way possible.

The global Rickroll (2008)
Credit: Neat-o-rama
The global Rickroll (2008)

Only fragmentary records of the Great Rickroll of April 2008 are available, but it seems some madman at Google activated the Internet's nuclear launch codes, causing huge numbers of links to wind up pointed at the infamous Rick Astley music video.

Google Teleport (2011)
Credit: http://www.google.cn/intl/zh-CN/landing/teleport/
Google Teleport (2011)

I honestly don't know what the hell this is supposed to be, but I laughed for about five minutes after I found it. (Original site is written in Chinese, but retains most of its hilarity thanks to Google Translate).

Interplanetary analytics (2012)
Interplanetary analytics (2012)

There's something oddly exciting – and not actually that far-fetched – about the idea of Google analytics numbers from the moon.

Poorly guarded data centers (2012)
Poorly guarded data centers (2012)

Google released a new streetview-esque walkthrough capability for its Lenoir, N.C., data center last year. Clearly, the pictured Stormtrooper is a hoax – one has to assume that Google's security guards would have much better aim.

Google Gulp (2005)
Google Gulp (2005)

This really isn't even that ridiculous any more, given the sheer goofiness of the sports drink industry. Who'd really be surprised if Gatorade came up with a similar “student edition” that ostensibly made you smarter?

PigeonRank (2002)
PigeonRank (2002)

Another early hit, PidgeonRank was a great excuse for Google to trot out a bunch of charts and graphs purporting to measure “wingspan vs. beak speed” and other highly relevant metrics. (Get it? Because Google measures more or less everything? There's a 32.883% chance you just laughed at this, Steve.)

NINJA! (?)
NINJA! (?)

Entering the Konami code (up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A) makes little cartoon ninjas appear in Google Reader. Yet another thing we're all going to miss when it gets taken down.

Chrome multitasking mode (2012)
Chrome multitasking mode (2012)

The idea of using a couple of mice at once makes zero sense, of course, but the examples Google came up with for the video are pretty hilarious.

Email Jon Gold at jgold@nww.com and follow him on Twitter at @NWWJonGold.