Have a ball with today's 'mysterious' Google doodle

Updated: The company surely has a reason ... it always has a reason

Google Doodle

It's not often that Google's daily doodle makes me utter a "Yikes," but today is one of those days.

The six Google letters are formed simply enough with colored balls - blue, green, orange and red - of various sizes. The exclamation was uttered when my curser came in contact with the assemblage: Chaos ensued as the balls bounced about the page before reassembling in their assigned spots.

(2010's 25 Geekiest 25th Anniversaries)

Feel free to waste your own time by finding ways to manipulate the things (I found momentary satisfaction in placing my cursor between the second "O" and the second "G" and clicking furiously enough to create and maintain a no-letter zone where once the doodle rested in peace.)

As per custom, speculation has begun as to Google's artistic motivation.

From PCWorld:

It's not clear what prompted Google to launch the playful design, but many are guessing it's a celebration of Google's anniversary. The company was incorporated on September 7, 1998.

Softpedia points out that Google's logo is a JavaScript-based particle movement simulator, suggesting the logo may be in honor of a scientific achievement or notable personality. You may remember that Google released a series of sci-fi related Google Doodles in September 2009 to celebrate the 143rd birthday of author H.G. Wells. So this may be the first doodle in a series of tributes just like last year.

A Google spokesperson tells Search Engine Land that it's not anniversary related and the vague answer indicates a more likely marketing motivation:

A Google spokesperson told me the logo "is not related to Google's birthday but is fast, fun and interactive, just the way we think search should be." That may imply that something "fast, fun and interactive" will be announced at tomorrow's big search event at Google. I suspect until then, we really won't know the true meaning of this logo.

The easily distracted my want to consider today a good chance to try Bing.

(Update: For those who aren't seeing the bouncing balls, I seem to recall reading that this show is limited geographically; sorry I can't dig up that link.)

(Update 2: The Washington Post has collected a number of the leading theories.)

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