Prepare to dive!
Google crafted a loving tribute to Jules Verne today with its interactive logo. The company replaced its homepage banner with portholes, providing a charming view of 20,000 leagues – or at least 1,000 pixels – under the sea.
This moving image of the digital deep is actually four different layers stacked on top of one another. The layers each move at a slightly different speed, providing an illusion of depth and realism. It also allows Google to cram in a lot of secret objects.
Many people will have seen the waves and seahorses, and maybe a narwhal or two. But did you spot the buried treasure chest? Or the divers? Here's a guide to the many Jules Verne mysteries scattered throughout today's Google logo.
Anchor: Use the lever to move your submarine hard to starboard (the right). When you've reached the edge of the picture, seal the hatches; you're going all the way to the bottom. After several seconds of diving, look through the far-right porthole – what would be the "e" in Google. Before you hit the ocean's floor, you'll notice an anchor trapped in coral.
Treasure chest with crown: Keep descending into the abyss. At the bottom-right corner of the image is a chest filled with gold and a glimmering crown.
Tentacles: Now drift a little to the left. There are several purple tentacles wrapped around coral or reaching menacingly toward your ship. These suckered limbs are likely a nod to the giant squid found in Verne's "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea."
Divers: Hard to port! Pull the lever all the way to the left and look through the first porthole. About half-way between the bottom of the ocean and the surface, you'll find a rocky ledge with two explorers. Look for the pearl by their feet.
A secret code?: Head back to the surface. Find the narwhal – a whale with a unicorn-like horn – just under the waves, near the center of the ocean scene. Its horn points to a bunch of bubbles. But here's the weird thing: several of the bubbles are connected by straight lines. Not exactly natural. The lines could actually be symbols, like the Runic cryptogram that kicks off Verne's " Journey to the Center of the Earth." Could this be a secret code? Google has hidden codes before. Leave a comment below if you discover what they mean.
Hot-air balloon: Because of the imprecise controls of your Google submarine, the balloon is the most frustrating Easter egg to find. Move the sub left or right until the green jumping fish's fin sits right in the middle of the "L" porthole. Lower yourself into the water a little and pull up hard. Do it right, and you'll gain enough momentum to launch out of the water and see the hot-air balloon, just like the one proposed (but never actually used) to circle the globe in Verne's "Around the World in Eighty Days."