Google is celebrating its 21st birthday with a doodle that bears a testament to the year of its inception–1998. The doodle depicts a desktop with the older Google home page on a paper with the timestamp 27 September 1998.  Google’s co-founders, then Stanford students, Larry Page and Sergey Brin had first published a paper about the prototype of a large scale search engine in 1998.

Now, after two decades, it is undoubtedly the biggest search engine with around 24 million webpages and over a trillion search queries in a year. Besides its massive database and interesting solutions, its creative doodles have also become something that users always look forward to. But, what we don’t often realize is that it takes a whole lot of hard work and dedication to create a perfect doodle that we often disregard as little tricks.

Over the years, Google’s Doodle team has created hundreds of dedications to mark our important days and to remember pioneers from across industries and each corner of the world. So to mark Google’s 21st birthday, we have brought you a list of Top 21 doodles of all times to take you down the memory lane.

Burning Man Festival

Burning Man Festival was initially intended as a joke to let Google users know that Page and Brin were at the Burn Man Festival. The first-ever Google doodle was simplistic in nature and just included a stick figure behind the second ‘o’.  But, it gave them the idea to customize their logo to mark important events and there has been no looking back ever since.

Google’s 4th Birthday

Google recognizes innovators and artists from every field through its creative doodle every year. But, posted online on this day in 2002, it was the first Google doodle to recognize its own birthday. Google has followed the tradition ever since to mark the creation of the world’s most popular search engine. Moreover, all of us are more than happy to join in the celebrations of our all-time savior from the virtual world.

20th Google Birthday (US)

From simplistic designs to creative flashbacks, doodles on its own birthday have always been special. But, among them all, Google’s 20th birthday edition has been the best. To mark two decades of the company’s successful journey, the nostalgic doodle video featured the most popular search queries on its platform in the past two decades.

Anniversary of Belka and Strelka Space Flight

Space has always been a popular subject among the best Google doodles every year. The doodle marked the 50th anniversary of Soviet Space Flight carrying its immensely popular space dogs, Belka and Strelka. First living creatures to return safely from the space orbit, they paved way for the Soviets scientists to send a human to space less than a year later.

Teachers’ Day 2019

This cute octopus gif has been used as a common teacher’s day doodle across countries and rightly so. Every year, Google comes up with beautiful dedication for teachers to mark teacher’s day across the globe. Keeping up with its previous creations, a multitasking octopus in place of a teacher was definitely a great thought. 

Doodle 4 Google 2019 – US Winner

Google first launched its doors of creative opportunities in the form of Doodle 4 Google back in 2005. This year’s US edition of the contest was bagged by Arantza Peña Popo who beautifully painted her dream of one day being able to help her mom the way she has. The submitted statement with her artwork read, “When I grow up, I hope to care for my mom as much as she cared for me my entire life.”

Hedwig Kohn’s 132nd Birthday

Google has always taken up its doodles as an opportunity to recognize notable contributors from around the world. Marking her 132nd birth anniversary of Hedwig Kohn, the doodle takes us to the pioneering physicist’s lab. She was one of only three women who were certified to teach physics at a German university before World War II.

Hans Christian Gram’s 166th Birthday

Among many birthday doodles released this year, this one was something that caught our attention. Celebrating Danish microbiologist Hans Christian Gram, doodler’s eye for detail and a soothing colour combination makes it even more appealing besides the intriguing thought behind the illustration. A simple staining technique developed by him to identify types of bacteria is still widely used for the same after a hundred years.

122nd Birthday of Charlie Chaplin

Google’s Doodle team paid tribute to Charlie Chaplin on his 122nd birthday through a silent video doodle. The two-minute silent film shot imbibed his style and featured the entire creative team behind the Google doodles. It was also the company’s first-ever live-action video doodle and is definitely one of the most heartfelt Google doodles ever made.

International Women’s Day 2014

In its efforts towards doodle diversity and inclusion, Google marked the International Women’s Day in 2014 with a video doodle featuring over 100 inspiring women from across industries. The doodle was the first to feature so many people in a single doodle. It attempted to cover women from almost several fields including entertainment, agriculture, business, and education.

Halloween 2008

Halloween has been one of the many occasions on which the company posts a new doodle every year. Even the first-ever animated doodle was also released on the occasion of Halloween back in 2000. Moreover, the spooky Halloween doodle designed in 2008 continues to be a classic in Google’s collection.

Celebrating Georges Méliès

This was the first Virtual Reality (VR)/360° interactive Google doodle which was created in collaboration with the Google Spotlight Stories, Google Arts & Culture, and Cinémathèque Française teams. The doodle made as a tribute to the French illusionist and film director even went on to be nominated for an Emmy-award.

Claude Debussy’s 151st Birthday

The doodle celebrating Claude Debussy’s 151st birthday panned across an 1800’s night with the piano music in the background. The doodler incorporated a retro look to the video with flickering lights, a quiet city and pouring rain set against the melodious music to pay tribute to the great composer.

200th Anniversary of Grimm’s Fairy Tales

Marking two centuries of Grimm’s Fairy Tales, it was designed to be similar to comics. It was the first doodle that came as a slideshow to allow readers to pan through the story at their own pace. Moreover, it had a modern take on the Brother’s creation Little Red Riding Hood with flat designs and an alternate ending.

Lotte Reiniger’s 117th Birthday

Well before computer animations became a thing, Lotte Reininger would create visually stunning films using black cardboard and scissors. He created an animation style that relied on thousands of photos of paper cut-out silhouettes arranged to tell a story. As a tribute to his style, a first of its kind Google doodle was specifically designed using paper cut-outs on his 117th birth anniversary.

Earth Day Quiz 2015

Posted on the occasion of Earth Day in 2015, the doodle quiz allowed users to take a scientific personality quiz and also enabled them to learn some fun animal facts in the process. Many animal-loving celebrities even shared their videos while taking this quiz. The quiz was launched in collaboration with google.org which matched donations for the entire month made to the animal welfare organizations.

44th Anniversary of the Birth of Hip Hop, 2017

Google had launched this cool tutorial doodle to mark the 44th anniversary of the moment when Hip Hop was born. It includes a brief history of Hip Hop by the former host of Yo! MTV Raps, Fab 5 Freddy and a tutorial on how to be a virtual DJ. The doodle team collaborated with seven creative partners and nine Hip Hop pioneers to create the Doodle and with 50 more Hip Hop insiders to spread the word.

Discovery of Water on the Moon, 2009

It is one of the most popular Google doodles of all time. But, you may be surprised to know that the artist behind this illustration actually designed it in just four hours. Moreover, even after almost a decade of its release, it continues to hold the record for the fastest doodle launch ever in the team’s history. She was so inspired by a news piece on the discovery of water on the moon that she immediately decided to work on a doodle to mark the event.

Richard Scarry’s 92nd Birthday

As a special doodle on Richard Scarry’s 92nd birthday, this was created in collaboration with members of the Random House including one of his actual art directors and son to create an original pencil and watercolor piece depicting Busytown. The initial drawing was done in pencil, then scanned digitally and printed out in solid black on clear film which was then transferred to the illustration board in blue pencil so as allow the doodler to work on the painting on a separate layer.

Celebrating Selena Quintanilla

This amazing musical doodle video was created in the honor of Mexican-American music & entertainment icon, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, Selena Quintanilla.  In an attempt to get everything perfect, it actually took the team around a year and a half to complete this music video which featured her entire journey from childhood struggles to acclaim.

Dr. Maya Angelou’s 90th Birthday

Finally, our last doodle on the list was Google’s tribute to the legendary author, poet, memoirist, and activist Dr. Maya Angelou. The beautiful doodle video played her iconic poem, ‘Still, I Rise’ in the voice of people she inspired. Those reciting the poem included Alicia Keys, Martina McBride, and Oprah Winfrey against the backdrop of beautiful captions featured in the video.

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