SLIDESHOW

The Most Entertaining Google Doodles

Check out Les Paul's Guitar, Pacman, and some that you may have missed.

Google Doodles Are Fun!

Last week, Google's playable guitar doodle in honor of what would have been Les Paul's 96th birthday quickly went viral, earning a second-day holdover and its own permanent URL. According to some estimates, over 5 million hours and $100 million worth of productivity were wasted on the doodle on the first day alone. This, of course, depends on how you define the word "wasted." Besides being an ideal procrastination tool, the doodle produced a number of compositions ranging from the Beatles and Lady GaGa to the Indian national anthem.

Of course, other doodles have wasted our time or brightened our days over the past few years. Let's look at some of them, starting with the second-most popular one (after Les Paul's guitar).

Pac-Man's 30th Anniversary

May 21, 2010 -- This playable doodle in honor of the legendary arcade game was the most popular ever until last week. The Google version of Pac-Man logged just under 5 million hours of play-time in one day. If it looks a bit different from the original game because Google's doodlers built it from the ground up with Javascript, HTML, and CSS.

Rube Goldberg Machine

July 4, 2010 -- Though not interactive, Google's animated doodle celebrating the birthday of both cartoonist Rube Goldberg and the United States was entertaining and prompted plenty of "refreshing."

Nam June Paik

July 20, 2010 -- This cool animated GIF in honor of the famous video and mixed-media artist Nam June Paik probably slipped past you unless you happened to live in South Korea.

Particle Ball

September 6, 2010 -- This bouncy ball doodle, another Javascript creation, seemed mysterious at first. Turns out it was meant to celebrate Google's 12th birthday and the launch of Google instant search. One insider's tip: You can also make the balls react by shaking your browser window.

John Lennon's 70th Birthday

October 5, 2010 -- Google celebrated the occasion by offering a full-blown embedded video inside its logo for the first time. The doodle appeared normal until you clicked the 'play' button, which launched the video.

Scooby-Doo Halloween

October 31, 2010 -- Google celebrated its 12th Halloween by offering a doodle that tells a story as you scroll through five different panels. Zoinks, that's like cool, Scoob!

Christmas

December 23, 2010 -- Google staffers say they spent 250 man-hours and nearly six months making the 17 holiday scenes in this doodle that Google visitors could mouse over to celebrate the season.

Jules Verne's Birthday

February 8, 2011 -- On the the birthday of the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea author, Google created an HTML5 doodle that invited visitors to take the company logo on a deep sea voyage of its own. This also seems to be the first doodle to come in a high-definition version.

122nd Birthday of Charlie Chaplin

April 11, 2011 -- To honor the silent-movie star, Google's doodle team opted to make its first ever silent-movie doodle via YouTube.

Earth Day

April 22, 2011 -- These days, HTML5 seems to be the standard for Google's interactive doodle construction. This simple but cute logo featured all kinds of animal mouse-over action.

Sergei Prokofiev's Birthday

April 23, 2011 -- Another scroller like the Scooby-Doo doodle, this one was seen only in Russia, the homeland of classical music composer Prokofiev, who wrote "Peter and the Wolf." If doodles were gold coins, this hard-to-find piece would be worth a fortune.

World's Fair 160th Anniversary

May 1, 2011 -- Another HTML5 creation, this doodle featured a magnifying glass for zooming in on a 19th-century fair scene.

Martha Graham's Birthday

May 11, 2011 -- A work of art on multiple levels, this doodle was a team effort animated by Ryan Woodward, choreographed by Janet Eilber, and danced by Blakeley White-McGuir.

Lunar Eclipse

June 15, 2011 -- Not long after scoring a hit with its Les Paul guitar doodle, Google achieved another first with a doodles that tracked a celestial event in real-time. The doodle featured a live feed of the moon as it entered a lunar eclipse. The animated image with a scroll bar on the bottom started with a pre-eclipse image of the moon and then moved through a time-lapse of the different stages of the event before arriving at the satellite's current state. Google used a network of crowd-operated telescopes for the image through a service called Slooh.com.