Pop Art Doodle – 6 August 2002
For Andy Warhol’s 74th birthday the logo was recreated in four garish colours, reminiscent of his 1967 painting of Marilyn Monroe.
Einstein Doodle – 14 March 2003
The first O of Google was turned into a crude caricature of Albert Einstein for the great physicist’s 124th birthday. His famous equation describing the conversion of mass into energy is also included, with the E of the logo forming the beginning of e=mc2.
DNA Doodle – 25 April 2003
A double helix replaces the two Os as the 50th anniversary of James Watson and Francis Crick’s discovery of the shape of the deoxyribonucleic acid molecule, better known as DNA.
Flyer Doodle – 17 December 2003
The centenary of the first recognised heavier-than-air aircraft’s maiden flight – the Wright Brothers’ Flyer – is remembered here, with the two propellors of the Flyer forming the Os of Google.
Leonardo Doodle – 15 April 2005
The 553rd birthday of the great Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci is commemorated with a series of sketchings in his style, with a version of the Vitruvian Man forming the first O and the Mona Lisa the second.
Braille Doodle – 4 January 2006
Five blue dots, three red dots, three yellow dots, four blue, three green and two red: yes, it’s Google spelled out in Braille. This was issued in celebration of the 197th birthday of Louis Braille, who invented the embossed-point alphabet for blind and visually impaired people.
Scream Doodle – 12 December 2006
The entire logo was re-imagined as Edvard Munch’s Scream for the artist’s 146th birthday in 2006. The screaming figure’s head forms the second O; there is no G.
Michael Jackson Doodle – 29 August 2009
A couple of months after the death of Michael Jackson, the two Os in Google were replaced with two feet, en pointe, wearing patent leather shoes and shiny white socks below slightly-too-short trousers.
The logo was in honour of the late King of Pop’s 51st birthday, which would have fallen on that day.
The UFO Series Doodles
More recently Google caused a rush of speculation across the net with its UFO series:
Unexplained Phenomenon Doodle – 5 September 2009
A flying saucer floats above the logo, a tractor beam lifting the second O in an apparent abduction. Clicking on the doodle took the user through to a search page for “unexplained phenomenon”. What could it all mean?
A few internet conspiracy theorists suggested, in apparent seriousness, that it meant aliens had finally contacted the Earth – presumably via the switchboard at Google’s head offices.
Crop circle Doodle – 15 September 2009
Released just two weeks after the Unexplained Phenomenon doodle, it showed a UFO hovering above a cornfield, the word ‘Google’ written in crop circles beneath it.
The image linked through to the search page for “crop circles”.
A Google Twitter post contained a string of coordinates, centring on Woodham Road, Woking, Surrey.
This was soon followed up by…
Martian Invasion Doodle – 21 September 2009
Another doodle showing a UFO, this time with three long-legged ‘walkers’ trampling over the Surrey countryside.
After this, Google finally admitted what it had been up to: celebrating the 143rd birthday of science fiction pioneer HG Wells. Micheal Lopez, a Google web designer, wrote in a blog post: "We’re finally acknowledging the reason for the doodles with an official nod to Herbert George Wells, who would be 143 years old today.
"The invasion of the logo by alien crafts and pods makes our series complete, but you'll have to read the book to find out how Wells' story really ends."
Some users had already worked this out after the second doodle, as Woodham Road, mentioned in the coordinates Tweet, is near Horsell Commons, the location of the first alien landings in HG Wells' 1898 novel War of the Worlds.