Today's Google Doodle for Earth Day 2013 has a lot to experience. So much, in fact, Google created a "sightseeing checklist" to make sure you don't miss anything. All four seasons, animals, and weather that you control are among the natural wonders you'll find.
"Today we are celebrating Earth Day with an interactive doodle that captures a slice of nature's subtle wonders," wrote Doodler Leon Hong. "We hope you enjoy discovering animals, controlling the weather, and observing the seasons. Use the sightseeing checklist below to make sure you do not miss anything!"
Yellow dandelions are shaped like a "G", beside two cave openings that each serve as an "o". The lake leads to the second "g", and turns into stream shaped like "e" – which freezes in the winter. Making up the "l" is a tree that starts small and grows with each passing year.
After hitting the play button (the sun) on Google's home page, you will watch the sun set and day turn into night during the spring season. There are four moons you'll see: full, half, crescent, and gibbous.
After each night, the sun rises once again, bringing a new season – cycling through summer, fall, winter, and back to spring again.
Click on the clouds to make it rain during spring, summer, and fall.
Clicking on the clouds during the winter will produce snow. Making it snow will cover everything until spring arrives and all of the snow melts, except on the mountain peaks.
Mousing over the interactive logo will make the "wind" blow, but not much will happen unless you're near the large "G" and the dandelions will be blown away temporarily.
There are also plenty of creatures. You'll spot ants hanging around the three holes on the bottom left beneath the dandelions. Click on the hole in the ground to the right of the ant colony and a badger will pop up.
There are also birds in the sky from time to time. A bear will pop out of each of the caves when you click on opening. Fish swim in the lake. At night, you will also see green fireflies – the quickest way to make fireflies appear is to make it rain and then shut it off.
Here's Google's checklist:
Animated and interactive logos are becoming a bit of a tradition on Earth Day for Google.
Last year's animated logo featured a time lapse view of Google's logo being grown from seeds all the way into multi-colored flowers. And the 2011 Earth Day Google Doodle was interactive, featuring nine different animated animals – including a panda, penguin, and bear.
Here's a look back at all of Google’s Earth Day Doodles dating back to 2001:
Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970 and continues to be observed yearly on April 22 in more than 190 countries to raise awareness about environmental issues. This year the focus is on climate change.
Just ahead of Earth Day, Google released a white paper, "Expanding Renewable Energy Options for Companies Through Utility-Offered 'Renewable Energy Tariffs'", which provides a framework for how utility companies can provide businesses a renewable power option. Google has partnered with Duke Energy to do just that as they expand their Lenoir, N.C., data center.
Google regularly invests in green initiatives, including as solar power and wind energy, such as earlier this year in Texas.
What do you think of this year's interactive Google Doodle? Which Earth Day logo is your favorite? Tell us in the comments.
Meet Your Favorite Search Engine Watch Contributors
Many of SEW's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Thom Craver, Josh Braaten, Lisa Barone, Simon Heseltine, Josh McCoy, Lisa Raehsler, Greg Jarboe, Dan Cristo, Joseph Kerschbaum, John Gagnon, Eric Enge and more!