The intertoobs have been abuzz with Google’s seemingly unexplained latest doodle: A UFO beaming up one of Google’s “O”s. The plot thickened when Google’s Twitter account Tweeted the following: “1.12.12 188.8.131.52 15 1.18.5 184.108.40.206.14.7 20.15 21.19.” What did it all mean? Was Google giving credence to UFO believers? Or referring to the wife of Japan’s new Prime Minister for her belief that she traveled to Venus on a UFO? Or perhaps honoring Voyager 1’s launch (Sept. 5, 1977) or space shuttle Discovery’s first landing on Sept. 5, 1984? None of the above, it turns out.
Google was paying homage to the 20th anniversary of 1980s Japanese video game, Zero Wing. According to CNET, apparently a villan from the game named Cats makes this somewhat famous declaration at the beginning of Zero Wing: “How are you gentlemen. All your base are belong to us.”
When you take all the numbers in the Google tweet and turn them into the corresponding letters of the alphabet, you get: “All your O are belong to us.”
The world can rest now. Google’s search page is now back to normal. And the Google techies are back to playing video games.
Nancy Atkinson is currently Universe Today’s Contributing Editor. Previously she served as UT’s Senior Editor and lead writer, and has worked with Astronomy Cast and 365 Days of Astronomy. Nancy is the author of the new book “Incredible Stories from Space: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Missions Changing Our View of the Cosmos.” She is also a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.