Google Doodles

It all began as a simple “out of office” message. On August 30, 1998, as Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin set off to attend Burning Man, their website’s logo was temporarily changed to incorporate the annual festival’s signature stick figure mascot.

Today, Google Doodles are a regular fixture of the search engine’s homepage. These ephemeral works of art commemorate famous people, historical events, and holidays both big and small.

And while they may seem like just another digital diversion, the Doodles are actually pretty important. Each one links to more information on a given topic, connecting the site’s millions of daily users with art, science, and history.

Watch the video above, then chime in with your thoughts on this longstanding internet tradition.