Jules Verne Was Born Today, Google Celebrates with Special Doodle
Article by George Norman
On 08 Feb 2011
French author Jules Verne, who is best known for novels like Around the World in Eighty Days (which was turned into a movie starring Jackie Chan), A Journey to the Center of the Earth, and Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, was born 183 years ago today. Jules Verne was born on the 8th of February, 1828. To celebrate this joyour occasion Google is running a special doodle on google.com.

The doodle is inspired by the above-mentioned Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea novel. The letters that make up the word Google are made to look like portholes; through these portholes you can see the depths of the ocean.


In the left hand side of the screen there are pressure gages; in the right hand side there’s a lever that you can move to the left, to the right, up, and down. You will notice that as you move the lever, the scenery you see through the portholes changes. It’s like you are controlling the Google submarine and you are exploring the depths of the ocean.

Google Doodler Jennifer Horn explained that Jules Verne’s Twnety Thousand Leagues Under the Sea novel sent her imagination into hyper drive when she was a little girl. She uncovered the novel while browsing though a random aisle in her local library. The cover in particular, even though it was a bit worn and dark, captured her attention. The cover featured a couple of old-fashioned divers moving along on the ocean floor; a school of fish goes by; the silhouette of a monster can barely be seen in the background.

“The cover alone pulled me in, but I didn’t want to spoil all of the possible story lines by actually reading the book,” said Horn. “Looking back, I realize that what fascinated me most was the unknown: a creative spark and the imaginative exploration that followed. Since then, I’ve become more familiar with his work and still believe that exploration is the essence of Verne’s novels. His stories pull the readers into a world filled with infinite potential—be it in the clouds, on land or under the sea.”

The 8th of February, Jules Verne birthday, seemed like a good occasion to do something special, to feature an interesting doodle on google.com. As Horn explained, the Jules Verne-inspired doodle tries to capture the sense of adventure and exploration the author inspired through his work.

“Using CSS3 (and with help from our resident tech wizards Marcin Wichary and Kris Hom), the doodle enables anyone to navigate the Nautilus down (nearly) 20,000 leagues with the simple pull of a lever,” added Horn. “And for those using devices with built-in accelerometers and the latest versions of Google Chrome or Firefox, it’s even simpler—just tilt your device in the direction you want to explore and the Nautilus will follow.”

Google regularly posts special doodles on google.com. If you want to see what other doodles have been posted online, just head over to google.com/logos.

Tags: Google, Doodle, Jules Verne
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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