After Google Earth, search giant sets April 1 sights on Mars
Google showed how funny its plans for world domination could be by issuing an April Fool’s invitation to establish a human colony on the planet Mars in an expedition led by co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin together with friend and Virgin founder Richard Branson.
“Earth has issues, and it’s time humanity came up with a plan B,” said Google as it urged users to sign up for “Project Virgle”, due to leave Earth in 2014.
The elaborate prank includes a YouTube video featuring Brin and Page, an application form asking wannabe Mars pioneers for their opinions on algae as food or 1/3 gravity, and a 100-year plan.
In the real world, Google is cooperating with NASA on a number of technology projects and is trying to help encourage the space industry to become more entrepreneurial.
The joke continues a Google tradition that began in 2000 with the April 1 launch of the MentalPlex, a swirling spiral promising smarter and faster searches when users stared into it while projecting a mental image of what they wanted to find.
Other examples included Google Romance in 2006, that treated finding love as “just another search problem” and offered to send couples on a “Contextual Date“, paid for by Google as long as they endured relevant ads during the date.
Funniest of all was Google’s announcement to the public of Gmail on April 1 2004, which many took for a hoax because of the unprecented 1 gigabyte of free storage on offer. It wasn’t.