It’s Earth Day, a day to appreciate the large chunk of rock that serves as our protective spaceship as it transports us through the Universe. Google is celebrating today by highlighting six strange creatures and organisms that also call this spaceship their home.
Today’s Google Doodle animation takes people on a journey from the top of Earth’s atmosphere to our planet’s deepest caves where all kinds of diverse plants and organisms reside. The cartoon highlights creatures such as the wandering albatross, which sports the widest wingspan of any bird alive, as well as the speckled coelacanth fish, a species that’s been around for 407 million years.
These six organisms don’t even come close to representing the sheer variability of wildlife our Earth holds. Picking the creatures was the hardest part for the Doodle’s lead artist, Kevin Laughlin. “The last thing I wanted to do was feature animals based on their cuteness or how they might appeal in some way to my mammalian sensibilities,” he said in a Q&A. “We tried to focus on having a good range of organisms from around the globe that all had an extra special unique quality or earthly superlative.”
For instance, the deep cave springtail is a hexapod that lives in the deepest regions of the planet, while the coast redwood is the tallest tree in the world. Each creature sports some epic title.
By clicking on the magnifying glass for each animation, you can learn more details about these record-breaking creatures. That’s the whole point of the Earth Day creation. “If I can inspire the smallest bit of curiosity or wonder in someone, that would make me very happy,” said Laughlin. “How often does one take a moment to contemplate a tiny critter that lives in the bowels of a cave in Georgia? All life is incredible and worth celebrating.”