Did you notice that the Google logo on the main search page had a spaceship beaming up one of the “O”s in “Google” for a couple of days? Bless their hearts, Google can be marvelously odd sometimes.

The logo is frequently changed for special events and holidays, but there was no obvious reason for the spaceship last week. Google issued a statement that did not explain anything:

“We consider the second ‘o’ critical to user recognition of our brand and pronunciation of our name. We are actively looking into the mysterious tweet that has appeared on the Google twitter stream and the disappearance of the ‘o’ on the Google home page. We hope to have an update in the coming weeks.”

The “mysterious tweet” on Google’s Twitter page turned up on Friday: “1.12.12 15 1.18.5 20.15 21.19.”

Turn that into letters of the alphabet and you get: “All your O are belong to us.”

And thus the mystery was solved. The logo was a subtle tribute to the 1980s Japanese video game, Zero Wing, which had a phrase that went viral a few years ago: “How are you gentlemen !! All your base are belong to us.” Google was celebrating the game’s twentieth anniversary.

See? It was obvious.

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