Google’s Lawn Mowing Goats

Google, the company behind the eponymous search engine, has been known to do a few strange things.  In May of this year, they turned their logo into a playable version of Pac-Man.  They annually put up outlandish April Fools’ Day jokes, such as MentalPlex, the mind reading search engine; TISP, bringing high speed Internet access into homes via the toilet; and most recently, changing its name to Topeka.  Google does all sorts of out of the box, oddly creative things.

So it shouldn’t surprise you that they mow some of their lawns using goats.

The picture at the right comes from the Official Google Blog, specifically this post dated May (not April) 1, 2009.  Google retained the services of a company called California Grazing, which provided them with 200 goats and a goat-herding border collie — plus the expertise needed to get the goats to “mow” the lawn and, of course, re-fertilized it.   The cost: roughly the same as mowing the lawn.  The upside: It’s cool, eco-friendly, and as Google’s Director of Real Estate and Workplace Services noted, “goats are a lot cuter to watch than lawn mowers.”  The downside: Fresh-cut grass smells great; re-fertilized grass, not so much.

Bonus fact: Google also likes to hide “easter eggs” — intentional hidden messages — in search results.   Try these searches: ascii artrecursionanagram.

From the ArchivesWhat Google Knows: As part of Google’s ad serving suite of tools, they end up collecting a bunch of data about you — and at times, it can be creepy how accurate it is.

Related: “Raising Goats For Dummies” by Cheryl K. Smith. Somehow, this has 16 reviews (averaging 4.5 stars).

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