Google Zeitgeist 2012 Captures The World's Most Searched Topics

“Zeitgeist” is a word that should be in everyone’s vocabulary. Roughly meaning “spirit of the times”, the term sums up so many things about a culture at a given point in history.

Google has a Zeitgeist 2012 website that shows the world’s most searched topics from this past year, broken down by subject, type of search, and country. The site’s description on the page is short and sweet and reads in full: “2012 was a year of big moments, from global games to historical elections and everything in between. With this site, we've analyzed over one trillion queries to showcase what the world searched for. ”

Google Zeitgeist 2012

What the site truly offers is a map of the world, over time, within the context of who was searching for what and when. In some cases, there are trends as banal as Carly Rae Jepsen (no offense, Carly Rae), but then you can also see how many people were engaged with the search for the Higgs Boson particle or the SOPA/PIPA battle or Oscar Pistorius’ historic Olympic run. You can spend hours lost in the interactive maps, ruminating on what’s happened in the last year.

Because it’s (almost) the end of 2012, Google saw fit to put together a video to remind everyone of the year that was:

If this doesn’t bring a tear to your eye and/or give you goosebumps, you’re probably not human.