Google has revealed Australia’s most searched-for terms in 2016 and the answers include the obvious, the momentous, the weird and the downright unsavoury.
Australians spent 2016 keen for more information about the United States election, eventual President-elect Donald Trump, Pokemon Go and, worryingly, asked Google “why is my poop green?” in large numbers.
(In case you were wondering, that answer can be found here).
Our thirst for news about the November US election was so great that we searched for information on it more often than we did for our own federal election in July.
There were also plenty of queries of the more mundane variety: “What is all purpose flour?”, “Why is my eye twitching?” and “Where is my phone?” were some of the pressing questions Australians needed answered.
Out of the top ten individuals Australians searched for the most, the more interesting included controversial rugby league player Mitchell Pearce, politician Pauline Hanson and Harambe the gorilla.
Harambe was the 17-year-old silverback who was killed by staff at Cincinnati Zoo in the United States in May when a toddler entered his enclosure.
Zookeepers, fearing for the boy’s life, shot the gorilla. The incident caught on film, however, and not everyone was so sure killing Harambe was the only option. This prompted an outpouring of emotion for the primate, which then developed into internet meme notoriety.
Australians even voted for Harambe – who was not a candidate – on their ballot papers at the July federal election.
Mitchell Pearce became the most Googled Australian of 2016 primarily because of his infamous 2016 pre-season controversy. He was caught on film simulating a sex act with a dog.
Meanwhile Pauline Hanson made the list after returning from a 20-year national political hiatus to be voted into the Senate, along with three other Pauline Hanson’s One Nation senators at the July election.
But we still had more questions. Some were about Pokemon Go, the augmented virtual reality game which was released in Australia in July 2016.
We were also confused about Brexit (the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union).
Australia’s Eurovision appearance had people scratching their heads, as did the definition of ‘plebiscite’. In case you were wondering, it’s a direct vote of all electors on an important public question.
That trended because the Coalition’s proposed plebiscite on same-sex marriage was a burning issue in the halls of power and around Australia.
More broadly it seemed Australians were feeling very philosophical this year, with “What is the meaning of life?” and “What is love?” making the list.
Top category searches
Australians: Mitchell Pearce
Global people: Donald Trump
News events: US election results
Sporting events: Olympics
Deaths: David Bowie
How to …?: tie a tie
What is …?: my IP address
Why is …?: there a leap day
Top searches overall:
Australian Open 2016