The history of Earth Day is a long and storied one. After witnessing the aftermath of an oil spill in 1969, Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson proposed the idea of a national day to promote environmental consciousness. On April 22 of 1970, Earth Day came together after Nelson and his team enlisted support from both Republicans and Democrats. In 1990, Earth Day went global, and the rest has been history.

Google Doodles, like Earth Day, have come a long way. In 2001, Google created the first Google Doodle to commemorate the big day, featuring two images of planets where the O’s in the company’s name go (in fact, Mashable has a pretty comprehensive set of images focusing on the Earth Day doodles from the last decade plus). This year’s doodle offers interactive components, as well as a daytime and a nighttime viewpoint.

In the doodle, fish pop out of the water, seasons change and plants bloom and die. The sun rises and sets and the moon also rises and sets. Additionally, if you scroll over today’s special doodle you can stop the sun from moving, click on a cloud to make it snow or rain, and even click on some caves to see what dwells inside. So take a second to reflect on the planet and the changes we’ve made since the seventies, when gas problems and foul-smelling factory pollution was far more commonplace. Click on over to Google’s home page to experience the doodle for yourself.


Check out some of Google's other cool doodles, here and here.



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