Search engines give us the tools to learn almost any skill, explore any topic, and even grow our businesses. With a device in hand, users have access to nearly unlimited information at their fingertips—and a love of trivia is a love of the random or useless fact. However, searches aren’t always the result of a noble quest for knowledge.
Some Google searches resemble a user’s stream of consciousness, with queries born purely out of curiosity. Sometimes, those queries can get weird.
Let’s take a look at some of the most-searched (and most head-scratching) questions on Google.
Searches about the end of the world
Doomsday searches are common. Using the qualifier “what would happen if,” the most popular searches about the demise of the sun saw a combined average monthly search volume of 6k in the United States between January and October 2022.
During that same period, users sought to satisfy their curiosity about alternative apocalyptic scenarios.
Searchers looked up the events that would (hypothetically) follow if the planet stopped rotating, the Yellowstone Caldera supervolcano erupted, the moon disappeared, or Earth and the moon collided.
If you thought you were the only person who’s Googled world-ending events or sudden changes in the physical forces of our universe, you can officially breathe a sigh of relief.
Why does your pet do that?
If you have a furry, four-legged best friend, they’re probably at the top of your life’s priority list. We play, cuddle, care for, and share our homes with them. We scroll for hours watching them on social media, and the most popular TikToks of cats and dogs can rack up millions of views.
It should come as no surprise that Google users are curious about the inner workings of their pets’ minds.
From January to October 2022, dog owners tried to find out why their pet was licking them at a rate of 23k searches per month in the US. Cat owners weren’t far behind—they searched “why does my cat lick me” at a volume of 19.8k searches per month.
If you’ve ever wondered why your pet stares at you or follows you around, you’re not alone there either.
On average, dog owners searched for an explanation of staring 10.4k times and following 6.3k times per month, while cat owners asked the same questions about 8.5k (staring) and 4.8k (following) times, respectively.
Semrush data shows that many owners also searched for more niche information.
As it turns out, your cat is not the only one who chews on plastic (1.2k monthly searches). Similarly, your dog is not the only one who smells like Fritos (2.1k monthly searches).
Pets can’t tell us what’s on their minds. But, search data shows what’s most commonly on ours, helping us better understand the behaviors of our companions.
People don’t like bugs
Unless you’re an arachnologist, spiders are probably an unfortunate eight-legged aspect of reality no matter where you live.
Unsurprisingly, search data shows that people really don’t like spiders. Searches for different ways to kill spiders racked up a combined 122 searches per month.
Additionally, you might be able to guess some of the world’s least popular inhabitants based on searches about what would happen if they went extinct, including mosquitoes, wasps, and ticks. However, it’s all a matter of perspective—some people may just be curious about the ecological impact of losing any species of insect, no matter how creepy or gross they are.
Curiously enough, spiders were spared in searches about what would happen if they went extinct. They clocked in at only 88 searches per month, on average.
Remember Who Search Engines Are Really There For
Anyone who uses Google has probably searched for something weird or embarrassing at some point.
From wondering how we’re all going to die to finding the scientific explanation for your dog’s eau de corn chip, users search for weird and wonderful things on the internet every day.
The quest for knowledge is a fundamental part of being human, and Semrush search data shows that curiosity continues to thrive.
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