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Otter-ly adorable: Google Doodle celebrates Singapore’s National Day with smooth-coated otters

By Liu Hongzuo - on 7 Aug 2023, 12:01am

Otter-ly adorable: Google Doodle celebrates Singapore’s National Day with smooth-coated otters

Google's Singapore National Day 2023 Google Doodle for Singapore. Otters.

To commemorate Singapore’s National Day, Google has created a new Google Doodle featuring Singapore’s Bishan Otter Family for the country's local Google Search homepage.

Google Singapore said the otter's significance lies in how Singapore is ranked #1 in searching about otters, with the United States coming in second.

"Today’s Google Doodle celebrates the smooth-coated otters who have become a popular sight and a mainstay in Singapore’s ecosystem. These furry creatures are a representation of the nation’s diverse biodiversity, and our efforts in creating an environment where humans and wildlife are able to coexist harmoniously. Above all, it is also a reminder of the need to prioritise protection and conservation of Singapore’s natural heritage as we push forth as a City in Nature,” said Xiuxian Ho, Communications Manager, Google Singapore.

Otters representing Singapore’s independence is not a new phenomenon. One example was a 2016 five-minute fan-created YouTube clip about Singapore’s smooth-coated friends that was uploaded around National Day as well. Singapore’s wild otters have also been famously documented by various global media outlets, including a documentary narrated by Sir David Attenborough. The otter was also selected by The Straits Times' readers to represent Singapore for the country's 51st birthday.

These creatures also represent desirable traits like resilience and resourcefulness in the spirit of being an underdog living a Singaporean life. In recent local history, Singapore’s otters survived endangerment before their proliferation. They are also famous for their general disregard towards the feelings of high net-worth individuals, as they are known for regularly eating rich people’s koi fish pets, usually in favour of their own survival.

What are Google Doodles?

Bubble tea Google Doodle.

Google Doodles are temporary changes to Google’s company logo on its search engine’s landing page. It typically commemorates or sometimes celebrates an important world event or milestone.

The first Google Doodle was an “out-of-office” message by its founders even before Google’s incorporation as a formal company. Both founders were away from work and attending a Burning Man festival, and temporarily revised the logo with a Burning Man stick figure in place of its second “O”.

Over the years, more than 5,000 Google Doodles have been made. There are at least 53 Doodles made in 2023 alone. Before the otter Doodle above, one of the previous Singapore-related Google Doodle was about bubble tea.

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