These Impossible Search Queries Turn Google Into A Total Porn Machine

In a way, Google already is a porn machine; it is what you make of it. But it turns out that a handful of bizarre, technically impossible search queries turn the raunchiness up like 20 notches and cause the engine to return porn results almost exclusively. The searches themselves aren't dirty in the slightest, either. It's ridiculous.

The bug first surfaced on Quora and seems to revolve around Googling strings that have contradictions, and shouldn't bring up any results. The query that tipped someone off to the bug was "-4^(1/4)." Turns out that is processed by Google as — 4 "4 1". When you search that, Google should try to return results that have the phrase "4 1" but nothing with an 4. That is to say it should return nothing. It doesn't though. It flips out and returns a bunch of porn.

Here's what it looks like (all text, but obviously this is a little raunchy):

The porn results don't show up for every contradictory search query. It seems that they generally need to include a number and that the exclusive part of the search comes first. It's quite possible that Google's already in the process of solving the weird issue, but here are a few searches that still work at the time of this writing, if you want to see for yourself (possibly NSFW).

-s "s 2"

-15 "15 30"

-4^(1/4)

-title "title 4"

The bug is bound to be fixed soon, so go check it out now while you still can. It's something to see. The bug, that is. Not like...you know what I mean. [Quora via The Verge via Search Engine Land]


Comments

    Well there goes my night, I was going to read a good book.

    Why did nobody tell me there was porn on the internet??

      You are only finding out now!! OMG!!

      Wait a minute......... This wont be another Quagmire situation where you don't leave the house for days will it?

        Days? Hell, I can order food delivered. make that weeks!

    Weird.

    Wait... where did the last hour go?

    what's the problem? what is porn anyway? as long as it's consensual sex and humans want to watch or pay for it there's surely nothing wrong with that.

      Completely missing the point. It just means that a completely random search that looked like math equations producing results pointing to porn.

      As long as the horse consents, and the female human consents, It's fine.

    I totally did not just look that up. Nope. Not me.

    On a side note, that is really cool. NOt that I would know.

    I'm thinking whoever has the time to stuff about on Google trying random search strings like “-4^(1/4).” is probably the kind of person for whom internet pr0n is the closest they'll get to seeing a woman with her clothes off ...

      I'm guessing the kind of person that doesn't realise that Google has a calculator built-in and that -4^(1/4) is 'negative four to the power of one over four' probably shouldn't reproduce (much less see a woman with their clothes off).

        the fourth route of negative four would be an imaginary number so google couldn't calculate it. Anyone using imaginary numbers should have the IQ to realise that.

          Google Calculator handles imaginary numbers just fine. I just tested it, putting brackets around the -4 lets Google correctly calculate the value:

          (-4)^(1 / 4) = 1 + 1 i

    I must do more research when I go home. For science.

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