Google Salutes Geologist

The logo appearing above the search bar on the Google homepage has been something to look forward to for millions of users every day.  Why?  Because this logo changes on a nearly daily basis as a fun way for Google to celebrate holidays, historic birthdays, anniversaries, scientific discoveries, and more.  With every new Doodle – as these creative logos have been named – a simple click will give you a brief background on the meaning behind that day’s image.

Today, Google has tipped its hat to geologists everywhere by dedicating its Google Doodle to Nicolas Steno on his 374th birthday.

Google Doodle for January 11, 2012: Nicolas Steno’s 374th birthday.

Steno was one of the world’s earliest geologists and, by many accounts, very likely the first.  He was one of the first to theorize (correctly) that fossils may not have been naturally forming inclusions in rock, but remains of prehistoric animals.  Steno also helped to develop stratigraphic relationships, Original Horizontality and Superposition, which are included today as two of the six Fundamental Principles of Geology.

Today’s Doodle commemorates these achievements by forming the logo using horizontal rock layers representing different periods of geologic time (oldest on bottom, of course).  The layers of rock are also full of fossils to represent Steno’s accomplishments in paleontology.

Happy 374th Birthday Nicolas!  And thanks, Google, for honoring the father of geology!

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