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America's Biggest 'What Is...?' Google Searches

Ever typed an embarrassing question into Google and felt a little ashamed? You're not alone. After all, the beauty of Google is that it won’t judge you the way a person might if you asked it, say, how

Ever typed an embarrassing question into Google and felt a little ashamed? You're not alone. After all, the beauty of Google is that it won’t judge you the way a person might if you asked it, say, how many stripes are on the American flag or how many videos of the Harlem Shake are available on the internet (it’s about 40,000, in case you were wondering). In 2013, anonymous people all over the world typed “WHAT IS ___” into our most beloved search engine in the hope of finding some valuable information online. Conveniently, at the end of every year, Google releases “Zeitgeist Lists” which reveal people’s top ten searches in music, celebrities, cities, gadgets, you name it. Focusing simply on the “what is” searches, we gain some fascinating insights into what the average person is curious about, all the more reliable because these searches were made behind the comfortable anonymity of a computer screen. This list of searches and the others Google has released certainly speak volumes about our cultural milieu and, shall we say, the intellectual variety of the American people. Many reveal the ways in which we rely on apps and social media; others draw focus to our ever-shifting and complex governmental system; still more suggest that many, many people watched the VMA awards... What were the American people most curious about, or most ignorant of, in the last year? Make of it what you will; maybe you'll learn something new, as these curious searchers did.

10 What is Bitcoin?

9 What Is Snapchat?

8 What is Lupus?

7 What Is Obamacare?

6 What Is Sequestration?

5 What Is Gluten?

4 What Is Molly?

3 What is DOMA?

2 What Is Ricin?

1 What Is Twerking?

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America's Biggest 'What Is...?' Google Searches