Top Google searches of 2017: Hurricanes, Matt Lauer and slime
iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Google released its lists of trends for the most popular search terms, phrases and questions for the year — and it turns out a whole lot of people are apparently making slime.
How to make slime, it turns out, was the No. 1 “how” question people were searching. How to buy bitcoin was another common question, while others want to know what DACA and “covfefe” are.
The internet giant unveiled its “Year in Search” alongside a video saying, “This year more than ever, we asked how” with clips of some of the most-searched content.
As for the top search terms overall for the United States, Google said they were calculated “based on search terms that had a high spike in traffic in 2017 as compared to 2016.”
Here’s the list of the top 10 searches:
1. Hurricane Irma
Hurricane Irma hit Florida in mid-September as a Category 4 storm, causing the evacuation of 6.5 million people and a trail of immense destruction that left a number of fatalities in the U.S. and the Caribbean.
Before hitting Florida, the catastrophic hurricane struck Cuba as a Category 5 storm and left 90 percent of the structures on Barbuda destroyed.
The cost of the natural disaster could hit multi-billions of dollars in economic impact and losses.
2. Matt Lauer
NBC announced on Nov. 30 they had fired Matt Lauer, one the hosts of the “Today” show, after receiving and investigating an allegation of “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace,” the network said.
The network later received at least two more complaints related to Lauer, The New York Times reported, citing a person briefed on the matter. ABC News was not able to verify these additional claims and a request for comment from Lauer’s camp and NBC were not returned.
In a statement he released on Nov. 30, he said some of the allegations were “untrue or mischaracterized,” but “there is enough truth in these stories to make me feel embarrassed and ashamed.”
3. Tom Petty
Tom Petty, best known as front man for the band Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, died on Oct. 2.
Some of his most well-known hits included “Free Fallin’,” “American Girl” and “I Won’t Back Down.”
Petty, 66, had been rushed to the hospital after going into cardiac arrest, according to his family.
4. Super Bowl
Players and pundits have called it the greatest Super Bowl of all-time. The game went into the first overtime in Super Bowl history.
It was Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s fifth Super Bowl win and he was named Most Valuable Player. Lady Gaga headlined the halftime show.
5. Las Vegas shooting
The deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history left 58 dead and more than 520 injured on Oct. 1 at a country music festival in Las Vegas.
The shooter, perched on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel, shot down at the concert.
He was found dead in his hotel room with more than 23 firearms inside.
6. Mayweather vs. McGregor fight
In one of the most anticipated boxing matches of the decade, pro boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. defeated mixed martial artist Conor McGregor on Aug. 26.
McGregor challenged Mayweather to the fight, and Mayweather came out of retirement to accept the challenge.
With a price tag of $99.95, pay-per-view access raked in at least $450 million in revenue in the U.S.
The search “how to watch the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight” was the No. 4 searched “how” question on Google in 2017.
7. Solar eclipse
A rare total solar eclipse was seen in the U.S. on Aug. 21, leaving parts of the country in utter darkness for a few minutes, but a partial eclipse was visible in every state.
The eclipse was particularly rare because it was the first time since June 8, 1918 that the path of totality exclusively crosses the continental U.S. and it was also the first continent-wide eclipse to be visible only from the U.S. since 1776.
Many people purchased or created solar eclipse glasses in order to safely watch the astronomical event.
The search “how to make solar eclipse glasses” was the No. 2 “how” question on Google in 2017, while “how to watch the solar eclipse” was the third.
8. Hurricane Harvey
Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas on Aug. 25 as a Category 4 hurricane, leaving thousands without homes and parts of the state flooded.
Tens of thousands were left with destroyed homes, seeking shelters and rescue from the rising waters, and applying for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Approximately 80 percent of Texans lacked flood insurance, according to data from the Texas Department of Insurance.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbot said his state will need federal relief money “far in excess” of $125 billion.
Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez was found dead on April 19 after committing suicide in his prison cell.
He was convicted in 2015 for murder and was serving a life sentence.
A week before his suicide, Hernandez was found not guilty in two other killings in Boston in 2012.
His brain was donated to scientists after his death to be tested for chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the degenerative brain disease known as CTE.
Results of testing showed signs of severe CTE, which is caused by repeated head trauma like concussions.
10. Fidget spinners
This year, kids went crazy over fidget spinners, the 3-inch spinning gadget.
The toy had been around for years but this spring, it created a mania.
Unlike other toys, fidget spinners aren’t manufactured by a major company or promoted by commercials. Instead, they were easier found at convenience stores and gas stations.
Some schools banned the toy, citing it as a distraction.
“How to make a fidget spinner” was the No. 8 “how” search for the year, and “what is a fidget spinner?” was the No. 8 most-searched “what” question.
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