Forbes Innovation Games Today’s Google Doodle Is A Fun Little Game About An Endangered Amphibian Erik Kain Senior Contributor Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. I write about video games, entertainment and culture. Following May 20, 2023, 03:27pm EDT | Press play to listen to this article! Got it! Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to Linkedin Google Doodle Credit: Google Today’s Google Doodle is a celebration of Lake Xochimilco, a natural lake near Mexico City that also happens to be the last remaining habitat for the axolotls—a species related to the salamander.
These little guys are actually super adorable, and often appear to be smiling. They’re also important for medical research due to their unique ability to regenerate limbs, gills and—remarkably—even parts of their eyes and brains. You can imagine the possibilities for medical advancements.
An axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum), also known as a Mexican salamander or a Mexican walking fish, . . .
[+] swims in a tank at the Center for Regenerative Therapies at the Technical University in Dresden, Germany, 30 May 2016. Scientists at the Technical University in Dresden use the axolotl to conduct research on regenerative therapy options. PHOTO: ARNO BURGI/DPA | usage worldwide (Photo by Arno Burgi/picture alliance via Getty Images) picture alliance via Getty Images Today’s Google Doodle is a colorful little photography game where you point-and-click to take pictures of these cute little creatures.
The goal is to find all five different axolotls, and each time you snap a different photo you get a little tidbit like so: Today’s Google Doodle Credit: Google MORE FOR YOU Apple Reality Pro AR Headset: Eye-Watering Price And Brilliant Unique Feature Leaked In New Report iOS 16 5 Update Released For iPhone Users With Urgent Fixes And Innovations WWE SmackDown Results: Winners And Grades On May 19, 2023 Via Google: Today’s interactive Doodle celebrates Lake Xochimilco, a natural lake near Mexico City that is the last remaining native habitat for axolotls in the world (cousins of the salamander). The lake was once home to the ancient Aztec civilization during the 15th century, and eventually landowners in the colonial period took over occupation of the lake. On this day in 1920, the Mexican government returned Lake Xochimilco back to the locals.
Lake Xochimilco now serves as a recreational site, cultural attraction, and home to the rare axolotl species. Due to Lake Xochimilco’s unique landscape, local farmers adopted the ancient chinampa farming method, which involves artificial floating gardens. These chinamperos (or farmers) grow hundreds of different aquatic plants, from common vegetables to medicinal herbs, in the nutrient-rich soil.
It’s also a popular destination for rowing and kayaking — cruising on colorful, wooden boats called trajineras is an essential pastime on the lake. Lake Xochimilco is also currently the last remaining native habitat on Earth for axolotls, fresh-water salamanders that live in the water instead of on land. Their mouths are permanently upturned into a slight smile, and they can regenerate limbs, gills, and even parts of their eyes and brains! Unfortunately, these delicate creatures were listed as a critically endangered species in 2008.
Legend has it that their namesake — the Aztec god of fire and lightning, Xolotl — disguised himself as a salamander to avoid sacrifice. The axolotl is so culturally revered in Mexico that the Bank of Mexico added the salamander to the country’s 50-peso bill in 2021. Today, many are working to protect Lake Xochimilco after years of pollution, invasive species, man-made disturbances, and other obstacles have harmed the axolotl ecosystem.
Local chinamperos have been actively restoring their lands with better fertilizers and water filters to preserve these creatures that have become an integral part of their identity and way of life. I don’t know about you, but I learned something today. Follow me on Twitter .
Check out my website . Erik Kain Editorial Standards Print Reprints & Permissions.