In case you haven’t noticed the surge in public displays of affection, it’s Valentine’s Day, and Google have designed a new “Doodle” to commemorate the day.
Featuring a pair of gift-exchanging aliens the out of this world Doodle also allows internet surfers to gift their special someone a distinctive GIF.
Featuring the duo of extra terrestrials, the GIFs are emblazoned with intergalactic messages of love such as “You’re out of this world”, My world revolves around you” and “Love you to the moon and back”.
Though most self-respecting boyfriends or girlfriends will already have plenty of surprises lined up for their loved one, the personalised GIFs can serve as yet another timely message of love.
How do I access the Google GIFs?
In order to access the special catalogue of GIFs produced by the Silicon Valley giant, search for Valentines Doodle in GBoard, a virtual keyboard app attached to most phones.
From there you can browse the collection of GIFs and pick out the one that best represents your love for your beau.
Alternatively you can find the loved-up aliens in the GIF search section of most popular social media channels.
The evolution of Valentine’s Day Google Doodles
Back in 2000, the first Google Doodle to mark Valentine’s Day settled on the safe formula of a cartoonish cupid overseeing heart-shaped lettering.
By 2005 things had become a little more elaborate, with the Valentine’s Doodle incorporating an understated bunch of red roses into the Google logo.
In 2008 the Doodle took a poignant turn, with the whimsical scene of an elderly couple dancing off into the sunset together.
Two years later Valentine’s Day coincided with the Vancouver Winter Olympics, inspiring an elegantly drawn figure skating design.
Romance and amusement parks blended harmoniously in the intricate, animated 2013 Doodle, which marked both Valentine’s Day and the 154th birthday of George Ferris, of wheel fame.
Google US had something a little bit different in 2014, with American users were able to click on love heart-esque designs to hear a series of real people recount their romantic stories, curated by This American Life host Ira Glass.
Artist Kevin Laughlin animated the 2016 Google Doodle, which celebrated three unlikely couples, including this pair of love-struck kettles.
To mark Valentine’s Day 2017 Google embarked on an ambitious Doodle game with four levels spread across four days, all featuring the critically-endangered pangolin.
Why do we celebrate Valentine’s Day on 14 February?
No one is completely certain, but there are a number of theories. Some believe St Valentine’s Day was placed on 14 February to mark the burial of Valentine of Rome.
Pope Gelasius added it to the calendar in the fifth century in place of the pagan festival of Lupercalia, which was celebrated between 13-15 February, dedicated to the god of agriculture, and denoted the start of spring.
Rumours go that Gelasius scrapped it for Valentine’s Day to Christianise the pagan festival, but there is no proof of this.
The other link to the 14th is Chaucer’s, and while he doesn’t mention the date by name, it is widely accepted this is what he means.
Whatever the truth is, we’re glad to celebrate Valentine’s when we do – anything to warm up the bleak mid-winter months.