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High… Eight? The octopus slap heard ‘round the world and other searches this week

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Riveting testimony on Capitol Hill, a new name for a favorite chain, and a snack that slaps back (and surprises an unsuspecting kayaker). Here are a few of the week’s most searched trends, with data from the Google News Lab.  

All eyes on the Senate

On Thursday, Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh testified alongside Christine Blasey Ford in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill. As the testimony began yesterday morning, searches for the Senate Judiciary Committee spiked by 4,900 percent in the U.S., propelling search interest in the committee to its all-time high since 2004.

Hold the donuts

Dunkin’ Donuts dropped the “Donuts” and announced a rebrand to what most of us already call it: “Dunkin’.” Most related searches came from New England states Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Maine, which comes as no surprise since the company was founded in Quincy, MA. And while Weight Watchers also rebranded this week (to “WW”), search interest for “Dunkin donuts name” was 150 percent higher than “weight watchers name.” Munchkins, anyone?

Voting 101

Tuesday was National Voter Registration Day and above all, the U.S. wanted to know how. Trending questions included, “How to register to vote?” “How to register to vote online?” “How do I check my voter registration?” and “How do you know if you are registered to vote?” For all of you who helped “how to register” spike by more than 3,600 percent, Search can help. If you search “how to register to vote,” a tool at the top of the results page will help you find information about the voter registration requirements and processes in your state.


Someone had a birthday this week... and we’re here to answer some of the top trending questions: “Is today Google’s birthday?” “How old is Google?” and “When was Google born?” We celebrated our big 2-0 on September 27 (although the exact date is up for debate), giving us the perfect excuse for a #ThrowbackThursday. Check out, where you can dig into historical trends, like how we searched for candy in 1999 more than any other year, or how we have always searched for dogs more than any other animal (sorry, cat people).

Seal vs. Octopus vs. Kayaker

While testing a new GoPro camera, a kayaker in New Zealand was slapped in the face with an octopus by a seal (yes, you read that right). While the kayaker clearly took a hit, it’s been a close fight between the two sea dwellers in Search. ”Seal slap” started trending earlier than “octopus slap,” but the latter has been more popular over time, spiking 4,900 percent in the U.S. It turns out the seal was probably trying to pull off a tentacle as a snack, so maybe we call this one a tie.

P.S. Your humble High Five contributor was so, um, struck by this tale that she wrote a little something in haiku format. You're welcome:

Paddlin’ a kayak
Got slapped with an octopus
A tasty seal meal

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