Google released its annual list of the year’s top searches
, a collection marked by both tragedy, triumph, and frivolity—or as Google put it in a blog post
, “it’s the unusual and surprising that caught our attention in 2012.
Based on 1.2 trillion searches worldwide, the No. 1 search term for 2012 was Whitney Houston, the singer who died in February at the age of 49.
Another tragic entry was that of Amanda Todd, a 16-year-old Canadian girl who committed suicide. She posted a video to YouTube prior to her death explaining how she had been blackmailed, bullied, and assaulted. The video went viral.
Actor Michael Clarke Duncan, who died in September, and Hurricane Sandy also made the list.
The remaining search entries were not only less macabre, but also showed the international flavor of Google searches. For instance, Gangnam Style, the South Korean dance sensation, was No. 2 on the list; Olympics 2012, Kate Middleton, and BBB12, which is shorthand for Big Brother Brasil’s season 12, also cracked the top 10.
Here’s the full list:
1. Whitney Houston
2. Gangnam Style
3. Hurricane Sandy
4. iPad 3
5. Diablo 3
6. Kate Middleton
7. Olympics 2012
8. Amanda Todd
9. Michael Clarke Duncan
To see even more top searches from 2012—including images, people, events, films, and more—check out the Google Zeitgeist report
In the meantime, this video from Google sums up the year in searches: