Celebrate Earth Day 2019 with This Animated Google Doodle

Earth is one of thousands of planets known to date — but it's the only world we know of that hosts life, and that's worth celebrating.

To mark Earth Day, held every year on April 22, today's Google Doodle highlights just six of the incredible types of living organisms that make a home on our planet. Specifically, the team chose to focus on "superlative" plants and animals.

"The last thing I wanted to do was feature animals based on their cuteness or how they might appeal in some way to my mammalian sensibilities," lead artist Kevin Laughlin said in an interview posted with the doodle. "All life is incredible and worth celebrating."

Related: How Space Exploration Can Teach Us to Preserve All Life on Earth

Among the six organisms featured in the Earth Day 2019 Google Doodle is Paedophryne amauensis, a tiny frog that lives in Papua New Guinea.  (Image credit: Google)

The doodle highlights the wandering albatross, the coastal redwood, a tiny frog called Paedophryne amauensis, the Amazon water lily, the ancient fish species called a coelacanth and a pale insect called the deep cave springtail.

In each case, a short animation shows what sets the creature apart from others, from a particularly grueling migration to living deep below the Earth's surface. (That said, organisms shouldn't need to be superlative to merit respect or curiosity; they still play a key role in their ecosystem.)

NASA is celebrating Earth Day too, asking for social media users to send in photographs of their part of the natural world. The agency will turn the submissions into photo collage and video products to mark the occasion.

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Meghan Bartels
Senior Writer

Meghan is a senior writer at Space.com and has more than five years' experience as a science journalist based in New York City. She joined Space.com in July 2018, with previous writing published in outlets including Newsweek and Audubon. Meghan earned an MA in science journalism from New York University and a BA in classics from Georgetown University, and in her free time she enjoys reading and visiting museums. Follow her on Twitter at @meghanbartels.