Today’s interactive Google Doodle honors Jules Verne

You may have noticed today’s Steve Zissou-esque Google Doodle, and wondered, like me, what the heck it does.

It’s a cartoonish undersea portal, and using the levers on the side of the screen (or tilting your laptop!) causes the animation behind the portaled logo to shift, displaying a seascape of ever-increasing darkness, and if you go lower… narwhals!

In a post on the official Google blog, “Google Doodler” Jennifer Horn describes today’s logo, displayed in honor of Jules Verne’s 183rd birthday, and its functionality:

Today’s doodle, celebrating Verne’s 183rd birthday, tries to capture that sense of adventure and exploration. Using CSS3 (and with help from our resident tech wizards Marcin Wichary and Kris Hom), the doodle enables anyone to navigate the Nautilus down (nearly) 20,000 leagues with the simple pull of a lever. And for those using devices with built-in accelerometers and the latest versions of Google Chrome or Firefox, it’s even simpler—just tilt your device in the direction you want to explore and the Nautilus will follow.