What Google Zeitgeist reveals about us (you don't want to know)

Most popular search terms 'captures the spirit of 2010' in all its dubious glory

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Let's hope that space aliens don't stumble upon Google Zeitgeist, the multiple lists of popular search terms based upon billions of Google queries from people around the world in 2010.

The extraterrestrials might immediately annihilate us, not just to put us out of our misery, but to save the rest of the cosmos. Because if Bieber-mania spreads much beyond Earth, the black hole that will destroy the universe can't be far behind.

Think I'm being too harsh? Go take a look for yourselves. Have a romp through the myriad categories broken down by topic, country and even city. But I'd recommend a couple of stiff drinks first.

For those not so inclined, here's a hand-picked sampler:

Fastest rising: Chatroulette (barely edging out iPad, which was fastest rising in consumer electronics)

Fastest rising in entertainment: Justin Bieber

Fastest rising person: Justin Bieber

Those are global results. Let's drill down a little. Here are some of the top U.S.-only searches:

Fastest rising image search: Jersey Shore

Fastest rising costume: Snooki costume (runner-up: Katy Perry costume)

Strangest search of the year: Can a horse have OCD? (No. 3: Why are Americans afraid of dragons? No. 8: I wish I could speak whale.) I'm not making these up.

Haircuts: L'il Wayne (?)

Fastest rising science and technology query: How did people ride dinosaurs? Did they use special saddles? (Kidding! It was "iceland volcano eruption")

Fortunately, other parts of the world aren't as celebrity-besotted as the U.S.:

Fastest rising in South Africa: Justin Bieber

Fastest rising person in Greece: Justin Bieber

Fastest rising person in the Ukraine: Lady Gaga (though on this translated page she was listed as tops for "Man of the Year." It pays to be versatile.)

With the possible exception of Justin Bieber, it appears we're all doomed. Please make it swift and painless, extraterrestrials.

Chris Nerney writes about the business side of technology market strategies and trends, legal issues, leadership changes, mergers, venture capital, IPOs and technology stocks. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisNerney.

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