Rare YouTube Easter Egg Shows TV-Style 'Snow' Error Message

Todd Wasserman
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YouTube has unleashed a rare easter egg that shows TV-style "snow" as an error message.

The animated feature, which quietly went live a week or so ago, pops up when you're trying to watch a live message that's ended or if you try to load a video and it's interrupted. When that happened previously, the YouTube error message had the same message -- "An error occurred. Please try again later," against a black background. Matt McLernon, a YouTube rep, says the easter egg was created by a summer intern and was meant to be a "fun homage" to traditional broadcast TV.

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Want a way to quickly invoke this error? Watch one of the YouTube live streams at NBCOlympics.com. Press the pause button. You'll get a message that says "This video is live only. Press play to watch live." Not only is the background snowy, it also moves with faux-scan lines. Retrolicious.

Though parent company Google is fond of dropping easter eggs, at YouTube they're rarer. One of the more notable ones was a 2010 feature that let you play the classic game Snake on YouTube by holding the left and up arrow keys on your keyboard while a video is playing or paused. Previously, Google put a button on YouTube videos that played a World Cup-style vuvuzela sound.

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Enter "Google Gravity" in the search bar. Hit "I'm feeling lucky" (if you have Google Instant enabled, it's on the right hand side of the suggested searches). Then watch your world fall down.

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This story originally published on Mashable here.