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Google Reveals What We Were Most Curious About in 2016

The search giant released its top queries of the year.

Life is filled with questions, and thanks to the internet, we don't have to betray our ignorance about a given topic to our friends and colleagues -- we can just send a query out into the great Google void.

The search giant put out its list of the top searches of the year, and it revealed a wide variety of subjects and people we wanted to learn more about in 2016.

Related: Google Spins Out Self-Driving Car Company as Waymo

People really wanted to know about Pokémon Go -- how to play the game and "catch them all." People also wanted to know how to make slime, whatever that entails. 

Then there was this question with a melancholy undercurrent to it: "how to appear funny?" Mind you, not how to be funny, but how to appear that you are. I'm not sure which one requires more effort.  

Top "how to" searches:

  1. How to play Pokémon Go?
  2. How to register to vote?
  3. How to play Powerball?
  4. How to make slime?
  5. How to move to Canada?
  6. How to battle in Pokémon Go?
  7. How to appear funny?
  8. How to catch Pokémon Go?
  9. How to vote early?
  10. How to use Snapchat filters?

Google users also really wanted to get to the bottom of some fairly complex decisions and institutions. The Electoral College and the Brexit vote made the list, as did the Citizens United Supreme Court decision and the European Union. But amidst all of the varied geopolitical concerns, Pokémon Go again cracked the "What is…" top 10, and the mannequin challenge meme snuck in there too.

Top "what is" searches:

  1. What is Pokémon Go?
  2. What is a Caucus?
  3. What is Brexit?
  4. What are electoral votes?
  5. What is the Electoral College?
  6. What is Aleppo?
  7. What is the mannequin challenge?
  8. What is the European Union?
  9. What is Citizens United?
  10. What is a Superdelegate?

There was some pretty big gadget news this year. Even amid the iPhone 7 roll out and Apple's "courageous" move to remove the headphone jack, the iPhone SE was the most searched consumer gadget this year. And while Samsung was plagued with the recall of the Galaxy Note 7, the Galaxy S7 was number 8 on the list.

Top consumer technology searches:

  1. iPhone SE
  2. iOS 10
  3. Google Pixel
  4. iPhone 7 Plus
  5. Nintendo Switch
  6. iPhone 7
  7. NES Classic Edition
  8. Galaxy S7
  9. Playstation VR
  10. PS4 Pro

The Olympics was the most searched news item of the year, eking out "Elections" for the number one spot. Along those lines, the top three most searched people of 2016 were Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Michael Phelps.

What were some questions you had this year? Let us know on Twitter and Facebook.