The Weirdest Google Doc “Anonymous Animals" Explained

Anyone who uses Google Docs has surely crossed paths with the tiny anonymous animal icons that show up at the top of shared documents. The incognito critters only appear on shared Google Docs or Sheets that you have the link to—no editing permission or access via email list.


If these mammals, reptiles, amphibians, marsupials, and enigmatic creatures of myth and folklore have ever had you thinking, “What the f#ck is that?” then it's time to put your mind at ease.

1. The "Anonymous Auroch" 




The auroch is basically the grandmother or grandfather of domestic cattle. They’re an extinct species of wild ox that inhabited the Earth roughly 2 million years ago, the last one dying in 1627. Needless to say, aurochs were around to see a lot of history. You know the cow-like creatures in prehistoric cave paintings? That’s an auroch.

2. The "Anonymous Axolotl" 



The axolotl, besides being one of the cutest aquatic creatures you’ve ever laid eyes on, is an endangered species of salamander. Also known as the “Mexican Salamander,” the axolotl displays a strange anomaly called neoteny—meaning they sustain larval features throughout their entire life. In other words, they achieve eternal youth, never phenotypically growing old. Take that, Edward Cullen.

3. The "Anonymous Chupacabra" 



The Chupacabra is a popular cryptid—a creature whose existence has been discussed widely but not yet scientifically proven or documented. The first reported victims of the Chupacabra (translated literally to “goat sucker”) were eight sheep found dead in Puerto Rico in 1995. All of the sheep had three matching puncture wounds in their chest and were completely drained of blood. Nothing was ever confirmed, but “sightings” and similar killings have been reported across the Americas since, and the creature has become a feared legend.

4. The "Anonymous Ifrit"




The Ifrit is a creature of Islamic mythology made of smoke or fire. It’s said to be enormous, either male or female, and commonly found visiting ruins although it truly resides underground. The myth says they live in societies that are constructed much like that of ancient Arabic tribes. It also says they can marry humans! So, if people aren’t working out for you, keep an eye out for these cunning spirits.

5. The "Anonymous Jackalope"



The jackalope is a strangely adorable mythical creature of North American folklore. The story of the half-jackrabbit, half-antelope originated in Wyoming, where the first ever jackalope was allegedly sighted in 1829. There are some pretty weird stories about the jackalope and its “abilities.” It can apparently mimic a human’s voice. Cowboys singing around campfires in the olden days would tell of the jackalopes singing right back. Also, much like college students, jackalopes can be lured with alcohol. Bottoms up jackalope, bottoms up.

6. The "Anonymous Quagga" 



The quagga is a formerly extinct subspecies of plains zebra that inhabited South Africa until the 1800s. How can an animal be 'formerly' extinct? Just a few days ago, while I was still in the middle of writing this portion, a CNN article reported the return of the quagga! Apparently, a group of scientists near Cape Town, South Africa have revived the animal that was previously hunted to oblivion by European settlers in the 1880’s. The group, called the Quagga Project, has used both DNA and selective breeding to bring them back into existence. 

7. The “Anonymous Nyan Cat”


Many are familiar with the Nyan Cat, but few have been lucky enough to see the Anonymous Nyan Cat on Google Docs. The animated kitty first appeared in a YouTube video in 2011, and became a meme that revolutionized the way we look at cats and Pop-Tarts. I’m sure a lot of us still have the song stuck in our heads.