Where′s the moon? And other things Germans asked Google in 2018 | News | DW | 28.12.2018

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Where's the moon? And other things Germans asked Google in 2018

Chemnitz, the FIFA football World Cup, a lunar eclipse and a reality TV star's suicide: Google searches revealed what was on German minds in 2018.

As 2018 draws to a close, Germany's Google annual trends provided a snapshot of the most important topics across the country and what drew German curiosity.

A look at the top searched questions and topics shows that Germans cared a lot about big international events such as the World Cup, were looped into controversial domestic news topics like the Chemnitz riots and also needed help with day-to-day things like getting rid of wasps.

The World Cup

The summer's FIFA World Cup in Russia was the most searched topic in the world in 2018. And the home of the soon-to-be deposed world champions was no different. The tournament also featured in Germany's top searched sports topics.

It also dominated among the "how" questions, with Germans wondering "how many times has France been world champions?" And the second most-searched question was "how must Germany play to advance?" The team was ultimately knocked out in the group stage, to the chagrin of anxious fans.

Watch video 01:35

Germany, defeated in 2018 World Cup, still loved by fans

Daniel Küblböck

The bizarre death of former reality TV star Daniel Küblböck captured the public's attention, landing it as the second-most searched topic. Küblböck was a 2003 contestant on Deutschland Sucht den Superstar — the German equivalent of Pop Idol. He went missing during a holiday cruise. Witnesses said they saw the star jump off the ship.

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The lunar eclipse

Germany's No. 1 news item on Google was the longest lunar eclipse of the 21st century. The phenomenon was coined "blood moon" for the color change of the moon while immersed in the Earth's shadow.

And in the week it was visible over Germany, the top "where" question was indeed "where is the moon?"

Read moreLunar mystique: How the moon has inspired art and culture 

Watch video 01:22

The longest lunar eclipse of the century


The far-right protests in the eastern German city of Chemnitz was the fourth most-searched news topic.

Following the killing of a 35-year-old German in August, thousands of demonstrators took to the streets. A Syrian and an Iraqi stand accused of fatally stabbing the man following an altercation. The demonstrations quickly escalated into xenophobic riots, attended by far-right extremists and known neo-Nazis.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel faced criticism for taking more than three months to visit the city in the aftermath of the violence.

Read moreChemnitz right-wing riots a 'huge damage to city's image'

Hambach Forest

The clash between police and environmental activists occupying Hambach Forest was the fifth most-searched news story and one of the most polarizing topics in Germany in 2018.

The ancient woodland was the scene of a months-long standoff between environmental activists and authorities over plans to clear the forest to enlarge a nearby open-pit coal mine, owned by energy giant RWE.

In September and October, police began a large-scale operation to remove the protesters who had set up their camp inside the forest over several years.

Protest against their removal drew support from environmental activists from all over the world.

Read more: Opinion: Hambach Forest a battlefield for the planet's future

Nature calling...

Two animals topped the "what" question. "What to do about oak caterpillars" was the most searched, reflecting the bizarre and disconcerting spread of the oak processionary moth caterpillar across Germany this summer. The infestation closed preschools, swimming lakes and public pools. 

"What helps against wasps" came in second, as killing the wasps was not option due to the insect being protected under the Federal Nature Conservation Act. Harming it can result in fines between €5,000 and €50,000 (roughly $5,700 and $57,300).

Read more: Good bees, bad wasps?

And the long specter of Germany's sweltering summer also crept up in Google searches, with answers frantically sought to the question "how long does the heat wave last." 

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