Two tragedies in quick succession drew worldwide public interest. In August, 71 refugees, dozens of them from Syria, died after being abandoned in a truck traveling from Germany to Austria.
Then, the story of Aylan Al-Kurdi, the three-year-old boy whose lifeless body was photographed on a beach in Turkey, brought the desperate plight of refugees vividly into focus.
In the days and weeks following these incidents, people searched for how to provide aid and support to the refugees, particularly children, and what the US could do in response to the crisis.
Recent search volume continues to reflect interest in the situation and the evolving public discourse as people considered other aspects of the crisis.
People have always searched on topics related to space exploration, but the expeditions to Pluto and Mars led to a major spike in the search trend this year. Searches for ‘Pluto’ alone increased almost 160 percent from June to July, while searches for ‘Mars’ spiked more than 530 percent from August to September after discovery of water on its surface.
As we look at our favorite planets as reflected in search, Mars as a near neighbor and favorite of science fiction writers tends to keep it at the top of our list.
While some criticized Jenner's reveal, others applauded the magazine for having a transgender woman on its cover—seeing the move as a win for transgender acceptance.
On January 7, two attackers burst into the offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and began shooting. As the news broke, people sought answers through search. Soon interest in the hashtag #jesuischarlie spiked as many showed solidarity toward the French people and freedom of speech.
Most recently, on November 13, coordinated shootings and bombings in Paris killed 130 and injured more than 400.
The people and events that made 2015 memorable