Google’s 3D animals have exploded in popularity across the web over the last couple weeks, and it’s likely the result of a perfect storm of circumstances. People across the world are stuck indoors, parents are teaching their grade school children from home, and the Tiger King documentary has dropped on Netflix. Regardless of the reason, people everywhere are making 3D animals an incredibly fun quarantine activity.

3D animals homeschool quarantine

As our Kyle Bradshaw noted in his story earlier this month, a big reason for the surge in popularity for 3D animals is the simple fact that parents are home with their kids. When they might normally go outdoors and go to the zoo or somesuch, they’re now stuck looking for indoor activities!

The reason, of course, is that schools are not in session and most non-essential public places are closed. With parents unable to pop out for a day trip to the zoo — or anywhere else, for that matter — with their children, why not bring the zoo to life at home? And just like the zoo, each animal available in 3D is accompanied by some additional, educational details about the animal, such as its scientific name, diet, and behaviors.

There have been many example of this across the web, from kids pretending to ride on tigers, to getting way too close and personal with alligators. With the ability to snap photos of your kids playing with animals, it’s universally considered a great way to fill the time and share it with others.

It just seems like such a great idea — give your kids something to do while also taking the opportunity to teach them about the animal kingdom! For Google’s part, they’ve made sure that the AR models they’ve created actually represent the full size beasts, so it can also help your kids understand the scale of these cats.

Mom and dad find a boredom cure

My favorite example of people having fun with 3D animals so far is the below screenshots that one Twitter user took of messages their parents sent.  When mom and dad find 3D animals, hilarity ensues. In this case, this Twitter user’s parents pretended to encounter a bear in their dining room, a wolf sitting outside on the patio, and an octopus helping out with a quarantine puzzle.

Bonus points if your mom and dad put a hilarious caption on each of these as they did.

Be a Tiger King with 3D animals

Of course, another incredibly popular way to have fun with Google’s 3D animals has been right in line with the emerging Tiger King trend. As the show grows to be one of the most popular on Netflix, people are searching for ways to have fun with a tiger that don’t involve any kind of animal abuse.

We outlined how to do this in our quick guide, but it’s pretty simple: Just pick up your Android phone or iPhone, search for “Tiger” on Google, find some open space in your house, tap on View in 3D, and take a picture.

Note: If you’re having problems viewing the animals in space using augmented reality, the Android or iPhone device you’re using has to have support for Google’s ARCore framwork You can find the full list of ARCore devices here.

Learn more about Google’s AR objects:

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About the Author

Stephen Hall

Stephen is Growth Director at 9to5. If you want to get in touch, follow me on Twitter. Or, email at stephen (at) 9to5mac (dot) com, or an encrypted email at hallstephenj (at) protonmail (dot) com.