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What 2013's top Google searches say about us
Short answer: The same thing our searches say basically every year
 
Clocking in at number six: Royal Baby.
Clocking in at number six: Royal Baby. (Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Google's zeitgeist report, which catalogs the terms and phrases we searched for most in 2013, sometimes provides an insightful window into what people were most curious about over the last 12 months. This year's top 10, however, is dominated by the same two topics that have ensnared our collective imaginations for most of human history: Death and the desire to own shiny expensive stuff.

Nelson Mandela was the top global trending search of 2013, according to Google. After the South African icon was action star Paul Walker, who passed away last month in a fiery car crash. The third spot went to Apple's iPhone 5S.

Sandwiched in between Glee's Cory Monteith and the Boston Marathon tragedy at the #4 and #6 spots, respectively, was a single 2013-defining outlier: The Harlem Shake, a puzzling and derivative dance-meme that highlighted the internet's insatiable desire to confuse parents.

Rounding out the rest of the most Googled terms is a little prince, more gadgets, and a mercurial corner of Earth ruled by tyrants:

1. Nelson Mandela
2. Paul Walker
3. iPhone 5S
4. Cory Monteith
5. Harlem Shake
6. Boston Marathon
7. Royal Baby
8. Samsung Galaxy S4
9. PlayStation 4
10. North Korea

Feel free to look around at the other stuff that piqued our curiosity at Google's special 2013 landing page. And if 2013's most-Googled list strikes you as odd, perhaps take a look at 2012's, where the top two search terms were Whitney Houston and "Gangnam Style," respectively.

 
Chris Gayomali is the science and technology editor for TheWeek.com. Sometimes he writes about other stuff. His work has also appeared in TIME, Men's JournalEsquire, and The Atlantic.

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