Jan. 28, 2012 at 3:06 PM ET
The snowflake was seen on Jan. 28, 1887 at Fort Keogh, Montana; at least that's the word from the Guiness World Records, which says a rancher saw the snowflakes coming down, calling them "larger than milk pans," and measuring one of them at 15 inches.
However, noted the New York Times in 2007, "no corroborating evidence supports the claim."
Still, it makes for a fun, animated doodle on Google's home search page. When you go to the page, you'll see a lone cow grazing in a snow-covered field get slightly perturbed when the snowflake drops down (doubling as the second "o" in the name "Google") but then continue foraging.
The tech giant announced earlier this week it is consolidating more than 60 separate privacy policies for its online products, which is drawing fire from some who are troubled that with the new policy there's no opt-out choice for users. Eight U.S. lawmakers have sent a letter to Google expressing concerns about the policy, due to take effect around March 1.
Google, which also sent an email this week to users of its services about the change, is obviously trying to spread the word about it. And a big snowflake is one way to help draw attention to the issue — even if some may think that approach is all wet.