MATLAB Answers

Paulo Silva

What matlab easter eggs do you know?

Asked by Paulo Silva
on 25 Feb 2011
Latest activity Edited by Kenneth Eaton on 11 Dec 2017
Please post the easter eggs that you have found so far if they aren't already posted by someone else.
Let's try to make a good Matlab easter egg list because it seems that there isn't one.
What should be posted:
  • Unexpected but intentional behaviour
  • Special things that the programmers left for us to discover
  • Extra code inside a function that can be used for other purposes
  • Hidden pictures and audio clips
What shouldn't be posted:
  • Repeated Easter Eggs, if someone already posted it please don't repeat
  • Bugs in functions that cause trouble and might be fixed in later versions
  • Matlab games that come with the program unless they aren't mentioned in the documentation (the games are in the other demos, try the xpbombs and fifteen, you can even see the code for both games)


> lorenz (Don't even know, just cool)
It's a lorenz attractor
a type of chaotic system
@David That's absolutely mesmerizing. Thanks!

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7 Answers

Answer by Kenneth Eaton on 25 Feb 2011
Edited by Kenneth Eaton on 11 Dec 2017

As Steve discussed in one of his blog posts, the default image in MATLAB is actually a steganographic image:
Just looks like an upside-down little boy, right? Well, if you rotate the 53-bits of the double precision fraction component so that each becomes the highest valued bit, you can easily see the hidden images:
Here's how I made the above image:
defImage = pow2(get(0,'DefaultImageCData'),47);
imgCell = repmat({zeros(size(defImage))},8,7);
for shift = 0:52
imgCell{shift+1} = bitrotate(defImage,shift);
allImages = cell2mat(imgCell.');
imshow(allImages,[min(allImages(:)) max(allImages(:))]);
NOTE: bitrotate is a version of the built-in bitshift that I wrote to perform a circular shift of the bit pattern instead of discarding bits that overflow. I'll be placing bitrotate on the FEX soon, but for now you can just replace it with bitshift in the above code.


Hi Kenneth that's very cool, +1 vote
What - no image of Satan?

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Answer by Paulo Silva
on 25 Feb 2011

The spy function without arguments makes a cool figure (my current avatar).
The why function says random things.
Matlab comes with a great sound clip for those moments when you find a solution for a huge problem
load handel
The pie function (matlab 2008b and maybe later versions) doesn't allow to place the labels in a specific place but in the function code there's a variable that allows the text to be inside the pie and you might also set the distance from the center of the pie, here's a little hack that I did to pie


I wrote two functions:
and lalala.m
lala displays: "stop singing and get back to work"
and lalala sounds handel. It makes for fun giving those to others in the lab.
Hey Sean that's good fun but I wonder if the nice people from mathworks did include something similar but no one found it yet, are they forbid to do that?
Paulo, your avatar is no longer the "spy" image that pops up - it's Sean's dog (I think). Sean's lalala function is not in R2011b - maybe it will come out in R2012a.

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Answer by Andrew Newell
on 25 Feb 2011

This site and this site have several Easter eggs, but most don't work on 2010b. Just these work for me:
But are these really Easter eggs or just demos?


Oh, but there is so much more to image than meets the eye!! Let's see who can find what else is hidden there :)
Hi Scott, without being able to see the code for image it's not easy :(
Paulo, search Steve Eddin's Blog for 'image function' (or similar). There is quite a lot to learn there!

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Answer by Paulo Silva
on 5 Mar 2011

Today I found that these functions:
From the Control System Toolbox work without any arguments, there's a sort of demo that they make, very nice, I was using them for years without noticing, nice surprise, wonder why the tf function doesn't also have the same behaviour


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Answer by Saurav Kumar on 25 Apr 2011

surf(membrane) gives mathworks logo
imagesc(cool) gives the cool colors

  1 Comment

So does "logo"

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Answer by Image Analyst
on 26 Jan 2012

Not sure if they qualify as Easter eggs, but type these on the command line (verified on R2011b):
  1. why
  2. why are there too many input arguments?
  3. xpbombs
  4. fifteen
  5. spy (new image is probably only version R2011b or later - clearly Sean has had some influence since he joined the Mathworks staff)
  6. x=[-2:.001:2],y=(sqrt(cos(x)).*cos(200*x)+sqrt(abs(x))-0.7).*(4-x.*x).^0.01,plot(x,y);
On, Cleve says " As our code base has increased, including such goodies in the MATLAB core has become problematic because of the strain it puts on rigorous automated testing. It is still possible to include them in a few “leaf” M functions, like “spy”, that other functions do not depend upon." so they will probably be fewer as time goes on.


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Answer by Dennis Jaheruddin on 27 Nov 2013

Not sure if it is really an easter egg, it is a bit simpler than most others.
The description of this function surprised me:
  • eomfun
Note that it is only found in the help, not in the doc.

  1 Comment

Easter eggs come and go. It's not in release R2013a. What version did you verify it in?

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