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On the Winter Bash site, the logo has a "speech bubble"> This isn't present instantly but is slowly built up over a few minutes as the snow falls.

enter image description here

Is this just for aesthetics or does it have a higher purpose (such as triggering a secret hat)?

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-1 for no animated gif =P – casperOne Dec 25 '12 at 17:27
Me, I’m trying to figure out how to win the video game of chasing the snowflakes with your mouse. Your mouse imposes a bit of anti-gravity/repulsion on a vector straight up from it, which sends the snowflakes up up and away. – tchrist Dec 26 '12 at 2:15
@tchrist Control is important. – Krazer Dec 27 '12 at 16:36
up vote 10 down vote accepted

This is the Stack Exchange logo/mascot, Bubbles. As far as I know, it is just an easter egg and does not grant a secret hat.

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Ah, I see it now! – Paul Fleming Dec 25 '12 at 10:53
It's not even an Easter Egg is it? I mean, it shows up fairly quickly. I'd consider it an intro animation at best. Now the purple unicorn, that's an Easter Egg. – casperOne Dec 25 '12 at 15:13
@JollyOldSaintNicholas what purple unicorn?!? – Austin Henley Dec 25 '12 at 17:12
@AustinHenley If I told you, then it wouldn't be much of a secret, would it? But see the conversation here, here and here. – casperOne Dec 25 '12 at 17:26
@JollyOldSaintNicholas cough cough cough go here... – SPArchaeologist Jan 3 '13 at 11:30

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