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April Fools Day

april fools

Today is April Fools Day. The day is characterised by the playing of pranks or jokes on people.

Over the years people have come up with some pretty outrageous pranks.

spaghetti tree

In 1957 the BBC news show Panorama announced that thanks to a very mild winter and the virtual elimination of the dreaded spaghetti weevil, Swiss farmers were enjoying a bumper spaghetti crop. The announcement was accompanied with footage of Swiss peasants pulling strands of spaghetti down from trees. Huge numbers of viewers were taken in. Many called the BBC wanting to know how they could grow their own spaghetti tree.

pi

In the April 1998 issue of the New Mexicans for Science and Reason newsletter an article was published claiming that the Alabama state legislature had voted to change the value of the mathematical constant pi from 3.14159 to the ‘Biblical value’ of 3.0. Soon the article made its way onto the internet. The original article, which was intended as a parody of legislative attempts to circumscribe the teaching of evolution, was written by physicist Mark Boslough.

carrot

In 2002 British supermarket chain, Tesco, published an advertisement announcing the successful development of a genetically modified ‘whistling carrot.’ Apparently the carrots had been specially engineered to grow with tapered airholes in their side that whistled when they were fully cooked.

moon

A few years ago Google announced that they were accepting applications for positions at Copernicus Center, their new “lunar hosting and research center.” Applicants had to be “capable of surviving with limited access to such modern conveniences as soy low-fat lattes, The Sopranos and a steady supply of oxygen.”

mummified fairy

In 2007 Dan Baines, an illusion designer, posted on his website images of the “corpse” of an unknown eight-inch creation. He claimed that the corpse was the mummified remains of a fairy which was discovered by a dog walker at Firestone Hill in Duffield, Derbyshire. The remains were complete with ears, wings, hair, skin, and teeth, and were claimed to have been examined by specialists. Read some more on this hoax hereand here.

Check out a list of the top 100 hoaxes here.

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