Friday, April 1, 2011

Top 100 April Fool's Hoaxes Of The Day

From the Museum Of Hoaxes.

#4: The Taco Liberty Bell
1996: The Taco Bell Corporation announced it had bought the Liberty Bell and was renaming it the Taco Liberty Bell. Hundreds of outraged citizens called the National Historic Park in Philadelphia where the bell was housed to express their anger. Their nerves were only calmed when Taco Bell revealed, a few hours later, that it was all a practical joke. The best line of the day came when White House press secretary Mike McCurry was asked about the sale. Thinking on his feet, he responded that the Lincoln Memorial had also been sold. It would now be known, he said, as the Ford Lincoln Mercury Memorial.

#6: Nixon for President
1992: National Public Radio's Talk of the Nation program announced that Richard Nixon, in a surprise move, was running for President again. His new campaign slogan was, "I didn't do anything wrong, and I won't do it again." Accompanying this announcement were audio clips of Nixon delivering his candidacy speech. Listeners responded viscerally to the announcement, flooding the show with calls expressing shock and outrage. Only during the second half of the show did the host John Hockenberry reveal that the announcement was a practical joke. Nixon's voice was impersonated by comedian Rich Little.

#10: Planetary Alignment Decreases Gravity
1976: The British astronomer Patrick Moore announced on BBC Radio 2 that at 9:47 AM a once-in-a-lifetime astronomical event would occur that listeners could experience in their very own homes. The planet Pluto would pass behind Jupiter, temporarily causing a gravitational alignment that would counteract and lessen the Earth's own gravity. Moore told his listeners that if they jumped in the air at the exact moment that this planetary alignment occurred, they would experience a strange floating sensation. When 9:47 AM arrived, BBC2 began to receive hundreds of phone calls from listeners claiming to have felt the sensation. One woman even reported that she and her friends had risen from their chairs and floated around the room.

#21: Bombs Away!
1915: On April 1, 1915, in the midst of World War I, a French aviator flew over a German camp and dropped what appeared to be a huge bomb. The German soldiers immediately scattered in all directions, but no explosion followed. After some time, the soldiers crept back and gingerly approached the bomb. They discovered it was actually a large football with a note tied to it that read, "April Fool!"

#12: Flying Penguins
2008: The BBC announced that camera crews filming near the Antarctic for its natural history series Miracles of Evolution had captured footage of Adélie penguins taking to the air. It even offered a video clip of these flying penguins, which became one of the most viewed videos on the internet. Presenter Terry Jones explained that, instead of huddling together to endure the Antarctic winter, these penguins took to the air and flew thousands of miles to the rainforests of South America where they "spend the winter basking in the tropical sun." A follow-up video explained how the BBC created the special effects of the flying penguins.

#35: Big Ben Goes Digital
1980: The BBC reported that Big Ben, in order to keep up with the times, was going to be given a digital readout. The announcement received a huge response from listeners shocked and angered by the proposed change. The BBC Japanese service also announced that the clock hands would be sold to the first four listeners to contact them. One Japanese seaman in the mid-Atlantic immediately radioed in a bid.

#59: Daylight Savings Contest
1984: the Eldorado Daily Journal, based in Illinois, announced a contest to see who could save the most daylight for daylight savings time. The rules of the contest were simple: beginning with the first day of daylight savings time, contestants would be required to save daylight. Whoever succeeded in saving the most daylight would win. Only pure daylight would be allowed—no dawn or twilight light, though light from cloudy days would be allowed. Light could be stored in any container. The contest received a huge, nationwide response. The paper's editor was interviewed by correspondents from CBS and NBC and was featured in papers throughout the country.

See the rest here.


  1. Who knew the French had a sense of humor?

  2. Pfft. I would never have fallen for any of those. Suckers.

    Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go cut down my elm tree, pick up HBO with my bra, put on my fat sox, and eat my left-handed Whopper.

  3. Such shenanigans and tomfoolery! :D I love the flying penguins.

    I just heard about this one from today that I thought was amusing.

  4. Good one, Daisy! Though I wish it existed, it could eb a good explanation for my co-workers on why I keep stretching arms and legs on my desk. I caught a sudden phobia of my chair, don't know why.

  5. Thanks for that list. The penguin video was awesome!

    And thanks, daisy, for the gmail thing. That was inspired.

    Frankly, the tack I take every year is to just not believe anything anyone says or writes on April 1. Unfortunately, given my trans-Pacific workload, that is a 43-hour stretch of time.

  6. One of our city employees pranked one of the city councilwomen but good last year. You may remember the news story about the whale at Sea World who killed a trainer. The employee told the councilwoman that he had been contacted by Sea World officials, who had been transferring the whale in a tank from Orlando to Miami, which would take them right through our town. He calls her back a short while later to tell her that they discovered the whale tank was leaking, and they had to take the drastic measure of releasing the whale into one of the local lakes until a replacement tank could arrive. This stupid woman believed this. Never mind that the whale lives in salt water and the lake is fresh water, and probably not even deep enough to cover the whale. She was calling the local news agencies, which were in on it and therefore didn't broadcast anything. She was out there on the lakeshore with binoculars trying to spot the whale and yelling at people to get out of the water. HILARIOUS. She was not amused to find out it was a prank.

  7. I liked the French pilot and the penguin pranks. How can you not love flying penguins. And frogs, I guess.

    Good story, Melissa!

  8. I love all these. Hulu and YouTube both have things up today. Woodworkers Journal's newsletter always amuses as well.

    I only wish I had the foresight to do something prankish for the day.

  9. lefty, what were they? It's only 9:30 here in the islands, but apparently all the April Fools Day stuff was removed after midnight on the Mainland.

    I captured Starbucks's and Gmail's in amber, lest they be removed, too.

  10. Hulu set their main pages up so they looked as if they might in 1996. Bad fonts, low-res thumbnails, The X-Files and My So Called Life featured prominently.

    YouTube went back to 1911. Their logo looked old-timey and you could click a 1911 icon below any video to add film scratches and Shakey's-style piano music to it. My son went nuts with it for a couple of hours (so glad it's over).

    There are some screen shots here

  11. My only contribution? Never be the first person to drink the coffee at work on April 1st.

    Someone thought it'd be downright hilarious to replace the sugar with salt, and the non-dairy creamer with one of these chalky fiber powders.

    Second worst cup of coffee ever.

  12. Cam, I will probably regret asking this, but what was the first worst cup of coffee ever?

  13. HA HA HA! Pretty scary just thinking about it, isn't it. :D

  14. I'm glad you asked that, Daisy. Although I'm much afeared for the answer (and probable accompanying video!)

  15. There will be awkward photosat least. I fear, yet I can't look away.

  16. I meant "There will be awkward photos at least."

    Stupid space bar.

  17. Daisy said...

    Cam, I will probably regret asking this, but what was the first worst cup of coffee ever?

    Don't worry, no disturbing pics* or video.

    The worst cup of coffee was entirely self-inflicted. It was the first time I'd moved out on my own and had no idea how to do practically anything.

    Growing up all I'd ever drank was instant coffee and had no idea what coffee grounds were, I just assumed that all coffee was the same thing. So to brew my first cup of coffee in my own place I put two heaping teaspoons of coffee grounds into a cup and added hot water.

    One good gulp later and I wound up nearly upchucking. Good times.

    *Okay I lied...

  18. I knew you wouldn't let us down, Cam.



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