People all over the world go all out to trick people on April Fool’s Day every year. One of the best and most elaborate pranks of all time was a British news segment about the Spaghetti Harvest in Switzerland that was broadcast in 1957. It takes a lot to fool anyone, but to really trick someone on April Fool’s Day like that takes some intelligence. Here are 5 of recent history’s great pranks:
1986 Moving the Eiffel Tower
Parisians were up in arms over an announcement that the Eiffel Tower would be moved to Euro Disney. French newspaper Le Parisien said it was part of the 1992 Summer Olympic bid plan – the site of the Eiffel Tower would become part of the world stage. To the relief of Parisians, moving the Eiffel Tower was a joke, but, to their disappointment, the erection of Euro Disney was not a joke and the Olympic bid went to Barcelona.
1997 The Great Comics Switcheroonie
The funny papers got even funnier when readers opened the newspapers to find the comics jumbled – the characters had out-comic-strip experiences. Garfield and Jon were staying at the Bumsteads’s house (Blondie), Luann was babysitting Trixie from Hi and Lois, and Elizabeth and Michael in For Better or For Worse were speaking suspiciously like Mother Goose and Grimm. It was all part of a very elaborate hoax from the comic strip authors – they all got together and traded comics to write. It’s now referred to as the Great Comics Switcheroonie.
2000 Snoozing Fish
The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) threatened to subvert a fishing tournament in Texas by putting the fish to sleep. PETA announced they would fill the lake with tranquilizers before the tournament so the fish would nap rather than bite. Tournament organizers took the threat seriously and assigned officers to the lake to keep PETA members from carrying out the plan. Shockingly, PETA organizers admitted the idea was a hoax.
2010 Pet Sounds
The geeks at Google appealed to the furry side of British search engine users. Google.co.uk unveiled an application that would allow pet owners to understand meowing, barking, squeaks and what have you. The Google Translate for Animals claimed to convert animal noises to English. Brits figured out the application was too good to be true and now settle on guessing what Snowball is meowing about and what’s behind Rover’s woof.
2013 Virgin’s Glass Bottom Plane
Richard Branson has been dazzling people with his innovative ideas through his Virgin brand for more than 40 years. From record stores to orbital launch vehicles, nothing seems to be too outrageous for Virgin to try – except for, maybe, the glass-bottomed plane. The fake announcement was made on April Fool’s Day 2013. They called it “Little Red” offering flights over Britain and hopes for flights abroad. Flights through Virgin Air are still possible, but expect to look down and see neutral colored carpet rather than vibrant greens of the British Isles when you fly.