Throughout the years, plenty of great hoaxes have been played on the April Fool’s Day. TopYaps lists ten wacky and tomfoolery hoaxes of April 1, that are enough to bring an evil laugh to your face. So, here are ten blasts from the past!
It was the April Fool’s day of 1992, when the National Public Radio (NPR) of the United States declared that former President Richard Nixon is once again running for the presidential post in 1992 elections. This news was accompanied with some audio clips of Nixon stating “I never did anything wrong, and I won’t do it again.” As soon as the news was aired, hearers started calling the NPR with mixed reactions. Their shock and outrage came to end when the host of program later explained that the proclamation was a April Fool’s Day hoax and it was notable comedian Rich Little who impersonated the voice of Nixon.
On April 1, 1915, during the World War 1, a French fighter plane flew over a German camp, dropping a noticeable object. German soldiers conceived this object as a bomb and instantaneously scattered here and there to safe locations. They discreetly waited for the explosion. After sensing the failure of bomb, they crept back towards it to check its condition. Cautiously, they approached the bomb and found that it was actually a football with a note attached to it – “April Fool!”
Dick Smith, a prominent businessman of Sydney had promised the locals to tow an iceberg from Antarctica. His intention was to carve the gigantic yet fresh iceberg in small cubes which he would sell to the public. Eventually, on the April Fool’s Day of 1978, entire city along with media community arrived at the Sydney Harbor to take a glimpse of the huge iceberg. Then it started raining and entire populace witnessed the wash away process of shaving cream and firefighting foam from which the iceberg was really made of.
On April 1, 1975, “This Day Tonight,” a popular current affairs program of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, announced that Australia would soon be converting to “metric time.” Under this system a minute would comprise 100 seconds, an hour would have 100 minutes and a day would be made of 20 hours. Not even this, seconds were now called millidays, minutes were changed into centidays and hours were replaced by decidays. Adding a ton of humor to this hoax, a person, seriously, called at the office of “This Day Tonight” asking how he could transform his newly purchased digital clock to metric time.
The morning of April 1, 1974, was extremely terrifying for the residents of Sitka, Alaska. People gathered onto the streets to take a glimpse of the long-dormant Mount Edgecumbe which was bubbling balloons of deadly black fire, giving the indication to erupt anytime. Later, it was disclosed that a local joker was responsible for the smoke. He had flown number of old tires in the crater of volcano and then lit them on fire.
On the April Fool’s Day of 1996, six eminent newspapers of the United States – Washington Post, New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, USA Today, Dallas Morning News and Chicago Tribune, published a full page advertisement declaring that the Liberty Bell had been purchased by the fast food chain Taco Bell. This announcement yielded a tremendous response because the federal government did not own the Liberty Well. The ownership of Liberty Well belongs to the City of Philadelphia. Later, Taco Bell issued a press release, confessing the entire matter as a hoax and as “The best joke of the day.”
On April 1, 1982, the “Daily Mail” reported that a local manufacturer had sold approximately 10,000 “rogue bras” that were causing an unprecedented problem. Surprisingly, the problem was not attached with the wearers; rather it was affecting the public at large. According to the news, support wire in these bras were made out of a kind of copper which were used in fire alarms. When this wire came into contact with nylon and body heat, it generated static electricity which, further, was interfering with radio and television broadcast. Upon reading this news, the chief engineer of British Telecom instantly ordered his all female laboratory employees to reveal what type of bra they were wearing.
On April 1, 1957, Panorama, a popular British news show, aired a three minute segment about the successful harvesting of spaghetti in southern Switzerland. Since this news was presented by Richard Dimbleby, a notable and highly respected British anchor, entire viewers started whispering about this sensational discovery. Upon calling the BBC to know about the process of growing spaghetti trees, viewers realized that they had been been hoaxed. Till the date, this broadcast is considered as the most popular April Fool’s Day hoaxes made by media industry.
Counted among one of the most funniest April Fool’s Day hoaxes of all time, the Instant Color TV prank was aired on April 1, 1962, on STV, the then only television channel in Sweden. The program depicted STV’s technical expert Kjell Stensson, who was describing a process to viewers which would allow them to view color images on their black and white television sets. After explaining highly technical aspects and complex nature of light, he asked viewers to cover the TV screen with nylon stockings. In order to get the best effect, he suggested people to sit at the corner distance from screen while moving their head very carefully back and forth. Later, thousands of Swedes admitted that they had fallen for the hoax. They still remember how they were running here and there through the house to find nylon stockings.
The April Fool’s Day of 1998 was staggeringly shocking for the community of mathematicians and scientists. This day, the April edition of New Mexicans for Science and Reason (NMSR) newsletter claimed that Alabama state legislature has proposed to change the value of mathematical constant “Pi” from 3.14159 to 3.0. This sensational news spread like wildfire over the Internet. Within moments, Alabama legislators were bombarbed with the harsh reactions of science community and intellectuals across the world.