10 best April Fool’s Day hoaxes

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Photo by Kalani Ruidas

April Fool's Day is celebrated worldwide on April 1 by pulling harmless pranks, like this one. Note: No students were harmed in the staging of this photo.

By Kalani Ruidas, Features co-editor

April Fool’s Day has been celebrated since medieval times, around the 14th and 15th centuries. There are several myths about the origin of April Fool’s Day, but the uncertainty of its beginnings only sets the tone for this trick-filled, lighthearted holiday.

In seven centuries, there have been many memorable April Fool’s jokes and hoaxes. Here is a list of 10 of the most interesting, famous April Fool’s Day pranks ever pulled.

1. In 1996, the Taco Bell Corporation announced to the media that they had bought the historic Liberty Bell, located in Philadelphia, and renamed it the Taco Liberty Bell.

2. In 2011, Google released the idea for their latest innovation, Gmail Motion. Gmail Motion would allow users to write emails using gestures, tracked by webcam, eliminating the need for keyboards and computer mice. The homepage for the Gmail Motion included a video by experts like Dennis Tooley, Ph.D., from the “California Center for Kinesics and Paralanguage,” and Lorraine Klayman, M.Sc., an “Environmental Movement Specialist at Nevada Polytechnic College.”

3. Richard Branson, chairman of Virgin Records, tricked all of London in 1986 when he fashioned a hot air balloon to look like a UFO and dressed like a silver-suited alien. He planned to land on April 1, but because of adverse weather conditions, he actually landed on the outskirts of London on March 30.

4.  In 1972, a team of zoologists from Yorkshire’s Flamingo Park Zoo, who had been investigating the existence of the famed Loch Ness monster, claimed to have found Nessie’s dead body floating in the Loch. Headlines of the news ran all over the world. However, it was only the carcass of a bull elephant seal from the Dudley Zoological Gardens in England that had been frozen and placed in the Loch.

5. In 2002, Tesco, a British supermarket, printed in The Sun magazine the development of genetically modified carrots that could whistle when fully cooked.

6. In 1980, the British Broadcasting Corporation announced that the 316-ft. clock Big Ben would be renovated to a digital readout in order to keep up with the, then, new technological development.

7. In 1965, the Copenhagen newspaper Politiken reported that the Danish Parliament had recently passed a law mandating all dogs be painted white so they would be more easily seen at night.

8. In 1993, a German radio station called Westdeutsche Rundfunk claimed that the officials in Cologne had passed a city regulation that prohibited park patrons from jogging faster than six miles an hour so as not to disturb the squirrels during the peak of their mating season.

9. In 1878, the New York Graphic printed that since his invention of the phonograph in 1877, Thomas Edison had invented another revolutionary device that would convert soil to cereal and water to wine.

10. In 1986, the French daily newspaper The Parisien reported that the Eiffel Tower in Paris would be dismantled and reconstructed at the Euro Disney theme park. The tower would be replaced by a 35,000 seat stadium to hold the 1992 Olympic Games.

Clearly, pranking on April 1 goes well beyond telling your friend that he has a spider on him when he doesn’t. Don’t get taken in by the pranksters of April 1! Be skeptical, be very skeptical today, and don’t forget to laugh when someone really gets you.