Thursday, March 31, 2011

Top April Fools Hoaxes

Do you play April Fool tricks on your family or have you ever been the victim of one? I love a good prank - even if I am the victim! Laughing is good for a person!
I found a listing of the top ten hoaxes that were done for April Fools in the past and thought you would enjoy reading about them.

#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 was going to 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 eleven friends had risen from their chairs and floated around the room.

9: Hotheaded Naked Ice Borers Hotheaded Naked Ice Borer1995: Discover Magazine reported that the highly respected wildlife biologist Dr. Aprile Pazzo had found a new species in Antarctica: the hotheaded naked ice borer. These fascinating creatures had bony plates on their heads that, fed by numerous blood vessels, could become burning hot, allowing the animals to bore through ice at high speeds. They used this ability to hunt penguins, melting the ice beneath the penguins and causing them to sink downwards into the resulting slush where the hotheads consumed them. After much research, Dr. Pazzo theorized that the hotheads might have been responsible for the mysterious disappearance of noted Antarctic explorer Philippe Poisson in 1837. "To the ice borers, he would have looked like a penguin," the article quoted her as saying. Discover received more mail in response to this article than they had received for any other article in their history.

#8: The Left-Handed Whopper
1998: Burger King published a full page advertisement in USA Today announcing the introduction of a new item to their menu: a "Left-Handed Whopper" specially designed for the 32 million left-handed Americans. According to the advertisement, the new whopper included the same ingredients as the original Whopper (lettuce, tomato, hamburger patty, etc.), but all the condiments were rotated 180 degrees for the benefit of their left-handed customers. The following day Burger King issued a follow-up release revealing that although the Left-Handed Whopper was a hoax, thousands of customers had gone into restaurants to request the new sandwich. Simultaneously, according to the press release, "many others requested their own 'right handed' version."

#7: Alabama Changes the Value of Pi
1998: The April 1998 issue of the New Mexicans for Science and Reason newsletter contained an article 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, and then it rapidly spread around the world, forwarded by email. It only became apparent how far the article had spread when the Alabama legislature began receiving hundreds of calls from people protesting the legislation. The original article, which was intended as a parody of legislative attempts to circumscribe the teaching of evolution, was written by physicist Mark Boslough.

#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.

#5: San Serriffe
image1977: The British newspaper The Guardian published a special seven-page supplement devoted to San Serriffe, a small republic said to consist of several semi-colon-shaped islands located in the Indian Ocean. A series of articles affectionately described the geography and culture of this obscure nation. Its two main islands were named Upper Caisse and Lower Caisse. Its capital was Bodoni, and its leader was General Pica. The Guardian's phones rang all day as readers sought more information about the idyllic holiday spot. Only a few noticed that everything about the island was named after printer's terminology. The success of this hoax is widely credited with launching the enthusiasm for April Foolery that gripped the British tabloids in subsequent decades.

#4: The Taco Liberty Bell
Taco Liberty Bell1996: 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.

#3: Instant Color TV
image1962: In 1962 there was only one tv channel in Sweden, and it broadcast in black and white. The station's technical expert, Kjell Stensson, appeared on the news to announce that, thanks to a new technology, viewers could convert their existing sets to display color reception. All they had to do was pull a nylon stocking over their tv screen. Stensson proceeded to demonstrate the process. Thousands of people were taken in. Regular color broadcasts only commenced in Sweden on April 1, 1970.

#2: Sidd Finch
Sidd Finch1985: Sports Illustrated published a story about a new rookie pitcher who planned to play for the Mets. His name was Sidd Finch, and he could reportedly throw a baseball at 168 mph with pinpoint accuracy. This was 65 mph faster than the previous record. Surprisingly, Sidd Finch had never even played the game before. Instead, he had mastered the "art of the pitch" in a Tibetan monastery under the guidance of the "great poet-saint Lama Milaraspa." Mets fans celebrated their teams' amazing luck at having found such a gifted player, and Sports Illustrated was flooded with requests for more information. In reality this legendary player only existed in the imagination of the author of the article, George Plimpton.

#1: The Swiss Spaghetti Harvest
spaghetti harvest1957: The respected 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. It accompanied this announcement 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. To this the BBC diplomatically replied, "place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best."


Karin said...

What a blast! Loved reading about funny April Fool's jokes! One of my best physio volunteers came to me one April 1st at the start of his shift. He said that 'he had simply had it up to here with the new physiotherapist,' and he was only going to do his shift today because he loved the residents, but I was supposed to find a new volunteer as he was resigning. I was totally in shock, didn't want to do anything foolish, and thought that after his shift I would take him aside and try to smooth things over. He let me stew about an hour and then he came to reassure me that it was all a hoax!! Phew - what a relief!

Life with Kaishon said...

These are fascinating. I didn't remember even one of these Mari! Thank you for sharing
: ) I am going to tweet this! SO interesting.
You are clever!

Raise Them Up said...

These are great! My favorite, I think, was the "Ford Lincoln Mercury Memorial"--too funny! :)

ancient one said...

This was such a fun post.

Shelly said...

What an interesting post! The things people think of. Mari, you amaze me at the things you find!

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

Hilarious...left handed Whopper? I would love to receive a call saying, "You're supposed to be at work" and then, April Fool''re off. Enjoy the day!" I seriously doubt that will happen though.

Christina said...

That was good. I can't believe some of the stuff people will fall for. I especially loved the left-handed whopper and the Taco Liberty Bell. How funny. Not to be forgotten is the Instant color TV. Imagine pulling a stocking over your TV screen.

I usually play some kind of joke on my kids but haven't thought of one yet. I still have time though.

Crown of Beauty said...

MAri, this is unbelievable, and thank you for sharing!

I think the best ones were the planetary alignment, and the left handed whopper!


Melissa said...

These are hilarious! I have been trying to think of a prank to play on Mike, but I haven't come up with anything good yet!

RR Mama said...

These are great and made me laugh out loud. Also my husband and I played a prank on his sister and then he played one on his co workers. I will be blogging about Monday.

Betty said...

Have you seen the Gmail hoax? Just go to Gmail and click on "Gmail Motion". They go me good! :)

Nancy said...

How funny Mari, I even forgot it was April fools day until I read your post!!!

septembermom said...

These were so funny and interesting Mari. Thanks for sharing. The Burger King one really cracked me up.

HOOTIN' ANNI said...

So fun!! These were all superlative. Y'know, #8 just blew me away...the ingenious advertising phenomena!! That had to be the top for Burger King. Can I say it..."A whopper" of an idea to get people in.

Kim said...

This was TOOOOOO fun! I had to read it aloud to Ivan while we both laughed hysterically. Thanks for the laugh!

Susan said...

Shows how gullible we are!!! I haven't been around reading blogs much lately. Just not enough time with all that's going on in our lives but I appreciate your faithfulness in praying for our Suzette!!!! ((hugs))

Cherdecor said...

These April Fools Jokes were so funny! I especially liked the last one about how to grow spaghetti.

The chocolate chip cheesecake looks good too.

The give-a-ways are so typical but I especially liked the last one.

Alan had on a hat today. I asked him where he got it. He said they were giving them away at a convention he attended. He likes his hat.

Karin said...

I remember the spaghetti harvest one and we didn't even have a TV yet. I think I saw it where they sell TVs in the department store. These were a hoot to read! Thanks for posting them!