Today is the favourite day of all the pranksters out there: the April Fools’ Day! This unofficial holiday dating back to a Roman festival Hilaria is the only time of the year when it’s socially acceptable to trick people around you – preferably with nothing too extreme, though – and laugh at each other’s expense. However, joking is not reserved to individual citizens alone: many companies and organizations, such as radio and television stations, get involved with this day with their own pranks. Below you can find four tricks executed by newspapers or public figures (the full list is available here). Would you have believed them?
1. Whistling carrots: in 2002, the British supermarket chain Tesco published an announcement of the arrival of new genetically modified carrots that, when boiled in hot water, would whistle. One question remains though: who would have wanted whistling carrots to begin with?
2. Online drunk driving: in 1994, an American newspaper published an announcement according to which the Congress had accepted a bill that would make using Internet under the influence of alcohol illegal. Many readers considered this as a prank straight away though, given that the person responsible for the article was Lirpa Sloof (read backwards).
3. Digital Big Ben: in 1980, a British newspaper reported that Big Ben, the famous landmark of London, was going to get a new, more modern outlook. The original clock was said to get replaced with a digital one, and the hands were told to be given away. However, this ended up being one of those April Fools’ Day jokes that no-one found particularly amusing: the readers were shocked and outraged to hear that someone could even consider such a thing for fun!
4. Edison’s newest invention: as early as in 1878, an American newspaper published an article stating that the inventor of the phonograph, Thomas Edison, had come up with a food machine. The machine was said to use soil and water, turning them into cereal and wine. Maybe it was due to the slower pace of communication, but this piece of information was considered as a fact by most people, and Edison was declared a genius.
Do you know any other successful April Fools’ Day pranks? What kinds of tricks you usually do? Did you get fooled today? Tell us below!