These April Fools' Day hoaxes are some of the very best.
13. Nessie's Body Found -- Newspapers around the world announced that the dead body of the Loch Ness Monster had been found on April 1, 1972. Instead, it was a bull elephant seal from the South Atlantic. The next day, an employee at Yorkshire's Flamingo Park Zoo confessed he put the body in the Loch to play a prank on his colleagues, but it spiraled out of control.
12. Flying Penguins -- On April 1, 2008, the BBC showed footage during its natural history series "Miracles of Evolution" that it claimed show Adélie penguins taking to the air. The video quickly became one of the most-viewed on the Internet, and a follow-up video explained how the BBC created the hoax.
11. Hotheaded Naked Ice Borers -- In the April 1995 issue ofDiscover Magazine, it was reported that wildlife biologist Dr. Aprile Pazzo (Italian for April Fool) had found a new species in Antarctica -- the hotheaded naked ice borer. The made-up creatures had bony plates on their heads could become burning hot, allowing them to bore through ice and hunt penguins. Discoverreceived more mail in response than any other article in its history.
10. Nixon for President -- On April 1, 1992, National Public Radio's "Talk of the Nation" announced that Richard Nixon was running for president again. His new campaign slogan? "I didn't do anything wrong, and I won't do it again." Listeners flooded the show with calls expressing shock and outrage until host John Hockenberry revealed the practical joke during the show's second half.
9. San Serriffe -- On April 1, 1977, the British newspaperThe Guardianpublished a special supplement on San Serriffe, a small republic said to consist of several semi-colon-shaped islands in the Indian Ocean. The paper's phones rang all day, but only a few readers noticed that everything about the island was named after the sans serif typeface.
8. The Taco Liberty Bell -- The Taco Bell Corporation took out a full-page ad in six major newspapers on April 1, 1996, announcing it had bought the Liberty Bell and was renaming it the Taco Liberty Bell. Outraged citizens flooded the National Park Service with angry phone calls until Taco Bell fessed up to the joke a few hours later.
7. Instant Color TV -- In 1962, Sweden had just one television channel, which was black and white. But for April Fools' Day, the station's technical expert told viewers they could convert their existing sets to display color by pulling a nylon stocking over their TV screen.Kjell Stensson demonstrated the process on the news, and thousands of Swedes were taken in.
6. Swiss Spaghetti Harvest -- On 1 April 1957, the BBC news showPanorama fooled viewers byannouncing 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 was accompanied by footage of Swiss peasants pulling strands of spaghetti from trees. Viewers were sucked in, calling the BBC wanting to know how they could grow their own spaghetti tree.
5. Smellovision -- This 1965 prank was unveiled in a BBC segment, with an expert demonstrating a new technique in which aromas conjured in a TV studio could be pumped through home television sets. Viewers reported that they could, in fact, catch a whiff of the distinctive scents. But they apparently did not smell the, ahem, bull.
4. Gravity Disappears -- BBC Radio 2 launched a stellar prank with news that at 9:47 a.m. on April 1, 1976, Pluto would pass behind Jupiter and that this alignment of the planets would result in a stronger gravitational pull from Jupiter, counteracting the Earth's own gravity. Listeners who timed a jump just at the right moment would be able to experience weightlessness, an astronomer in the report claimed. Hundreds of listeners immediately reported that they had been suspended in mid-air (along with their disbelief).
3. Sidd Finch -- The April 1985 issue ofSports Illustratedcontained a story by George Plimpton about a new rookie pitcher named Sidd Finch who could throw a 168 mph pitch with accuracy. The first letter of each wording in the sub-heading spelled "H-a-p-p-y A-p-r-i-l F-o-o-l-s D-a-y — A-h F-i-b".
2. Alabama Pi -- The April 1998 issue of theNew Mexicans for Science and Reasonnewsletter contained an article claiming that the Alabama Legislature had voted to change the value of pi from 3.14159 to the 'Biblical value' of 3.0.The author was listed as April Holiday, who worked for the news service "The Associalized Press." Alabama lawmakers were deluged with complaints and forced to explain that they had not concocted a new pi recipe.
1.Left-Handed Whopper -- Burger King published a full page advertisement in the April 1, 1998, edition of USA Todayannouncing the introduction of a new item to their menu: a "Left-Handed Whopper" specially designed for the 32 million left-handed Americans. Lots of left-handers apparently swallowed the prank whole, lining up for the burger.