The best April Fools’ pranks involve harmless fun! But the essence of a good April Fools’ story is that it stretches the credibility just a little as it draws you in slowly.
Here are our favourite April Fools’ spoofs - some old reliables plus some newbies!
1. Great Crop of Spaghetti on Trees
We can remember this spoof being re-reported in the mid-seventies but it originates to 1957. Colleagues remember watching the full 3 minutes without questioning the veracity of this story. Oh so that’s were spaghetti comes from…!! Switzerland is known for banks and chocolate, not spaghetti, right? Tell that to the millions who fell victim to a BBC April Fools' report touting the bumper harvests from Swiss spaghetti trees. The report, which ran three minutes, even led some to ask how they could have a spaghetti tree of their own. The Beeb’s response? Put a strand of spaghetti in tomato sauce and "hope for the best."
2. Converting your Black & White TV's to Colour
In Sweden, in 1962, there was only one television channel, and it was shown in black and white. The station announced that their "technical expert," Kjell Stensson, was going to tell people how to view colour images on their black-and-white sets. Researchers, he said, had recently discovered that covering your television screen with a pair of tights would cause the light to bend in such a way that it would appear as if the image was in colour. All viewers had to do, Stensson said, was to cut open a pair of stockings and tape them over the screen of their television set.Thousands of viewers fell for the hoax. Many say today that they remember their parents (their fathers in particular) rushing through the house trying to find stockings to place over the TV!
3. Google Smells!
Last year Google announced the launch of Google Nose. A video introducing Google Nose explains that the feature allows users to "search for smells." Seems complicated, right? Well that's because it is (it's also fake). The product intersects "photons with infrasound waves" and "temporarily aligns molecules to emulate a particular scent." Yes, google say that if you want to smell wet dog or burnt embers you’d can achieve this via your computer. Now, we all know Google are pushing the barriers re innovation – but perhaps this one suffered from being slightly implausible. But it went viral with 7m hits on Youtube!
4. Discovery of new set of islands!
In 1977, The Guardian published a 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 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 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. Clearly the old print-setters were having fun. The Guardian has run an April Fools’ prank every year since 1974!
5. Glass Bottomed Planes
In 2013, Virgin Atlantic out did themselves with an April Fools’ prank. Richard Branson announced on his blog that they were rolling out another ‘world-first’ with the introduction of glass bottomed airplanes into their fleet. See the blogpost here . Would this sucker you in?