Not everyone is a fan of April Fool’s Day, but even the biggest skeptic has to admit there have been some pretty fun pranks pulled over the years. Hoaxes.org compiled the list of the 100 greatest April Fool’s Day pranks of all time. Here are the top ten:
10. Nixon for President
April 1, 1992: Richard Nixon announced that he was running for President again on NPR’s Talk of the Nation on the campaign slogan “I didn’t do anything wrong, and I won’t do it again.” Listeners to the show were shocked at the announcement and Nixon’s indignant behaviour. Only problem? The announcement was a practical joke, and Ottawa-born comedian Rich Little had been impersonating the former President.
9. Sidd Finch
According to the April 1985 issue of Sports Illustrated, Sidd Finch was a rookie recruit from the New York Mets would could throw a 168pm pitch. Finch developed his throwing arm by mastering the art of the pitch at a Tibetan monastery, but had never played baseball before. Mets fans went wild with anticipation. The only problem? Finch was a creation of author George Plimpton.
8. UFO Lands in London
March 31, 1989: An eerie UFO saucer flew through the air outside of London. Thousands of onlookers gathered to watch the strange flying craft, and people even alerted the police to warn them about the incoming alien invasion. The mystery craft turned out to be a hot air ballon designed by Virgin Record chairman and ballooning enthuasiast Richard Branson. He planned to land the craft in Hyde Park on April 1st, but wind derailed his plans, forcing a landing on the outskirts of London a day early.
7. The Taco Liberty Bell
April 1, 1996: It was announced in six major American newspapers that Taco Bell had bought the famous Liberty Bell and was planning to rename it the Taco Liberty Bell. Outraged citizens clogged the phone lines of the National Historic Park in Philadelphia, but Taco Bell shortly revealed that it was a practical joke.
6. Planteray Alignment Counteracts Gravity
April 1, 1976: British astronomer Patrick Moore was interviewed on BBC Radio 2, announcing that a once-in-a-lifetime astronomical event would occur later than morning at 9:47 AM. Pluto was due to pass Jupiter, a shift in planetary alignment which would temporarily lessen the gravity of the Earth. If listeners were to jump in the air this exact moment, they would briefly feel a floating sensation. The moment arrived, and calls flooded in from listeners who claimed to have experienced this sensation. Once caller even claimed to have floated through the room. Moore later revealed that his announcement was a spoof of another scientific theory at the time, called The Jupiter Effect.
April 1, 1977: The Guardian tickled the fancy of grammar nerds with its special seven-page supplement on San Serriffe, an island archipelago in the Indian Ocean. The islands were shaped like semi-colons, and the two main islands were named Upper Caisse and Lower Case. It’s capital city and national leader wer both named after fonts. Readers phoned in for more information about vacationing in this tropical location. Many credit this prank with launching April Fool’s Day hijinks in in the British press.
4. The Sydney Iceberg
April 1, 1978: Adventurer and millionaire Dick Smith towed an iceberg all the way from Antarctica into Sydney Harbour. Smith planned to chip the iceberg into small cubes and sell it to the public. The prank went sideways when it started to rain, and it revealed the towering iceberg was just a pile of firefighting foam, saving cream, and white plastic tarps.
3. The Eruption fo Mount Edgecumbe
April 1, 1974: This prank was a little more scary than most. Sitka, Alaska is home tp Mount Edgecumbe, a long-dormant volcano. Residents woke up on April 1st to see clouds of black smoke rising from the volcano. Locals practical joker Porky Bicar lit hundreds of old tires on fire in the dormant volcano’s crater, successfully fooling (and terrifying) the residents.
2. Instant Colour TV
April 1, 1962: A Swedish TV station brought a technical expert on the air to let the public know that their existing black-and-white televisions could be converted into colour TV. All viewers had to do was pull a nylon stocking over the TV screen, causing light rays to bend and appear to be colour. Thousands of viewers were dupped, as parents rushed to find stockings to place over their screens. It was all a prank, and Swedish citizens didn’t get regular colour broadcasts until the 1970s.
1. The Swiss Spaghetti Harvest
April 1, 1957: BBC news show Panorama announced so very exciting news – the dreaded spaghetti weevil had been almost completely eliminated, meaning Swiss farmers would soon be enjoying a bumper spaghetti crop. The program aired footage of Swiss people pulling down spaghetti from trees. Viewers called into the BBC, wonder if they could get a spaghetti tree of their own. Of course they could! Just place a spaghetti noodle in a can of tomato sauce and wait. This infamous broadcast is one of the most famous April Fool’s Day jokes of all time.