10 Most Hilarious April Fools' Gags Ever Played in History
We at myUKmailbox love a good practical joke and having fun at our friends expense as much as the next person (They would do the same to us!), so we decided to depart from a list of gifts and UK deals for this blog section and instead tell you about some of the funniest pranks ever pulled around the world.
The concept of playing pranks and jokes on friends on the first of April is a global phenomenon. In France it is called Poisson d’Avril or April Fish, Iran knows it as Sydah Bedar, and even Scotland and Ireland have something called Hunt The Gowk.
Here are some of the funniest and most clever pranks that have ever been.
1) BBC Panorama Spaghetti Harvest. 1957.
In 1950’ Britain the only spaghetti anyone was aware of came in a tin with tomato sauce, made by Heinz.
So the BBC Panorama film of a family in Switzerland harvesting their ‘Spaghetti Tree’ seemed feasible to most.
People fell for the elaborate footage of the family tending their tree lovingly.
Many people actually rang the BBC to ask how to grow a spaghetti tree.
They were told to put a strand of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and ‘hope for the best’!
2) Ikea High Chairs for Dogs. 2011.
Ikea Australia announced that they had looked at pet needs in the home and as a result they were selling the ‘HUNDSTOL’, a high chair just for dogs. It featured a hole in the seat for the dog's tail and double insets in the table with removable bowls.
The company stated that the dogs comfort was ‘paramount of course’.
Lots of people contacted Ikea in Australia to try and order one of these items.
3) Burger King, Left-handed Whopper. 1998.
The burger chain claimed to have invented a new version of the famous Whopper with the condiments in the bun rotated 180 degrees so that it would make it easier for people who are left-handed to hold the burger!
People were asking for these all over the world. Of course the idea that they could have always just turned the burger round in their hand clearly did not occur to some!
4) That's Life ‘Lirpa Loof’. 1984.
The BBC television programme, ‘That’s Life’ aired an item by naturalist David Bellamy about a rare Himalayan animal in London Zoo called the ‘Lirpa Loof’, which was in danger of extinction.
One of the quirks of this strange creature was its penchant for marking its territory with balls of purple poop! The poop was said to be this colour because of the Rhododendron flowers the creature ate.
The scientific name of the animal was given as Eccevita mimicus, (Ecce Vita is latin for ‘That's Life’, but of course the real giveaway is that ‘Lirpa Loof’ is an anagram of April Fool!
5) Patrick Moore Planetary Effect. 1976.
On BBC Radio 2 in 1976, famous astronomer Patrick Moore talked about something he called the ‘Jovian-Plutonian Gravitational Effect.
He claimed that at 9.47 am on the morning of April 1st the combined effects of both these planets gravity would weaken Earth’s gravitational pull and if everyone jumped into the air at exactly that moment they would feel ‘lighter than air’ and seem as if they were floating.
Hundreds rang the BBC to say that the experiment had worked and they had floated for a few seconds!
6) Google Animal Translate For Animals. 2010.
Famous for its April Fool's jokes over the years, Search Engine giants Google advertised an app for Android phones which claimed to be ‘Bridging the Gap between Animals and Humans’.
The tool was said to transcribe words and phrases common to certain species such as cats.
Said to be able to translate from languages such as Mongolian, Hindi and Pig-Latin, (giveaway there!).
Loads followed the instructions and tried to download the app,
Google inserted a disclaimer to say that it was not their responsibility if someone was offended by something an animal said to them!
7) Swedish TV Colour Converter. 1962.
Kjell Stensson, one of the presenters on Sweden’s only television channel at the time, which broadcast in monochrome only, claimed to have found a way for viewers to see their broadcasts in colour, using only household items.
Explaining in detail about the prismatic effect of light and the ‘Double-Slit Interferences’ (clue here), he said that stretching a pair of nylon stockings over the tv screen would bend the light and create colour images.
Younger Swedes remember their fathers dashing round the house trying to find pairs of stocking to use for this!
We would have loved to see this!
8) Taco Liberty Bell. 1996.
American food giant Taco Bell announced in 1996 that they had purchased the Liberty Bell an American national treasure. They took out full page advertisements in several American national daily newspapers saying that they had done this in order to help solve the National Debt and it would forthwith be known as the Taco Liberty Bell.
This prank is listed at number 4 in the ‘Top 100 April Fool Hoaxes of all time’.
The White House responded by saying they had sold the Lincoln Memorial to Ford Motor Company and renamed it the ‘Lincoln-Mercury Memorial’!
9) Write Only Memory. 1972.
Signetics, an american electronics pioneer stated in 1972 that they had created a Write Only Memory (WOM) device.
It was said to be the opposite of Read Only Memory (ROM), in that text could be written on it but never actually seen!
The irony of such a function was lost on some as they fell for the prank on April Fool Day in their droves.
The term Write Only Memory is now used as a generic term to indicate something that has absolutely no purpose and is completely useless!
10) BBC Smell-O-Vision. 1965.
The television channel interviewed a Professor who claimed to have invented a machine that would be able to ‘transmit’ smells over the airwaves.
He demonstrated the device on air by placing some coffee beans and then onions into the machine and told viewers to stand about 2 metres from the tv screen and ‘sniff the air’.
Incredibly lots of viewers reported that they could ‘smell the coffee’ (ha ha), with some even claiming that the onions made their eyes water. Wow!
All that is left to say is that we at myUKmailbox hope you can come up with some original April Fools' gags of your own and have a fun-packed day at the expense of your more gullible pals.