We don’t want to alarm anyone, but tomorrow is April Fool’s Day, so you better get cracking on those dastardly tricks you’ve been planning. If you’re lacking a little inspiration this year just take a look through our favourite April Fool’s pranks of all time, these famous hoaxes are sure to get your brain ticking!
No-Hole Polo Mints
April 1, 1995: Spoofing the increasingly complex regulations mandated by the European Economic Community, Polo Mints ("the mint with a hole") ran ads in British papers announcing that "in accordance with EEC Council Regulation (EC) 631/95" they would no longer be producing mints with holes. This regulation supposedly required that all producers of "tubular foodstuffs" delete the holes from their products.
Planetary Alignment Decreases Gravity
April 1, 1976: During an early-morning interview on BBC Radio 2, the British astronomer Patrick Moore announced that at 9:47 AM that day a once-in-a-lifetime astronomical event was going to occur. Pluto would pass behind Jupiter, and this planetary alignment would temporarily counteract and lessen the Earth's own gravity. Moore told his listeners that if they jumped in the air at the exact moment the alignment occurred, they would experience a strange floating sensation.
April 1, 2014: Brixton Buzz reported that Brixton would be renamed East Clapham, as part of a controversial rebranding of the area. The move was pushed through by several councillors and was said to have the full backing of the coalition government. “With the shifting demographics and changing aspirations of the people now living in Brixton, it’s only right that the area should have a more appropriate name,” commented Tory councillor, Chuck Munna. Cue uproar - and some hilarious comments here.
The Left-Handed Whopper
April 1, 1998: Burger King published a full page advertisement in USA Today announcing the introduction of a new item to their menu: a "Left-Handed Whopper" specially designed for the 32 million left-handed Americans. According to the advertisement, the new whopper included the same ingredients as the original Whopper (lettuce, tomato, hamburger patty, etc.), but all the condiments were rotated 180 degrees for the benefit of their left-handed customers.
The Norwegian Wine Surplus
April 1, 1950: Aftenposten, Norway's largest newspaper, announced on its front page that the government-owned Wine Monopoly (Vinmonopolet) had received a large shipment of wine in barrels, but it had run out of bottles. To get rid of the extra wine, the stores were running a one-day bargain sale, offering wine at 75% off and tax-free. The catch was that buyers had to bring their own containers to put the wine in. "Buckets, pitchers, and the like" were recommended. When the Vinmonopolets opened at 10 a.m., Norwegian wine lovers rushed to line up, forming long queues that stretched around the block.
Canned Unicorn Meat For Sale
April 1, 2010: Online retailer ThinkGeek announced an exciting new product — canned unicorn meat, which it described as "the new white meat" and an "excellent source of sparkles." Customers who ordered it received a stuffed unicorn toy inside a can. Except for customers in Germany who complained that they weren't receiving their orders. Eventually the reason for the delay was traced back to the shipments being halted by German customs officials — who apparently believed that unicorns were real and had therefore decided that the product fell afoul of regulations banning the importation of meat from "rare" animals.
Big Ben Goes Digital
April 1, 1980: The BBC reported that Big Ben, in order to keep up with the times, was going to be given a digital readout. The announcement shocked listeners, who protested the change. The BBC Japanese service also announced the clock hands would be sold to the first four listeners to contact them. One Japanese seaman in the mid-Atlantic immediately radioed in a bid.
Tetley's Biscuit Flavoured Tea
April 1, 2014 : Tetley's introduced a BRAND NEW Biscuit Flavoured Tea! The clever Tea Folk at Tetley devised a new brew last year; not only did it taste like your favourite biscuit but it also saved tea-lovers from having to do any dunking at all. Who doesn't like their life that little bit easier?
San Serriffe Islands Discovered
April 1, 1977: The Guardian published a seven-page "special report" about San Serriffe, a small country located in the Indian Ocean consisting of several islands that make the shape of a semi-colon. The two main islands were called Upper Caisse and Lower Caisse. They did an in-depth series of articles on the history, geography and daily life on these idyllic islands. The Guardian's phones rang all day as readers wanted more information about the perfect-sounding fictional holiday spot.
Switzerland’s Bumper Spaghetti Harvest
April 1, 1957: The best-known public prank is a news broadcast by Panorama. It was a three-minute segment about a bumper spaghetti harvest in southern Switzerland. This was apparently because of an unusually mild winter and the "virtual disappearance of the spaghetti weevil," with video footage of a Swiss family pulling pasta off spaghetti trees and placing it into baskets. The show said: "For those who love this dish, there's nothing like real, home-grown spaghetti." Hundreds of people phoned the BBC wanting to know how they could grow their own spaghetti tree. To this query the BBC simply said: "Place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best."