It is time to unleash the prankster within you!
April Fool's Day, celebrated on 1 April every day, is an occasion marked by the playing of practical jokes on friends and family members.
There are several instances in history of large-scale April Fool jokes and generally funny rumours.
Check out a few such notable instances...
Eiffel Tower Moves
It was a shock for French citizens when the Parisien, a French newspaper, reported on an agreement to dismantle the Eiffel Tower! This iconic symbol of French culture was supposedly being reconstructed in the new Euro Disney theme park, then being built at a location east of the city. The Tower, the joke continued, was to be replaced a 35,000 seat stadium to be used for the 1992 Olympic Games.
Tomb of Socrates Found
In 1995 the Greek Ministry of Culture announced the discovery of the tomb of Socrates - one of Ancient Greece's most revered philosophers - during excavations for the Athens Metro System. The tomb was supposedly found near the base of the Acropolis. It was also reported that a vase containing traces of hemlock and a piece of leather dating back to between 400 BC and 390 BC were found. The news agency Agence France-Presse, believing the report to be true, immediately issued a release about the story; unfortunately the agency was forced to retract the story later.
Instant Color TV
Sweden's most famous April Fool's Day hoax occurred on 1 April, 1962. At the time, Sveriges Television (SVT) was the only television channel in Sweden and it broadcast in black and white. Then, a technical expert - Kjell Stennson - appeared to announce the development of an "instant color TV", in which the way light bended could be altered by draping a thin mesh layer over a television screen, the easiest option being a nylon stocking. Thousands attempted the experiment, trying repeatedly to "angle themselves" so as to perceive the color bends properly. Thousands of viewers later admitted they had fallen for the hoax.
Alabama Changes Value of Pi
The April 1998 issue of the New Mexicans for Science and Reason newsletter contained an article claiming the Alabama state legislature had voted to change the value of the mathematical constant Pi from 3.14159 to the "Biblical value" of 3.0. The report was on the Internet in no time... fortunately for mathematicians everywhere, it was soon revealed to be a hoax.
A BBC television spot showed a video of what were supposedly the world's first flying penguins! The spot was filmed for a documentary called "Miracles of Evolution" and the video showed a colony of Adélie penguins suddenly taking to the skies as the astonished presenter, Terry Jones, looked on. The TV spot was supposedly filmed on King George's Island, 1,000km south of the Falklands. This became one of the most viewed videos on the Internet. Later a follow up video was released, explaining how the channel created the special effects.
Back in 2001, British supermarket chain Tesco published an advertisement in The Sun announcing the successful development of a genetically modified "whistling carrot". The ad explained that the carrots had been specially engineered to grow with tapered air holes in their side. When fully cooked, these air holes caused the vegetable to whistle. The report, of course, was false!
Big Ben Goes Digital
In 1980, the BBC announced to listeners that Big Ben, the famous landmark clock tower in London, was going to be renovated. Big Ben was to be converted so that it showed the time in a digital readout. The announcement was met with predictable shock and anger. The hoax was carried even further by the Japanese service, which said the clock hands would be sold to the first four listeners who contacted them.
The Derbyshire Fairy
A famous April Fool's Day prank - images of an 8-inch mummified creature resembling a fairy - were posted on the Web site of the Lebanon Circle Magik Co. A story was released implying that the "dead fairy" was discovered by a man walking his dog in Derbyshire, England. It was later revealed that the story was a hoax and that the fairy in the pictures was actually created by artist and magician Dan Baines.However, by 1 April the Lebanon Circle Web site had received numerous visitors and hundreds of emails. Unfortunately, even after being told about the hoax, several people refused to believe Baines' statement and he continued to receive numerous emails.