April Fools Day
Beware the clowns on April Fools' DayReuters

Caution: April Fools' Day ahead. Proceed with care. Don't believe everything you read. Here are some of the funniest April Fool hoaxes of the last 50 years:

  • Instant Colour TV (1962)

Sveriges Television was the only television channel in Sweden and it aired in black and white. Then a technical expert - Kjell Stennson - appeared to announce the development of an "instant colour TV", in which the way light bent could be altered by draping a thin mesh layer over a television screen. The easiest option was a nylon stocking. Thousands of Swedish viewers attempted the experiment, trying repeatedly to "angle themselves" to perceive the colour properly.

  • Eiffel Tower Moves (1986)

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 east of the capital. 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 (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. 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 400 BC were found. News agency Agence France-Presse, believing the report to be true, immediately issued a wire release about the story but had to retract it when the truth came out.

  • Whistling Carrots (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.

  • The Derbyshire Fairy (2007)

Images of an eight-inch mummified creature resembling a fairy were posted on the website 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. 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. Despite confessing to the hoax, the Lebanon Circle website was inundated with queries from people who refused to believe that the story was made up.