You might have noticed it was April Fool’s Day yesterday (pinch punch first of the month…) – we hope you managed to play out some good pranks.
Here’s a slice of lighthearted news for you today – some handpicked April Fools gems for you:
1878: Edison’s food creator
American newspaper The Daily Graphic published news of a technological breakthrough: Thomas Edison had invented “the Food Creator… a machine that will feed the human race!”. It was unclear how exactly, but this magnificent invention could manufacture meat, vegetables, wine and biscuits using only air, water and “common earth”. A concluding paragraph revealed the “Food Creator” did not exist, but many readers did not get that far and many wrote to Edison to congratulate him.
1957: Swiss Spaghetti Harvest
Panorama ran a segment that detailed how Swiss people harvested spaghetti from trees. CNN said it was “the biggest hoax any reputable news establishment ever pulled.” Approximately 8 million viewers were told of Swiss farmers struggling to cope with “an exceptionally heavy spaghetti crop”. Among those fooled were then-director of the BBC, Ian Jacobs, who admitted having to look up “spaghetti” in his encyclopaedia.
1974: Alaska’s volcano
In Sitka, Alaska, the volcano Mount Edgecumbe had been dormant for around 9,000 years when, one morning in 1974, residents noticed dark smoke spooling from its top. A coastguard helicopter investigated and saw that 100 tyres had been doused in cooking fuel and set alight in the volcano’s crater. Someone (a local joker Oliver Bickar who had planned the prank 4 years previously) spraypainted “April Fool” in 50ft letters around the rim.
1980: Digital Big Ben
The BBC announcement that Big Ben’s clock face would be replaced with a digital display sparked outrage nationwide.
1998: Left-handed burger
Burger King’s unveiled a “left-handed Whopper” – a normal burger, with “the condiments rotated 180 degrees.” Obvious, you may say, but it still fooled thousands in the US and UK with left-handers going out of their way to order one, and righties making it clear they’d prefer the original version.
2012: Green Tax on Chilled Champagne
The Mail on Sunday reported a government plan to mitigate “pasty-gate” with a duty on chilled champagne. “Serving warm champagne, says No 10, is good for the environment.”
2012: Non-slip Banana
Sainsbury’s vowed its new non-slip variety of banana would bring an end to the 300 injuries reported each year in the UK caused by run-ins with the fruit.
You better get your thinking cap on for 2013…