Now that April 1st is behind us, we can safely reflect on some of the biggest, best, and the dumbest April Fools pranks of all time.
We’re enormous fans of the space genius Patrick Moore, and he was responsible for one of our favourite April Fools pranks of all time.
During an interview on BBC Radio 2, on the morning of 1 April 1976, Moore announced that at 9:47am an amazing astronomical event was going to take place. The planet Pluto would pass behind Jupiter, temporarily causing a gravitational alignment that would reduce the Earth’s own gravity. Moore told his listeners that if they jumped in the air at the exact moment this planetary alignment occurred, they would experience a strange floating sensation.
The BBC received hundreds of phone calls from listeners claiming to have felt the sensation. One woman even reported she and her 11 friends had risen from their chairs and floated around the room. The power of suggestion in action.
Saddam Hussein and his sons may have been ruthless, power-hungry dictators, but that didn’t stop them from trying to give the people of Iraq a good chuckle every April Fool’s Day. On 1 April, 1998 the Babil newspaper, owned by Hussein’s son Uday, informed its readers that President Clinton had decided to lift sanctions against Iraq, only to admit later that it was just joking. The laughs continued in 1999 when Uday announced that the monthly food rations would be supplemented to include bananas, Pepsi, and chocolate. Ha! Those wacky Husseins!
On 1 April 2008, the BBC announced that camera crews filming near the Antarctic for its natural history series Miracles of Evolution had captured footage of Adélie penguins taking to the air. It even offered a video clip of these flying penguins, which became one of the most viewed videos on the internet.
The reporter (Python, Terry Jones – now, there’s a clue about authenticity right there) claims that the penguins fly thousands of miles to South America to spend their winters basking in the tropical sun. Who’d have thought.Floating woman, Flying penguins and Funny dictators!