The joke’s on us
By the numbers
Friday, March 28, 2008
Every year, ideas of grandiose April Fools’ pranks flow through our heads but never come to fruition. But what if we all had the power of authority or the media at our disposal to really fool the masses? In honor of this April Fools’ Day, here is a list of amazing pranks in history that will be remembered for making ordinary people believe the extraordinary.
2,000 Number of sharks reported by a local newspaper to be released in three northern Michigan lakes in 1981. This ‘government-funded’ test of the adaptability of sharks to cold climates enraged fishermen and environmentalists alike.
32 Number in millions of left-handed Americans who got a thrill in 1998 when Burger King pretended to release a Whopper meant just for them, with the condiments rotated 180 degrees for their eating efficiency.
1957 Year the BBC news show "Panorama" convinced huge numbers of viewers that due to a mild winter, the Swiss were enjoying a robust spaghetti crop. The BBC was flooded with callers wanting to learn how to plant spaghetti trees of their own.
11 Years added to Britney Spears’ life as a hoax on a music Web site in 1999, prompting hundreds of fans to call her record label demanding to know her true age.
635 Height, in feet, of Great Blue Hill in Milton, Mass., which ‘erupted’ in 1980, as reported by Channel 7 news. Terrified residents and a panicked response led to the firing of the mastermind behind the prank.
9:47 a.m. April 1, 1976 saw hundreds of Brits claiming to have felt a sensation of minimal gravity after a BBC report advised them to jump at that exact moment to experience a strange floating feeling as Jupiter aligned with Pluto.
2004 Year a National Public Radio hoax attempted to convince listeners that Americans could keep their zip code wherever they moved, just like their cell phone number.
10 Percent lifetime discount reported to be offered to teenagers who were willing to sport tattoos of company logos in 1994. Youngsters replied in earnest.