April 1st is celebrated as April Fools' Day, a time when jokers and pranksters do their best to outdo each other. According to historians, it is believed that April Fools' Day dates back to 1582 when France switched to the Gregorian calendar. Here are 5 outrageous April Fools’ Day hoaxes that are sure to make you laugh.
Planting Spaghetti Trees The spaghetti-tree hoax was a three-minute segment broadcast on April Fools' Day by the BBC. The prank purportedly showed a family in southern Switzerland harvesting spaghetti from the family "spaghetti tree". The segment was narrated by a distinguished BBC broadcaster and showed a woman carefully plucking strands of spaghetti from a tree and then laying them in the sun to dry. The station received more than a few calls from excited home cooks and gardeners interested in learning how to grow their own spaghetti tree. Decades later CNN called this broadcast "the biggest hoax that any reputable news establishment ever pulled".
Sale of the Liberty Bell
In 1996, Taco Bell ran a huge ad in major newspapers saying that the company had purchased the Liberty Bell and intended to rename it the Taco Liberty Bell. So many people thought it was true that the National Park Service and some U.S. Senators got involved to explain that it was all a hoax. After admitting it was a an April Fool’s Day joke, Taco Bell donated $50,000 to help provide care for this American treasure.
Toilet Paper for Left-Handers Cottonelle played its own joke in 2015 when it announced it was going to introduce toilet paper for people who were left-handed. Claiming that "America has spoken, and we at Cottonelle have listened," Cottonelle introduced ReverseRipple™ toilet paper, specially designed "for left-handed wipers."Cottonelle didn’t start the “left-handed” joke though because Burger King pulled it in 1998 with their Whopper for left-handed people.
The Collapse of the Seattle Space Needle A special report presented by a television channel in Seattle in 1989 announced that the Space Needle had just collapsed, to the horror of viewers. The report was complete with photos, a live interview with someone who saw it start swaying and fall and an announcement that one person had received minor injuries. Although the video ended up explaining that the story was an April Fools’ Day prank, the station was flooded with callers as well as medical personnel and volunteers showing up to help.
The Fastest Baseball Pitcher in the World Author and actor George Plimpton wrote a story for Sports Illustrated about an imaginary pitcher for the Mets named Siddhartha “Sidd” Finch, who threw a fastball that clocked in at 168 mph. The story ran in 1985 on April 1, and sharper readers realized that the secondary headline. When strung together, the first letters of each word in the subhead spelled out “Happy April Fools’ Day.” Plimpton used this story later in a novel called “The Curious Case of Sidd Finch: A Novel.”