April Fool's Day is just around the corner, and some of you
may be looking to freshen up your arsenal of funny pranks.
But first, did you ever wonder how April Fool's Day got started?
There is actually nothing set in stone about the origins
of "All Fool's Day," but one theory does seem to
stand out above the rest. The story goes that in France in
1582, people celebrated the New Year for eight days, beginning
on March 25 and ending April 1.
April Fool's Day is just around the corner ... what
practical jokes will you be playing?
Around this time, however, the Gregorian calendar was introduced
and New Year's Day was moved to January 1. Of course, there
were no phones or faxes back then, so word travelled by foot.
It's said that many people either did not hear about the switch
or simply refused to believe it, and as a result continued
to celebrate New Year's Day through April 1.
The rest of the population (who was in on the new calendar)
took to calling those left out of the loop as "fools"
and even began playing practical jokes on them, hence the
beginning of April Fool's Day as we know it today.
The 10 All-Time Best Pranks for April Fool's Day
Now, you may not be able to adapt some of the pranks below
to work on your own friends and family, but you can certainly
try (and if nothing else use them for some inspiration).
1. A Moment Without Gravity
Due to a rare astronomical event, namely the planet Pluto
passing behind Jupiter, the British astronomer Patrick Moore
announced to a BBC radio station in 1976 that Earth's gravity
would be lessened. The effect would only last for a moment,
at 9:47 a.m. to be exact, and Moore encouraged listeners to
jump in the air at that exact time to feel a "strange
Hundreds of people did, and began calling the radio station
to share their feelings of the no-gravity moment (including
one woman who said she and her friends even floated around
2. Mount Edgecumbe is Erupting!
Mount Edgecumbe is a dormant volcano in Sitka, Alaska. In
1974, the volcano began to spew clouds of black smoke, terrifying
residents that the volcano may soon erupt. As it turned out,
the volcano wasn't active again; it was billowing smoke because
a local man, Porky Bickar, had flown hundreds of tires into
the crater and set them on fire -- solely to trick the local
people into thinking the volcano might soon erupt.
3. The New York City April Fool's Day Parade
A press release was sent out to the media in 2000 announcing
the "15th annual New York City April Fool's Day Parade."
To be included was a "Beat 'em, Bust 'em, Book 'em"
float created by the New York, Los Angeles, and Seattle police
departments that included "themes of brutality, corruption
Also to be featured in the parade was a "Where's Mars?"
float portraying missed Mars missions, and the "Atlanta
Braves Baseball Tribute to Racism" float. When reporters
arrived at the scene to cover the parade, they found it was
a hoax by Joey Skaggs, a practical joker who'd been sending
out fake parade press releases since 1986.
4. Sharks in Michigan
The Herald-News in Roscommon, Michigan reported in 1981 that
2,000 sharks would be released into three lakes in the northern
part of the state. This was due to "an in-depth study
into the breeding and habits of several species of fresh-water
sharks." Great whites, blue sharks and hammerheads would
all be released, and a representative from the National Biological
Foundation was quoted as saying "the sharks will eat
about 20 pounds of fish each per day, more as they get older."
The paper also reported that county officials had expressed
concern that the sharks could pose a threat to fishermen and
swimmers. Hundreds of letters were written to The Herald-News
in response to the prank.
The best practical jokes are, of course, those where
no one's feelings get hurt.
5. Operation Parallax
Operation Parallax, a government plan to resynchronize the
British calendar with the rest of the world, was announced
by Capital Radio in London in 1979. It was said that Britain
had gradually become 48 hours ahead of other countries and
to correct the situation April 5 and 12 would be cancelled
Curious citizens called in the radio station to find out
if employees still had to be paid for those days and what
to do if their birthday fell on one of those dates.
6. Spring Cleaning for the Internet
In 1997, an e-mail was circulated worldwide announcing that
in order to "clean" the Internet it would be shut
down for 24 hours from March 31 to April 2. The cleaning would
clear out "electronic flotsam and jetsam" and inactive
ftp, www and gopher sites would be removed. The message warned
users to disconnect all devices from the Internet during the
7. L.A. Highways to Close for One Month
A Los Angeles radio station reported in 1987 that the entire
LA highway system would close down for repairs on April 8
-- and not reopen for an entire month! The radio station received
hundreds of frantic phone calls following the announcement,
as did the California Highway Patrol, which reportedly said
"they didn't think [the prank] was very funny."
8. Moving the Eiffel Tower
In 1986, the Parisien reported that the Eiffel Tower would
be dismantled and reconstructed in the Euro Disney theme park.
In the tower's place the city would be building a 35,000-seat
stadium to be used during the 1992 Olympic Games.
9. Grenades With Style
In 1996, when stories of Russian gangsters were frequently
making headlines, Itar-Tass announced that a military factory
was manufacturing diamond-encrusted grenades, which were being
bought by fashion-conscious Russian gangsters. The article
pointed out that "the use of such a grenade will leave
your one-time rival in a sea of beautiful sparkling gems rather
than in a pool of blood."
10. Corporate Logo Tattoos for Teenagers
National Public Radio's All Things Considered ran a program
in 1994 that various companies, including Pepsi, were encouraging
teenagers to get tattoos on their ears of corporate logos.
In return, the companies would give the teenagers a lifetime
10 percent discount on their products. Numerous teenagers
reportedly called in, wanting to take part in the promotion.
Silliness: Determine YOUR New Name and Pass It On!
Very Fun Exercises for Your Brain ... With an Amazing Little
Test at the End