Friday, April 1, 2011

April Fools’ Day: Some of The Best Known World Class Pranks

Expect anything and everything on April Fools’ Day.
Though April Fools’ Day is celebrated around the world it is not a national holiday. All kinds of jokes and foolishness abound on this day. Jokes ranging from being simply good-humoured or simply funny to hoaxes definitely serve as a test of one’s imagination and the recipient’s good naturedness and/or imagination or lack of one or both.
Various countries have their own variation on how they celebrate April Fools. People in New Zealand, Ireland, the UK, Australia, and South Africa have their April Fools’ Day jokes last only until noon. UK papers even only have their morning edition print their April Fools’ Day prank.
Anywhere else in the world April Fools’ Day goes on entirely on April 1st’s 24 hours.
April Fools’ Day is not for everyone to have some laughs. Some of the well-known world-class hoaxes had a dramatically funny or dramatically catastrophic effect on the public which sometimes involve countries.
Here are some of history’s world class renowned pranks:
 Liberty Bell: In 1996 Taco Bell had a full-page advertisement in the 104-times-Pulitzer-Prize winner The New York Times announcing that they had bought the historic Liberty Bell. Taco Bell said they did this to help reduce America’s debt . Thus they were renaming Liberty Bell “Taco Liberty Bell”. When the White House was asked then-press secretary Mike McCurry replied affirmatively and pulled another April Fools’ Day prank regarding the Lincoln Memorial.
 Lincoln Memorial: White House announced the memorial to America’s 16th President sold with the new name Lincoln Mercury Memorial.
 Iceberg Towed: In 1983 Australian millionaire Dick Smith said he towed an iceberg from Antarctica to Sydney Harbour with the help of a barge covered in white plastic and a fire extinguisher foam.
Jovian-Plutonian Gravitational Effect: In 1976 British astronomer Sir Patrick Moore said that at 9:47 a.m. of April 1st a unique alignment of two planets would make people lighter because of its effect on earth’s gravity. Dozens phoned in after 9:47 of that morning to affirm the “strange floating sensation”.
 Nelson Mandela: One of the world’s beloved presidents, President Nelson Mandela, was even a victim of a prank when a UK radio presenter named Nic Tuff pretended to be Prime Minister Tony Blair and called the South African President. Before Tuff literally hanged up Tuff gave President Mandela a hint of his April Fools’ Day prank by asking President Mandela what he’s planning for April Fools.
 Instant Color TV: In 1962 a Swedish television did a 5-minute special announcement on how to have instant color TV. The Swedish network said this can be achieved by simply placing a nylon stocking in front of the then-popular black and white TV and magic – instant colored television!
TV License Fee Evasion Imprisonment: In 1969 a Dutch TV announced a TV license fee evasion imprisonment of the citizens of The Netherlands. When a public servant was asked on how the Dutch people could ever avoid being caught the public servant replied that it is quite impossible since people “would unlikely wrap their TV in aluminum foil”. As a result aluminum foil ran out in many stores within that hour.
 Big Ben Goes Digital: In 1980 BBC reported that there was a proposal to change to digital the 1858-built-clock of London.Diet Tap Water: In 2004 a British breakfast show announced a successful “diet tap water” that helped one customer lose a stone and a half in four months. Ten thousand inquiries from viewers then ensued.
SARS Becomes Uncontrollable in Hong Kong: In 2003 when Hong Kong was turbulently hit by SARS (severe accute respiratory syndrome) a student thought of having his April Fools’ Day kick by posting in a website the announcement that SARS in Hong Kong is already uncontrollable and that all immigration ports would be closed for quarantine. He added that the then-Chief Executive of Hong Kong resigned because of this. Unfortunately the conservative people of Hong Kong didn’t take on well his April Fools’ Day prank and the student was eventually charged.
 Bill Gates’ Assasination: Some conservative Asians celebrated one April Fools’ Day with a prank that dramatically backfired on their stock market. Way back then many Chinese and South Korean websites posted that U.S. cable news channel CNN announced the shooting of Microsoft founder Bill Gates. In effect it was their stockmarket that went down.
 NASA Found Water on Mars: NASA’s official website had an April Fools’ Day the out of this world way that only they can do by announcing finding water on Mars. Aware of the dramatic effect of this prank they also accompanied this announcement by realistically having a picture of a glass of water on top of a Mars candy bar.
 Mummified Fairy: In 2007 an illusion designer posted images of what he claimed to be the mummified corpse of a an eight-inch-fairy. He fetched a handsome £280 for this on eBay.

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