It’s April 1st! Which means that you are probably checking your social media feeds to see what everyone has to say about the most well-known holiday. The tradition has been around since the 1800’s, and it has been a part of British culture for centuries.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with this day, April Fool’s Day is a day where people play practical jokes or gags on one another. These jokes can range from a simple prank to a more elaborate practical joke. For instance, you might be tricked into looking under your chair for a “lost” remote control, only to find out it was actually taped to the bottom.
Below are some of the best April Fool’s jokes of all time.
BBC’s Pranks: Spaghetti Trees
One of the best April fool pranks of all time goes to the BBC. Back in 1957, BBC aired a story as a part of their morning show experiment. The story was about spaghetti trees and how they were an extremely rare fruit that only exists in the Celebes Islands. They went on to say that you can find spaghetti growing on the end of the branches and that you had to beware of the birds that would come to eat the spaghetti.
For instance they made a joke by saying that spaghetti grew on trees. The BBC broadcasted a live segment which showed a man picking up spaghetti from the branches of a tree. The BBC fooled many people and reported that the spaghetti was later found to be made out of plastic.”
A Brief History of Sir Patrick Moore’s Pranks
Sir Patrick Moore is one of the most recognizable figures in astronomy. He was born on April 3rd, 1923, and died on December 9th, 2012. Moore has been a well-known astronomer for over fifty years. In 1969, he was the presenter of the BBC Television program The Sky at Night. He was also the author of several books on astronomical subjects. Moore was a prankster, and some of his most famous prank calls were made to the Radio London show Dick Barton – Special Agent.
In 1976, Sir Patrick Moore was broadcasting The Sky at Night and many of his listeners were convinced they could float while they were sitting in their chairs listening to him. When I was just a young lad of 9 years old, there was nothing better than waking up early on an April Fools Day morning and rushing to the radio to hear what would be the prank of the day.
This was one of the most famous ones, in which Sir Patrick Moore broadcast on BBC Radio 2, claiming that the alignment of planets Jupiter and Pluto would reduce our gravity at precisely 9:47 am. I know now it was just a joke, but in 1976, it was the best Prank ever!
April Fools: The False News Story That Became a Folk Tale
On April 1, 1933, readers of the Wisconsin Capital Times were greeted with a headline reading ‘Capitol Dome Collapses’. The article claimed that the dome had been ruined in a series of small blasts. Although the article was completely fabricated, the fake article quickly became a part of Wisconsin folklore.
The article was written by Bud Taft, a reporter for the Capital Times. Taft had been trying to come up with a way to increase readership for his paper, and he decided to do this by fabricating a story about the state capitol dome collapsing. The story was so believable that many people called the paper to ask about the status of the dome.
The article was published on April Fool’s Day, and many people in the state quickly realized that it was a prank. However, the story has become a part of Wisconsin folklore, and it is often cited as an example of the state’s sense of humor.
The Big Ben prank that went viral in 1980 is back
Big Ben is a well-known landmark in London, England. Big Ben is a clock tower that is home to a 13.5 foot bell. Like any other artifact of historic value, the Big Ben clock tower has been the victim of many pranks over the years. In this case, a BBC article on the restoration of the iconic landmark was hijacked by a hoax.
The article claimed that the hour bell, Big Ben, had been replaced with a digital version to save costs and conserve the original for future generations. The BBC article was written in a way that made it seem as though this was a fact, but in reality, it was just a joke to see how many people would fall for it.
I’m not sure if this is the same thing to you, but it seems like the BBC is getting some kind of kick out of pranking people with their fake news (again!). The BBC has again fooled the public with a story about Big Ben ringing out the time. In the “April Fool’s Day” tradition, the BBC fooled people with the idea that Big Ben was going to be silenced for four years for repairs. The BBC’s story went viral on social media and many people believed it, but it was all just an April Fool’s Day joke.
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