Brace yourselves - It's almost April 1st, the one day of the year when pulling a light-hearted prank is not frowned upon. Also known as April Fool's Day, the origins of this fun tradition are a little sketchy. Some believe that the light-hearted fun began in 1852 when the world transitioned from the Julian calendar (which began the New Year in April) to today's Gregorian calendar. Others think it was to celebrate the change of seasons.
No matter what the origin, April Fool's Day is now widely celebrated by not just individuals, but corporations as well. Over the years, there have been numerous epic pranks. Here are some that made our top list.
Thomas Edison's invention of the world's first phonograph left little doubt that he was a genius. Hence, when The Daily Graphic announced that Edison had created a device that could transform soil into vegetables and meat, and water into wine, nobody doubted it for a second. Several newspapers even did follow-up articles lauding the brilliant scientist for this amazing creation. It was only a few days later when people looked closer; that they realized the article had been published on April 1st, 1878!
In 1962, Sweden's only television station, Sveriges Television that broadcast in black and white, announced that they had found an easy way to transform all programming to color.
On April 1st, the station's technical expert Kjell Stensson, instructed viewers to cut open a nylon stocking, tape it to their television screens and wait for the magic to happen.
He did caution them that the transformation would only be visible from a certain distance and that they would have to move their heads back and forth to get perfect alignment. Thousands of people later admitted getting completely taken in by the prank.
The normally staid British Broadcasting Company (BBC) is a master when it comes to April Fool's jokes.
In 1961, they aired an interview with a professor from London University who had invented a new technology called "smellovision." It enabled viewers to smell the aromas emanating at the television studio from the comfort of their homes.
The professor asked the audience to test the technology and let him know if they could smell the coffee and onions that were in the television studio. The phones were soon ringing off the hook with viewers claiming that the smells were so strong that they felt like they were in the television studio. Many claimed the onions made their eyes water!
In 1979, BBC's radio division pulled off another great prank. This time around British astronomer, Patrick Moore announced that at 9:47 am on April 1st, an alignment of Jupiter, Pluto and Earth would interfere with the Earth's gravity. He said that if people jumped at that precise moment they would experience a brief floating sensation. Sure enough, the radio station was flooded with calls from people wanting to share their "weightlessness" experience. One caller declared that he had jumped so high that his head had hit the ceiling.
Search giant Google is also well known for its pranks. One of their best ones was in 2014 when the company announced and released a video of an app for business dogs. Features included Dmail with translation, Hangouts with bark enhancement, and paw recognition technology!
Happy April Fool's Day!
Resources: huffingtonpost.com,hoaxes.com, wikipedia.org