Plan Your Pranks: April Fools' Day Is Next Thursday


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April Fools' pranks are commonplace even among corporations (Credit: Wetwebwork /Flickr CC0)

On most days, pulling a harmless prank, or two, on family members would result in a time-out. However, on April 1st, aka April Fools' Day, lighthearted tricks are both expected and welcomed. The origins of the tradition are hazy. Some believe the fun began in 1582 when the world transitioned from the Julian calendar — which ushered in the New Year on the last week of March — to the current Gregorian calendar. Those unaware of the change, or refusing to accept the January 1st start date, were often pranked on December 31st. Others maintain the ritual began as a joyful way to welcome spring.

Regardless of how it started, April Fools’ Day is now a worldwide celebration observed by both individuals and corporations, which often go through extraordinary measures to fool the public. Here are a few of our past favorites.

Virgin Atlantic's "green" Dreambird 1417

Every year, Sir Richard Branson, the founder of the Virgin Group, and his team conjure up realistic hoaxes that often leave the public fooled for days. One of their best pranks was in 2017, when Branson announced the development of a Dreamliner aircraft powered entirely by wind energy, harnessed using the jet's bird-like, flapping wings!

Audi's autonomous office chair

In 2015, German car manufacturer Audi released an autonomous chair that could not only transport employees around the office but also sense when they needed a bathroom break or were craving a cup of coffee. Even better, its built-in face recognition technology allowed occupants to avoid people they did not wish to meet. The chair also had built-in airbags to protect the "driver" in case of an accident. The only drawback? The engineering marvel was announced on April 1st!

The British Broadcasting Corporation's spaghetti harvest

The British Broadcasting Company (BBC) was the first television company to stage an April 1 prank. In 1957, its popular current affairs show, Panorama, ran a special segment outlining how a mild winter and the eradication of the harmful spaghetti weevil had resulted in a record spaghetti harvest that year. The episode showed women joyfully picking long pasta strands from trees. Fully believing the hoax was true, hundreds of excited viewers called in to learn how to grow a spaghetti tree. They were instructed to "stick a dry piece of the pasta in a can of tomato sauce and keep their fingers crossed."

Burger King introduces "single" fries

In 2016, fast-food giant Burger King's French division "unveiled" a new menu item — a carefully-wrapped single fry that was meant to be savored slowly. Fortunately for lovers of the fried potato treats — and who isn't? — it was an April Fools' prank!

Know of a fun prank? Be sure to share it with us by adding your comments below!

Happy April Fools' Day!

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  • skyfly49
    skyfly49Wednesday, April 7, 2021 at 1:54 pm
    I think the Dreambird 1417 fooled me the most. That must have taken some master editing!
    • tea_time
      tea_timeWednesday, April 7, 2021 at 3:50 pm
      That is low -key Hilarious!
    • shrika_1234
      shrika_1234Wednesday, April 7, 2021 at 1:03 pm
      Cool I one of them good thing I didn't get in trouble.
      • uniqueness
        uniquenessWednesday, April 7, 2021 at 3:55 am
        love the picture at the front
        • uniqueness
          uniquenessWednesday, April 7, 2021 at 3:53 am
          Ha ha ha! Who did you guys prank? ( I didn't do anything though...)
          • howls
            howlsSaturday, April 10, 2021 at 6:47 pm
            I put a sheet with shaving cream allover the top by my brothers bed so when he wake up and put his feet on the sheet he screamed. And switch my friends water with soda she was so shocked it came out her nose my brother was mad but my friend just laughed and said she'd get me back so I'm scared
            • wafflegirl2009
              wafflegirl2009Wednesday, April 7, 2021 at 10:11 am
              lol I pranked one of my classmates by saying that my friend liked him and my friend went along with lol XD the prank is still going
              • butterflysly
                butterflyslyFriday, April 9, 2021 at 11:07 am
                I have done that to one of my friends and it worked but she got mad at me once she found out it was a prank. Lol
                • jel
                  jelThursday, April 8, 2021 at 8:22 am
                  I did the same waffle girl2009
              • ynooj
                ynoojWednesday, April 7, 2021 at 12:20 am
                : These are so cool! 😘
                • ilovespace
                  ilovespaceTuesday, April 6, 2021 at 1:26 pm
                  I pranked my parents by putting fake cockroges in their bed ( my mom is super scared of cockroges )
                  • jel
                    jelThursday, April 8, 2021 at 8:24 am
                    I really wanted to do that but my parents r very strict and said if I did any pranks I will be in big trouble ilovespace
                  • yumgirly10
                    yumgirly10Tuesday, April 6, 2021 at 11:17 am
                    Haha! These are all so good! Except I didn't do anything for April Fools... I forgot :( Also, you guys have some AWESOME pranks.
                    • ilovekittens-21
                      ilovekittens-21Tuesday, April 6, 2021 at 9:16 am
                      i pranked all of my family members
                      • leonardom
                        leonardomTuesday, April 6, 2021 at 6:32 am
                        On April Fools I was playing Bingo and I tricked my mom by saying it was b4 but it was actually o75
                        • user174
                          user174Tuesday, April 6, 2021 at 4:00 am
                          I love the single fries.
                          • daboss67
                            daboss67Tuesday, April 6, 2021 at 10:01 am
                            i think that the chair was cooler