April Fool's Day Content
April Fool's Day Content
April Fool Categories
April Fool: Recurring Pranks
April Fool: Regions
April Fool: Perpetrators
April Fool's Day Archive, Contents:
|Before 1900:||Origin of April Fool's Day | 1700-1799 | 1800-1899|
|Early 1900s:||1900 | 1901 | 1915 | 1919 | 1920 | 1923 | 1925|
|1930s & 40s:||1933 | 1934 | 1936 | 1937 | 1938 | 1940 | 1949|
|1950s & 60s:||1950 | 1957 | 1959 | 1960 | 1962 | 1965 | 1969|
|1970s:||1970 | 1971 | 1972 | 1973 | 1974 | 1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1979|
|1980s:||1980 | 1981 | 1982 | 1983 | 1984 | 1985 | 1986 | 1987 | 1988 | 1989|
|1990s:||1990 | 1991 | 1992 | 1993 | 1994 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999|
|2000s:||2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009|
|2010s:||2010 | 2011|
British April Fool's Day Hoaxes
British April Fool's Day Hoaxes
Slow-Growing Grass (1991)
The London Times reported that a gardener had succeeded in developing a variety of grass that grew only one inch a year, no matter how wet or dry the year was. The inventor of the seed was said to be Clement Marchdone, a 73-year-old retired Essex seedsman living in Cutter's Green, near Chelmsford. Marchdone had also solved the problem of keeping stripes in a lawn because "when the grass starts to show, you go up and down with a roller; the grass will continue to grow in that direction forever."
Stonehenge To Move (1991)
The Daily Mail reported that on account of the "gradual slowing of the earth's rotation" the heel stone at Stonehenge had become out of line with the sun on Midsummer's Day. As a consequence there were plans afoot to dismantle the monument and re-assemble it "on another site of similar prominence." Where to re-assemble it had reportedly become the source of controversy. The Ancient Society of Cosmologists wanted to re-assemble it on Mt. Snowdon. However, a Tokyo consortium had offered 484 billion yen to move it to Japan, saying it would "enhance Japan's status as the Land of the Rising Sun when re-sited on top of sacred Mount Fuji." This suggestion had sparked outrage among conservationists.
The Daily Star reported that a farmer named "Ivor Binhad" was making the equivalent of $2579 an hour in grants from the European Common Market under its crop diversification scheme. The crop he was growing went by the scientific name of brassica caulis pannus haedus, aka the "red-foliaged cabbage patch doll".
The One-Way Highway (1991)
Chunnel Blunder (1990)
The News of the World reported that the two halves of the Channel Tunnel, being built simultaneously from the coasts of France and England, would miss each other by 14 feet, the reason being that French engineers had used metric specifications, whereas the British had used imperial feet and inches. The error would cost $14 billion to fix.
UFO Lands Near London (1989)On March 31, British policemen were sent to investigate a glowing flying saucer that had settled down in a field in Surrey. As the policemen approached the craft with their truncheons held out, a door opened in the bottom of the ship and a small figure wearing a silver space suit walked out. The policemen immediately took off in the opposite direction. The alien turned out to be a midget, and the flying saucer was a hot air balloon that had been specially built to look like a UFO by Richard Branson, the 36-year-old chairman of Virgin Records.
Branson had taken off in the balloon the day before, planning to land in London's Hyde Park on April 1. However, a wind change had blown him down a day early in the Surrey field. The police had received a flood of phonecalls from scared motorists using roadside emergency phones as the balloon passed over the highway. One lady reportedly called a radio station to describe the UFO that she was looking at, not realizing that she was standing in front of her window stark naked. One of the policemen who had to approach the craft later admitted, "I have never been so scared in 20 years of being a policeman."
Pranksters supplied the UK's Cerne Abbas Giant with a condom in the form of a 32-foot plastic sheet. The famous gigantic figure is an ancient chalk-carving of a naked man carrying a club, located in the British countryside in Dorset . The figure is supposed to be a fertility god and is said to possess the power to make childless women pregnant. A landlady at a local hotel commented, "It was quite a shock, but now everyone is laughing about it. We have no idea who did it, but he is now well secured against AIDS."
The Cumbrian Bogart (1988)The Independent ran a photo of a rare sighting of the Cumbrian Bogart — a creature that was half-badger, half-fox and roamed the Cumbrian fells in the Lake District. For years a stuffed Bogart had been on display in The Twa Dogs pub in Keswick. The creature and its habitat were tirelessly guarded by a "small group of conservationists" who were members of the British Bogart Preservation Society. The photograph was taken by Brian Duff, a member of this society. BBC's Nationwide news program later ran a follow-up segment about the Bogart, in which they interviewed the members of the society.
Privatizing the Army (1988)The Daily Telegraph reported that Margaret Thatcher was considering privatizing the Army and selling off the Brigade of Guards. According to the article, "Strict flotation terms would prevent hostile foreign interests gaining majority control over the brigade."
The Napoleonic Chunnel (1988)The Daily Mail revealed the discovery of a tunnel linking England and France that had been constructed during the Napoleonic wars. Supposedly the tunnel was wide enough to allow an ass carrying two barrels of brandy to pass through it. The tunnel had supposedly been discovered beneath Dover Castle. The article explained, "It would have been used to rescue aristocrats from Napoleonic France, to transfer spies and to trade British goods with Europe."
First Photograph Discovered (1987)The camera manufacturer Olympus announced that it had discovered "the first picture ever taken." The picture was supposedly discovered in the Japanese "Outer Fokus mountains." The Guardian, collaborating in the joke, ran an article about the discovery on its front page.
The Clegg GTi Turbo (1987)A Yorkshire ad agency, Male Winram Tweddle and Associates, placed an ad in the Yorkshire Post describing a new super-car, the Clegg GTi Turbo. The ad claimed that compared to this car "Owt else is nobbut middlin". A phone number was also provided for those wanting more information. When people called this number they were informed that they had "bin 'ad by some poncey ad agency."
Thermal Ties (1985)ITV News ran a segment about a "thermal tie" developed by the British Department of Energy:
"Our research has discovered that heat loss from the body is particularly important in the front of the chest, and this thermally insulated tie is to prevent heat loss from that part of the body."
Conservative MP Anthony Beaumont-Dark reprimanded the DOE for participating in the prank, noting that such pranks were "OK for the music hall, but we do not expect this type of thing from government departments."
Gourmet Bingo (1985)The Guardian announced that under a new incentive plan, each of its readers would be eligible to receive a "Guardian Gourmet Card," allowing them to gain a 15% discount at participating restaurants. The card would also allow holders to be eligible for 850,000 pounds in prize money. Each card would display a ten digit number broken into a sequence of three-four-three. Each week top chefs would be asked to select their favorite three course dinner. A menu would be randomly selected from among these choices, and then the total calories in each course would be determined. These calorie amounts would become the prize-winning number, to be matched against the numbers on a card. In a separate article, the Guardian noted that there was some similarity between their Gourmet bingo game and a bingo-style scheme launched by their competitor, the Standard, to earn reductions on restaurant meals (a scheme which the Guardian had loudly derided as tawdry and commercial). The Guardian's editor noted: "I cannot of course deny that there is pounds 850,000 at stake here... Nevertheless the whole tone and refined taste of the competition, redolent of wild strawberries rather than the sweaty armpits of the Stock Exchange, invites a totally different response from readers." The next day the Guardian announced that it was unfortunately forced to cancel its Gourmet Bingo game because of "an outbreak of salmonella poisoning at its plastic credit card subsidiary."