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|
The Daily Mail's April Fool's Day Hoaxes
The Daily Mail's April Fool's Day Hoaxes
Jacqui Smith Goes Shopping (2009)The Daily Mail ran a doctored photo of Home Secretary Jacqui Smith walking out of a lingerie store. The headline above it read, "Oh Jacqui, surely that can't be you?" Jacqui Smith had recently been embroiled in a scandal after her husband downloaded two pay-per-view adult films, the cost of which Smith then included as part of an MP expenses claim.
Silent Crisps (2009)The Daily Mail revealed that Walkers Crisps had designed noise-free crisps, to be marketed as "Ready Silent Cri-sshhp." They would allow people to "eat loud snacks in the cinema without disturbing the person next to you." The crisp was said to have "the same flavour and crunchiness, except it comes already crushed."
The Queen Visits the Bookie (2004)The Daily Mail ran a photo, allegedly taken by an Austrian tourist named Otto Breeching (an anagram for "bet on the corgi"), showing the Queen with her corgis at a bookmaker placing a bet on the Grand National: "The Daily Mail can reveal that the Queen has insisted on placing her bet in person every year since a flutter went disastrously wrong... And what of the latest wager? A betting shop spokesman would say only that the VIP customer had placed 'a sizeable sum' on one horse to win at the Aintree meeting on Saturday. He declined to name the horse, adding: 'If everyone finds out what she's putting her money on, all the odds will go crazy.'"
Sky Becoming Less Blue (2001)The British Mail on Sunday announced that the sky was becoming less blue. It cited a five-year study conducted at the Koenraad University in Amsterdam which had used special digital cameras and color charts to measure subtle shifts in the sky's color. The study's researchers had found that the "'coefficient of blueness'... has drastically diminished in five years from 9.3 per cent in 1996 to just 6.9 per cent this year." They attributed this color change to the effects of air pollution and the depleting ozone layer. The article explained, "Particles of airborne pollution are thought to be creating a thick blanket of dirty grey." This blanket of pollution was preventing the 'scattering' of sunlight as it passed through the atmosphere, causing the sky to darken. Astronomer Patrick Moore was quoted as saying, "There's an awful lot of pollution, making the sky turn a strange russety colour."
The Mail on Sunday invited its readers to help the researchers in Amsterdam by taking part in a "mass observation" scheduled to occur between 10am and noon on April 1. A "Skyometer" had been printed on the right side of the page that provided a graded chart of different shades of blue. By holding this chart up to the sky, readers could determine which shade best matched the color of the sky. They were asked to mail their results to the Mail on Sunday, which would forward them to the Amsterdam researchers. The reference to astronomer Patrick Moore should have given readers a clue that the article was a hoax. Moore is famous for an April Fool's Day prank he perpetrated on the audience of BBC Radio back in 1976 in which he claimed that a rare alignment of the planets was temporarily going to lessen the earth's gravity.
FatSox (2000)The Daily Mail announced that Esporta Health Clubs had launched a new line of socks designed to help people lose weight. Dubbed "FatSox," these revolutionary socks could actually suck body fat out of a person's feet as they sweated. The invention promised to "banish fat for ever." The socks employed a patented nylon polymer called FloraAstraTetrazine that had been "previously only applied in the nutrition industry." The American inventor of this polymer was Professor Frank Ellis Elgood. The socks supposedly worked in the following way: as a person's body heat rose, and their blood vessels dilated, the socks drew "excess lipid from the body through the sweat." After having sweated out the fat, the wearer could then simply remove the socks and wash them, and the fat, away.
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 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."
The Interfering Brassieres (1982)The Daily Mail published an article titled "Do not adjust your set—it could be your bra!" in which it claimed that 10,000 brassieres made by a local manufacturer had developed a serious problem. Apparently the support wire in the bras had been fashioned out of specially treated copper. This copper wire had originally been designed for use in fire alarms, but when it came into contact with nylon and body heat, it was producing static electricity. This static electricity, in turn, was then being emitted by thousands of unsuspecting women, causing interference with the reception of television signals throughout the country. As the article put it, "Widespread television interference, which has brought complaints from viewers all over Britain in recent weeks, is being caused not by unusual atmospheric conditions, but by 10,000 'rogue' bras."
The Daily Mail advised women to conduct a simple test to determine if their bra was "rogue": "After wearing the bra for at least half an hour, take it off and shake it a few inches above the TV." The paper displayed a picture of a model shaking her bra above a TV in order to show women how to perform the test.
Hundreds of readers took the article seriously, not recognizing it as an April Fool's Day joke. Among the readers who were fooled was the chief engineer of British Telecom. According to later reports, upon reading the article he immediately called his office and asked that all his female employees be checked to see if their bras were interfering with any electronic equipment.
The 26-Day Marathon (1981)
The Daily Mail ran a story about an unfortunate Japanese long-distance runner, Kimo Nakajimi, who had entered the London Marathon but, on account of a translation error, thought that he had to run for 26 days, not 26 miles.
The Daily Mail showed pictures of Nakajimi running and reported that he was still somewhere out on the roads of England, determined to finish the race. Supposedly he had been spotted occasionally, still running.
The translation error was attributed to Timothy Bryant, an import director, who said, "I translated the rules and sent them off to him. But I have only been learning Japanese for two years, and I must have made a mistake. He seems to be taking this marathon to be something like the very long races they have over there."