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|
Teleportation Machine (2013)The University of Michigan College of Engineering released a video revealing that their researchers had created a teleportation machine. Materials Science Prof. Xavier Vlad demonstrated how he could teleport a small key from one end of the machine to the other. He further explained that the process was discovered by accident — just like the discovery of Post-It notes.
The Kodak eyeCamera 4.1 (2009)Kodak debuted a new addition to its product line: an "eye camera." The camera featured a "what you see is what you get" viewfinder, Facial Recall Assistant (handy for parties and reunions), Image Stabilizer (perfect for taking pictures after a glass of wine or two), Digital X-Ray Vision (developed in partnership with the Superman Corporation located in the Fortress of Solitude), and a SuperZoom attachment.
Energy From Starlight (2008)The Norwegian energy company Statkraft released a video announcing they had developed a way to generate power from starlight:
The British Weather Machine (1981)The Guardian reported that scientists at Britain's research labs in Pershore had "developed a machine to control the weather." The article was titled, "Britain Rules the Skies." The article explained that, "Britain will gain the immediate benefit of long summers, with rainfall only at night, and the Continent will have whatever Pershore decides to send it." Readers were also assured that Pershore scientists would make sure that it snowed every Christmas in Britain. Accompanying the article was a picture of a scruffy-looking scientists surrounded by scientific equipment. The picture was captioned, "Dr. Chisholm-Downright expresses quiet satisfaction as a computer printout announced sunshine in Pershore and a forthcoming blizzard over Marseilles."
Dial-O-Fish (circa 1970?)Australia's This Day Tonight ran a segment about the "Dial-O-Fish," a new electronic fishing rod that could be set to catch any desired species. A "fishing expert" demonstrated how to use the device. First he dialed up garfish, and soon had caught half a dozen. Next he dialed up tommy ruff. Hundreds of viewers reportedly called in wanting to know where to buy one, and a Japanese manufacturer declared it was ready to go into production immediately.
BBC TV interviewed a professor from London University who had perfected a technology he called "smellovision." It allowed viewers to smell aromas produced in the television studio in their homes. The professor explained that his machine broke scents down into their component molecules which could then be transmitted through the screen.
The professor offered a demonstration by placing first some coffee beans and then onions into the smellovision machine. He asked viewers to report by noon whether they were able to smell anything, instructing them that "for best results stand six feet away from your set and sniff." Viewers called in from across the country to confirm that they distinctly experienced these scents as if they were there in the studio with him. Some claimed the onions made their eyes water.
The Smellovision experiment was repeated on June 12, 1977 by Bristol University psychology lecturer Michael O'Mahony, who was interested in exploring the effect of the power of suggestion on smell. O'Mahony told viewers of Reports Extra, a late-night news show that aired in the Manchester region, that a new technology called Ramen spectroscopy would allow the station to transmit smells over the airwaves. He told them he was going to transmit "a pleasant country smell, not manure" over their TV sets, and he asked people to report what they smelled. Within the next 24 hours the station received 172 responses. The highest number came from people who reported smelling hay or grass. Others reported their living rooms filling with the scent of flowers, lavender, apple blossom, fruits, potatoes, and even homemade bread. Two people complained that the transmission brought on a severe bout of hay fever.
But when April 1st arrived, the company admitted that no such device existed. Nor had its announcement done anything to deter pranksters from calling the zoo. 755 hoax calls were intercepted by operators.
The Yonghy Bonghy Bo (1957)
Rear Admiral Tully Shelley, managing director of a company of oil refinery and construction engineers, designed a match striking machine as an April Fool's Day joke. He called it his "Yonghy Bonghy Bo" (an allusion to Edward Lear's poem, "The Courtship of the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo"). However, the machine actually did work and could be used to light a cigarette.
Man Flies By Own Lung Power (1934)In April 1934, numerous U.S. newspapers printed a photograph distributed by the International News Photo agency showing a man flying through the air by means of his own lung power. The man was identified as German pilot Erich Kocher. Captions accompanying the photo explained that Kocher was wearing a device strapped to his chest which consisted of a box and two horizontal rotors. By blowing into the box, he could make the rotors revolve. This created enough suction in front of him to propel him through the air. He also wore skis on his feet as landing gear, and a fin on his back to steer himself.
Among the papers that printed this photo as an authentic piece of news were the New York Daily News (which, at that time, had the largest circulation in the U.S.), the New York American, the Daily Mirror, and the Chicago Herald & Examiner,
Even the prestigious New York Times ran the photo on April 15, 1934 in its Rotogravure Picture Section, placing the following caption beneath it:
A man flies on his own power for the first time in history: Erich Kocher, wearing a safety costume and blowing into a box to make two rotors revolve, soars from a runway into the air near Berlin. A tail skid attached to his waist steadies him in the air and skis on his feet act as landing gear.
Some papers also ran a second smaller photo as an insert, showing Kocher operating the "lung-power motor."
The Daily Independent, Monessen, Pa. (April 13, 1934)
The TruthWhat the American papers didn't realize was that the original source of the photo was the April Fool's Day edition of a German magazine, the Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung. International News Photo had distributed the photo to its American subscribers without identifying the photo as a joke.
International News Photo also confused details of the Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung's original article. In the original, it wasn't the force of Kocher's breath that caused the rotors to turn. Instead, the pilot breathed normally into the box, triggering a chemical reaction that extracted the carbon dioxide from his breath and used it to power a small motor. The fact that carbon dioxide is not very combustible and thus would make a terrible fuel was part of the joke. International News Photo also misspelled the pilot's name. In the original it was Erich Koycher, which was a pun on the German word "keuchen" meaning to wheeze or gasp for breath.
Edison’s Food Machine (1878)
After Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877, Americans were quite willing to believe there was no limit to his genius. They were sure he could solve any problem he focused his powerful mind on. Therefore, when the New York Graphic announced in 1878 that Edison had invented a machine capable of transforming soil directly into cereal and water directly into wine, thereby ending the problem of world hunger, it found a willing audience of believers.
Newspapers throughout America copied the article unquestioningly and heaped lavish praise on Edison. The conservative Buffalo Commercial Advertiser, in particular, waxed eloquent about Edison's genius in an editorial that dwelled upon the good fortune of a man like Edison having been born in the progressive nineteenth century when his genius could be appreciated. "Let steady-going people whose breath has been taken away by the pace we seem to be driving at just now, take heart therefore," it declared. "And be thankful that the genius of true benefactors of the race, like Edison, cannot now be crippled and blighted by superstition and bigotry, as it was when Galileo was forced to recant the awful heresy that two and two make four."
The New York Graphic took the liberty of reprinting the Advertiser's credulous editorial in full. Above the article it placed a single, gloating headline: "They Bite!"