​10 Best April Fool’s Day Pranks of All Time

If you’re a natural prankster, the chances are pretty good that you look forward to April Fool’s Day every single year, and with good reason. An amiable prank is a great way to honor the spirit of spring by enjoying a laugh or two in good fun.

What you may not be aware of is that April Fool’s Day has been around since the days of ancient Rome. Since the tradition first began, people execute antics every year, but these epic pranks are noteworthy for their creative flair and wide public reaction.

1.Modern-Age Big Ben

In 1980, the BBC shocked people all over the world when they announced Big Ben would soon be modernized with a shiny new digital readout. BBC Japan further announced the hands would be sold to the first four listeners that phoned into the station. People all over the world reacted in outraged —and even staged protests —before discovering that it was just a prank for April’s Fools Day.

2.Left-Handed Whopper

In 1998, Burger King took April Fool’s Day to new levels when they published a full-page ad in USA Today for their new Left-Handed Whopper. The item was advertised as containing the same ingredients as the original, only rotated 180 degrees. Funnily enough, thousands of people requested the sandwich, as well as a “right-handed” version of the same thing.

3.Mummified Fairy

In 2007, pictures surfaced of an 8-inch mummified creature reported to be a fairy on the Lebanon Circle Magik Company website. A Derbyshire man claimed that he found it while he was walking his dog. Tens of thousands of visitors bought into the hoax before the site finally came clean at the end of April 1st.

4.San Serriffe

In 1977, the Guardian released a special report about a tiny country located in the Indian Ocean. The country was called San Serriffe and consisted of multiple islands, each shaped like a semi-colon. There were also two main islands called Upper Caisse and Lower Caisse. This prank sparked the start of a long-standing tradition of newspapers trying to fool their readers year after year.


5.Pluto-Jupiter Alignment

On April 1, 1976, astronomer Patrick Moore took to the BBC to announce a once-in-a-lifetime event. He asserted that Pluto and Jupiter would align in an unprecedented way, temporarily reducing Earth’s gravity. He told listeners that if they jumped at just the right moment, they would experience a marked floating sensation. Hundreds of calls rolled in from people claiming that they experienced this phenomenon until the network revealed the hoax.

6.Spaghetti Harvest

In 1957, broadcast news show Panorama ran a three-minute segment on an unusually successful spaghetti harvest in Switzerland. They attributed the harvest to a mild winter combined with the disappearance of the “spaghetti weevil.” The segment also included footage of a Swiss family “harvesting” the spaghetti from trees and arranging it in baskets. Hundreds of calls flooded the station wanting to know how they could grow their own spaghetti trees just like the Swiss family.

7.Color Image on Black and White Television Sets

In 1962, Sweden only had one television station, still broadcasting in black and white. That year, the station told their viewers to cover their TVs with a pair of tights to magically transform the images in color. This prank claimed that the tights bent the light in a certain way, resulting in color broadcasting, and thousands of viewers actually fell for the story.


8.Iceberg Ice Cubes

In 1978, multi-millionaire businessman Dick Smith told the public that he had towed an iceberg into Sydney Harbor from Antarctica. He revealed his plan to carve up the iceberg and sell the cubes for ten cents apiece. He also promised that the cubes could make any drink taste better. Local news stations covered the sensation until some unexpected rain washed away the shaving cream and fire department foam used to construct the hoax.

9.Washing the White Lions

On April 1, 1860, the people of London were cordially invited to the Tower of London to observe the annual ceremony of “Washing the White Lions.” Of course, a huge crowd turned up to see the lions get their annual bath, only to find out that it was an April Fool’s Day prank.

10.Loch Ness Monster Found

In 1972, newspaper headlines around the world announced that a team of zoologists from Yorkshire’s Flamingo Park Zoo had finally found proof of the Loch Ness Monster. Weighing a ton and measuring 15.5 feet long, the creature eventually turned out to be a carcass of a bull elephant seal. A zoo’s education officer placed it in the water to stage an April Fool’s Day prank.