Come April 1, and everyone's trying to outdo each other's pranks. But some pranks are so awesome that they can fool thousands of people at the same time, at times even the world. Of course, they're also the best facepalm moments.

Here are 10 of the best April Fools pranks ever.

10. Honouring a serial killer?

Pranksters:

American politicians Tom Moore and Lane Denton


Year:

1971

Tom Moore and Lane Denton proposed a resolution in the House of Representatives in Texas, US, to honour Albert DeSalvo, noting that he had been "officially recognised for his noted activities and unconventional techniques involving population control and applied psychology." The House unanimously passed the resolution.

File photo of DeSalvo

But the politicians were later highly embarrassed when it was revealed that DeSalvo was better known as the "Boston Strangler"—a serial killer who had murdered 13 women. Moore and Denton said they had staged the prank to demonstrate that "no one reads these bills or resolutions."


9. UFO landing in London

Prankster:

Richard Branson


Year:

1989

On March 31, 1989, thousands of motorists driving on a highway near London saw a glowing flying saucer, which finally landed in a field on the outskirts of the city. Local residents immediately called the police to warn them of an alien invasion. When a brave policeman ventured close to the craft, a door opened to reveal a small, silver-suited figure, scaring the onlookers.

But it only turned out to be billionaire Richard Branson, who had especially got a hot air balloon designed as a UFO. His plan to land the craft in London's Hyde Park on April 1 was foiled by strong winds which forced him to land a day early in the wrong location.


8. Entire YouTube collection

Prankster:

YouTube


Year:

2012

YouTube announced that it was putting all its videos onto DVDs and would deliver its to users. The first batch would be sent in 175 trucks (pack mules for users who live in rural areas), and each week, a new truck would arrive with all the latest videos.

To make a comment, users would have to fill out a comment form, place it in a stamped, self-addressed envelope and mail it to the video creator directly.


7. No drinking on the Internet

Prankster:

John Dvorak and PC Computing magazine


Year:

1994

An article by Dvorak in the April issue of the magazine described a Bill, numbered 040194, going through the US Congress that would make it illegal to use the Internet while drunk. The contact person was listed as Lirpa Sloof and the reason for the Bill was that as the Internet was an 'Information Highway', the Congress had decided that being drunk on it was bad.

Source: Gizmodo

So many readers called up politicians, furious about the Bill that senators had to release an official denial regarding the rumour.


6. Iceberg from Antarctica to Australia

Prankster:

Australian millionaire Dick Smith


Year:

1978

In April 1978, a barge appeared in Sydney Harbour towing a giant iceberg claimed to have been brought all the way from Antarctica. Businessman Dick Smith announced he would chip off ice cubes from the berg and sell these to the public for 10 cents each, promising that they would improve the flavour of any drink they cooled.

Local radio stations provided blow-by-blow coverage of the scene, but the entire hoax was unveiled when it began to rain, washing away the firefighting foam and shaving cream the berg was really made of.


5. Invention of aromatography

Prankster:

Kodak


Year:

2010

Camera company Kodak announced on April 1, 2010 that Dr Harold Museau's recent breakthroughs in Neuro-Optic-Nasal-Sense Imaging (aka NONSense) had helped it invent Aromatography. This new technology would use a camera’s sensor to capture smells in a photograph, from baked goods to flowers.

But Kodak cautioned that not everyone could smell the images.
“Emerging trends indicate a significantly greater response among subjects born in the months between May and June."


4. Erupting a volcano

Prankster:

American Porky Bickar


Year:

1974

On April 1, 1974, the residents of Sitka, Alaska woke to clouds of black smoke rising from the crater of Mount Edgecumbe, a volcano adjacent to the city, and which had been dormant for 400 years. People became terrified that the volcano might soon erupt.

But it soon emerged that 50-year-old Porky Bickar had flown hundreds of old tires into the volcano's crater and then lit them on fire to fool the city's residents.


3. When the Earth's gravity went down

Prankster:

British astronomer Patrick Moore and BBC


Year:

1976

On April 1, 1976, astronomer Patrick Moore announced on BBC 2 that at 9:47 am Pluto, Jupiter and Earth would align, and this rare occurrence would reduce the Earth's own gravity. Moore said that if listeners jumped in the air at the exact moment, they would experience a strange floating sensation.

The BBC received hundreds of calls from listeners claiming to have felt the sensation. Some people even reported floating around a room or hitting their heads on ceilings.


2. Gmail—the double fake

Prankster:

Google


Year:

2004

Tech giant Google is well-known for its April Fools' Day pranks, from fictitious job opportunities for a research center on the moon (Luna/X) to Gmail Paper. But it's best known one is the double fake—when it launched Gmail on April 1, 2004.

Since the new service came with an unprecedented and unbelievable free 1 GB space, compared to Hotmails' 2 MB, and the announcement was written in such a way that most people thought it was a prank. But the joke was on them, because Google was dead serious about its product.


1. Spaghetti tree

Prankster:

BBC


Year:

1957

A news show by the British broadcaster had a 3-minute segment about a bumper spaghetti harvest in Switzerland because of an unusually mild winter and the "virtual disappearance of the spaghetti weevil." There was even a video footage of a Swiss family pulling pasta off spaghetti trees. The show said: "For those who love this dish, there's nothing like real, home-grown spaghetti."

Hundreds of people phoned the BBC wanting to know how they could grow their own spaghetti tree. BBC's reply: "Place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best."