The best (or worst) day of the year is upon us again, and as we’re on the internet, that means April Fool’s Day lasts at least a week. Here are some of our favorite pranks for 2016 (constantly updated):
Today’s tribble breeding pilot project is in celebration of Star Trek’s 50th anniversary. “After 50 years, we decided it was time to bring the tribble back! So, we worked with several specialized veterinary schools and zoos in order to create a special diet and then it was easy—we just fed them and let nature take its course,” said Dr. Margaret Weitekamp, curator of the Museum’s Social and Cultural Dimensions of Spaceflight collection.
Its experiment, naturally, quickly went awry as the tribbles bred out of control, as they’re wont to do:
Of course there was a live tribble cam:
The purring, fluffy creatures quickly exceeded expectations:
UPDATE: At press time, the number of tribbles has exceeded the Museum’s expectations and contingency plans are in effect. Dr. Weitekamp is unavailable for comment, and is working with contractor Cyrano Jones to acquire a supply of glommers, creatures specially designed to devour surplus tribbles. Preparations are also being made to transport excess specimens to the Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park. Asked for comment, a Zoo spokesperson said that it would be “no tribble at all. How many could there be?”
Active Volcano Discovered Under the Great Smoky Mountains
VisitMySmokies.com had some fun with the day, posting a very thorough article about a new, active volcano that had been discovered in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, specifically beneath Mount LeConte, the tallest peak in Tennessee:
Just as the timeframe for Mount LeConte’s eruption remains unknown, the severity of a potential eruption is also contested. There is a good chance that an eruption from Mount LeConte would be relatively minor. The similarly sized volcano Bardarbunga in Iceland erupted from August 2014 – February 2015, which resulted in some air pollution but little lasting damage.
However, the size of a volcano is not always a reliable indicator of its eruptive impact. For instance, Mount Vesuvius was only 4,203 ft tall. Despite being nearly 2,400 feet shorter than Mount LeConte, this famous volcano unleashed a torrent of molten rock, fumes, and ash that released more thermal energy than a nuclear bomb and completely decimated Pompeii in 79 AD.
It was researched and detailed enough that it was completely believable, at least until the very end of the article:
For more information about the volcano, don’t check back here. This entire story has been an April Fools’ Day joke! There aren’t any volcanoes in the Great Smoky Mountains (that we know of), so you can breathe easy if you love to vacation in the area. To learn real facts about the Smokies, check out our Great Smoky Mountains National Park page.
Of course, not many people made it to the end of the piece, making this prank particularly effective.
Disney Bans Tattoos from Theme Parks
Tattoo lifestyle magazine Inked stirred the pot with an article that reported Disney wouldn’t allow anyone into any of its theme parks if they were sporting visible tattoos:
Legally, Disney has the right to refuse entry to anyone they please because the parks are their private property. “While we respect individuals’ freedom of expression through tattoos, we do not think that ink has any place in the Magic Kingdom,” Engañar told Inked. “For those who didn’t bring long sleeves or have neck tattoos we opened gift shops in front of our gates so that they can buy a Disney sweatshirt or scarf to cover their tattoos up before entering our theme parks.”
If the date of publication didn’t clue anyone in to the nature of the prank, the name of the so-called spokesperson (April Engañar) should have (April, of course, but “engañar” is a Spanish infinitive verb that means “to fool“).
Steamy Scenes from Cornhub.com
Pornographic web site Pornhub.com generally has a very explicit front page, making no bones about what kind of content it houses. Today, however, its front page temporarily became Cornhub.com:
However, be warned: the corn thumbnails are all links to the regular site, so keep that in mind if you’re browsing “hard shucking” or “steamy ears” at work.
Jamie Oliver’s Placenta Pie
The celebrity chef got in on the April Fool’s spirit by sharing a photo of a fake (probably) placenta pie on Instagram, inexplicably tagged “Essex Placenta” on a map:
Check out this new dish guys…Placenta Pie …. It’s Super Delicious and Super Nutritious and placenta is defiantly the most Under used source of protein ethical sustainable and the great news is even Vegans and Vegetarians can enjoy it, for this recipe and 100 other placenta recipes go to jamieoliver.com big love jamie xx
Placenta dishes aren’t unheard of, however, and are quite even popular in some circles.
The British Milk Council’s Newest Product
Oh I dunno, off the top of my head, we now sell unicorn milk?
— BRITISH MILK COUNCIL (@BuyBritishMilk) April 1, 2016
YouTube Unveils “SnoopaVision”
Have you ever wanted to experience the world like Snoop Dogg? Who hasn’t? YouTube made it possible with “SnoopaVision,” complete with working, interactive prototype 360-degree videos (all featuring the rapper and actor himself) and a projected launch date of 2043:
Ice Cream IQs
The Economist got in on the action, with statistical proof that ice cream makes you smarter, or at the very least makes you perform better on educational performance tests:
Ice cream consumption, it seems, has a strong relationship with reading ability, based on the OECD’s PISA educational performance scores. Australia, for instance, scoffs 13 litres of gelato per year—more than any other country—and its children are among the most literate in the world. And it is not just sun-kissed states that show such a striking correlation. Finland, Canada and Sweden all top the PISA rankings and are avid consumers of frozen desserts. At the other end of the counter, an average Peruvian puts away barely a litre of the cold stuff each year and comes last in the rankings. Ice cream, it would appear, induces the opposite of “brain-freeze” in students.
The Economist was nothing if not thorough, noting that statistical anomalies exist within the data:
There are, of course, outliers. Suitably Chile (by name and nature) eats a large amount of ice cream, yet that has had a mysteriously small effect on literacy. In well-off Asian countries, by contrast, children are book-rich but ice-cream poor.
The Amherst Police Department announced the arrival of “Dusty” the Narcotics Detection Rabbit:
According to the department, criminals have been finding new (and ever smaller) places to conceal drugs, so they needed a smaller drug-sniffer. Luckily, Rusty filled the bill and is now the police department’s latest, fluffiest weapon in the war on drugs. (There’s no word on what might happen when Dusty meets one of the drug dogs, although it doesn’t seem like it might go well for the bunny.)
Redbox Kiosk Ambassadors
The Redbox automated kiosk rental company pranked customers on April Fools’ Day with a recruitment offer for “kiosk ambassadors” to man their ubiquitous red booths.
Hillary Clinton Arrested
Numerous web sites posted fake articles playing on the notion that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had been arrested on charges related to her use of a personal e-mail server during her tenure as U.S. secretary of state:
The wait is finally over. Hillary Clinton is officially in federal custody and is currently awaiting trial for her mishandling of government secrets and knowingly giving away classified information from her personal email server. The FBI has arrested her and will be holding her in a maximum security unit as they begin to indict her on these charges. Already donning handcuffs and a snazzy new orange jumpsuit, Clinton was photographed, as smug as ever, being led down the prison corridor.
New Words in OxfordDictionaries.com
The Oxford Dictionaries blog announced the addition of several new words from the worlds of politics, popular culture, and social media to their reference work, including Obamacar (a hypothetical scheme under which current President of the United States Barack Obama would provide free cars for every citizen in America), otter café (a café or similar establishment where people pay to interact with otters housed on the premises), and parrotocracy (a hypothetical society governed by people selected according to their ability to repeat slogans and soundbites mechanically, or to repeat or steal the policies and ideas of others).
Weary Professors Give Up, Concede That Africa Is a Country
The venerable Washington Post got in on the April 1 fun with an article reporting that academics had reluctantly bowed to the inevitable and opted to give up on educating people about the fact that Africa is not a monolithic area of the globe but rather a large continent comprising many diverse nations:
After years of teaching, speaking and publishing in an effort to convey the breadth and nuance of Africa’s thousands of cultural groups, earlier today, two weary professors gave up the fight to convince Americans that Africa is not, in fact, a country. Conceding defeat, Assistant Professors Laura Seay and Kim Yi Dionne threw in the metaphorical towel on Friday morning. They were the last holdouts in a decades-long struggle against the forces of poorly-informed journalism, Eurocentric educational curricula, and Irish pop stars who peaked in 1987. “It doesn’t matter how many map quizzes I give or how often I interrupt students to ask them to be specific about the amazing pictures from their volunteer trip to ‘Africa,’ things are never going to change,” said Dionne. “I might as well give up.” Reached as she directed several research assistants to methodically begin erasing boundary lines from the Africa maps in her collection, Seay ruefully added, “I guess I’ll stop correcting people when they tell me they’re headed to ‘Ghana, Africa’ for a church mission trip.”
President Obama Pardons Drug Offenders, Removes Pot as Schedule 1 Drug
The Free Thought Project posted a spoof article reporting that President Obama had signed an executive order effectively legalizing marijuana nationwide and pardoning all previously sentenced drug offenders:
As his second presidential term comes to an end, Barack Obama, an admitted pot smoker, finally came to terms with the fact that locking people in a cage for possessing a plant that makes them happy is criminal. On Friday morning, the President issued Executive Order 21302, effectively pardoning all non-violent drug offenders and ordering their release. Also contained within the text of EO 21302 is an addendum which removes cannabis from the Food and Drug Administration’s scheduling protocol under the Controlled Substance Act. Instead of simply bumping cannabis up to a level 4 or 5 classification, the executive order removed it entirely.
Groupon Cat Reader
The Groupon global e-commerce marketplace offered a (quickly sold out) deal on a new Cat Reader, a product that offers felines a chance to hear great works of literature read to them by other cats:
Everyone knows that cats love to chase things — strings, lasers, mice, you name it. Well, recent scientific studies just added “an understanding of culture” to that list. It turns out our feline friends harbor a voracious appetite for literary classics and want to be read to just like children. But with the pressures of modern society, who has time to read to their cats? Groupon is here to help. We’ve hand-picked expert feline readers who are skilled at delivering a gripping tale to your friend with a tail. Imagine the blank stare of pride in your cat’s eyes when she hears the inspiring story of the lion, Aslan, in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Or the unblinking gaze of total excitement as she puzzles out the whodunit plot of Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap.
Charlie the Tuna Retires
StarKist announced that beloved mascot Charlie the Tuna was retiring, to be replaced by Brad the Sawfish: “He’s slick. He’s sharp. And he loves easily opening StarKist Pouches and cans”:
Charlie the Tuna’s RetirementLadies and gentlemen, #TeamStarKist would like to introduce the new face of StarKist: Brad the Sawfish. He’s slick. He’s sharp. And he loves easily opening StarKist Pouches and cans. Our beloved spokes-fish for the past 50+ years, Charlie the Tuna, was set to retire, so we honored Charlie’s wishes by finding another rad fish. Check out and share the video for the whole story – and visit our website for exclusive Brad the Sawfish swag! http://starki.st/ir3jpg
Posted by StarKist on Friday, April 1, 2016
Florida State and University of Florida to Merge
In an unprecedented (and prankish) move that sent shockwaves across North Florida, the University of Florida and Florida State University announced that the rival schools were merging into a single university:
Donald Trump Accepts Cruz’s Debate Invitation
Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz rickrolled his supporters (and thumbed his nose at his GOP rival) by releasing a video announcing that Donald Trump had accepted Cruz’s invitation for a one-on-one debate:
The Duolingo language-learning app folks are offering $99 pillows that will allow you to achieve fluency in French, Spanish, Japanese, or Italian in a mere seven hours — and you can sleep through the whole process!
Tumblr 2016 Election Zone
The Tumblr microblogging platform and social networking web site’s Election Zone has helpfully provided us with an opportunity to vote for our preferred lizard leader:
Virgin Reimagining Iconic Logo
Virgin America put together a blog post and a video explaining their brand-new “human-centered” logo, which so perfectly mocked advertising-speak that it initially fooled many readers:
Ultimately, every stroke of our new logo represents the essence of who we are — and what we mean to people. The combination of sharp angles and sleek, sexy, supple curves are meant to surprise and delight upon repeat views — but also highlight humanity’s inherently contradictory nature, the yin and yang, the id and the ego, the fact that sometimes we want to stay connected and work with fleetwide WiFi, and sometimes we want to just kick back and relax with on-demand entertainment, food and drink.
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom
Adobe released a tutorial showing how to make a photograph of anything look like an Ansel Adams masterpiece using their Lightroom software:
Trader Joe’s Closing by 2017
The first big April Fool’s joke we encountered in 2016 was one started by Yahoo! News proved a popular one: the Trader Joe’s grocery chain is set to close by 2017. Don’t panic! It’s just an April Fool’s prank.
Donald Trump’s Campaign Revealed to Be a Huge April Fool’s Joke
Although many people may be amused (or less than amused) by the presidential campaign of Republican candidate Donald Trump, rumors he had announced that his entire campaign had been a prank were in keeping with the spirit of the day.
National Geographic to Stop Publishing Nude Animal Pictures
The famous natural history magazine’s headline-only jape was a pledge that they “will no longer degrade animals by showing photos of them without clothes.”
For the tech-minded, ThinkGeek’s retail shop is offering (above) a “Flavor of the Day” lickable desktop calendar in which “each day has a fun flavor” and “366 different flavors take your tongue on a world tour of culinary delights,” as well as (below) a Star Trek white noise sleep machine that’s as “effective as the Vulcan nerve pinch.”
Google Cardboard Plastic
Online tech giant Google has rolled out “Cardboard Plastic,” an invention that “combines everything you love about virtual reality headsets with everything you love about reality”:
Gmail Mic Drop
Google’s Gmail Blog also unveiled the “Mic Drop” email feature, which makes “it easier to have the last word on any email” by “using the new ‘Send + Mic Drop’ button” (which blocks all responses to e-mail messages and sends an animated GIF of a Minion dropping a microphone). “Everyone will get your message, but that’s the last you’ll ever hear about it. Yes, even if folks try to respond, you won’t see it”:
News outlets reported that Google got more than they bargained for from this prank, however:
An April Fools prank from Google has left users angry and left the search firm apologetic.
Google introduced a reply button which would send a reply all response in Gmail along with an animated GIF of a minion dropping a microphone.
Any replies coming back after the Mic Drop reply would then be hidden, but still accessible through the ‘all mail’ tab.
However, a number of Gmail users were left unimpressed by the jape, reporting accidentally sending the replies to potential employers, colleagues and others.
The most popular threads currently on the Gmail help forum are iterations of ‘how to remove Mic Drop feature’.
Google has since removed the feature and apologised for a ‘bug’.
Google Maps Take Users to “Funkytown”
Pegman, the little figure in Google Maps, will dance if you ask Google Maps to take you to Funkytown (with music, of course):