• A. Gulvin Translation

April Fool!

Updated: May 29, 2018

Did you know that April 1st is known as April Fool's Day? It's not just a tradition from English-speaking countries, but is actually celebrated in lots of countries all around the world as a day when people play pranks or practical jokes on each other.


We thought we'd take this opportunity to wish you a happy April Fool's Day, and tell you about some of the most entertaining April Fool's pranks that have been pulled off in Britain.


1. Spaghetti Trees


In 1957, the British current affairs TV show, Panorama, broadcast a news item informing people that spaghetti farmers in Switzerland had had a great harvest this year accompanied by a video showing a Swiss family harvesting spaghetti from supposed 'spaghetti trees'.


At the time, spaghetti was a new and exotic food in Great Britain, and not many people knew how it was made, and so they fell for the joke. The BBC received hundreds of calls from viewers who had seen the broadcast, some wondering if the story was true, and some asking how they could grow their own spaghetti trees! Take a look at the awesome video below!





2. The San Seriffe Islands


On April Fools Day 1977, The Guardian newspaper published a special report on an island nation in the Indian Ocean called San Seriffe, which consisted of several islands in the shape of semi-colons (;). 


The article contained a detailed description with puns and plays on words relating to typography. For example, its two main islands were called Upper Caisse and Lower Caisse  (uppercase/capital letters and lowercase/small letters). 


People phoned the newspaper all day wanting to find out more about this wonderful holiday location! Read more and take a fun quiz here.



3. The Jovian-Plutonial Gravitational Effect


On April Fools Day 1976, British astronomer Patrick Moore announced on BBC Radio 2 that there would be a freak astronomical event would take place at 9.47am whereby Pluto would pass behind Jupiter causing a powerful combination of two planets' gravity, and noticeably decreasing the gravity on Earth for a short time.


Moore suggested that if people jump into the air at that exact time, they would feel a floating sensation. Hundreds of people phoned in to tell the BBC station they had experienced this sense of floating!


Have you ever played an April Fool's Day joke on somebody? Have you been fooled by a hoax yourself? Leave us your comments below!


Thanks to The Museum of Hoaxes for inspiration for this post!


BEFORE YOU GO... check out the English bytes from today's post:

  • prank: a practical joke or mischievous act e.g. April 1st is a great day to have fun with silly pranks.

  • to pull [something] off: to succeed in achieving or winning something difficult e.g. I can't believe after all that went wrong in the planning stages that he managed to pull that event off!

  • to fall for [something]: to believe something that isn't true/to be deceived by something e.g. My mum isn't really an Olympic swimmer! I can't believe you fell for that!

  • hoax: a trick or joke played on somebody e.g. there wasn't an alien landing, it was just a hoax.