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The best April Fools' Day pranks from around the world

From the classic spaghetti tree harvest to faked alien landings, April Fools' Day is the one day of the year you can forgive yourself for being duped. Well, maybe a little.

April Fools' Timeline
April Fools' Timeline
Wikimedia

1508 Poet Eloy d’Amerval refers to poisson d’Avril (April fish), the French term for April fools. 

1539 Flemish writer Eduard de Dene publishes a comic poem about a nobleman who sends his servants on “foolish” errands on April 1.

1686 First British mention of “Fooles holy day”, which is observed on April 1.

1698 One of the earliest of April Fool stunts: people were invited to go to the Tower of London to see the “annual ceremony of washing the lions”. 

1789 An English newspaper claims that April Fools' day had its origins when Noah dispatched a raven from the Ark too early.

1919 Residents of horse-free Venice wake on April 1 to find their famed Piazza San Marco dotted with piles of horse manure. 

1992 US National Public Radio announces that disgraced former president Richard Nixon is to run again with the slogan, “I didn’t do anything wrong, and I won’t do it again.”

1993 A German radio station reports Cologne officials have outlawed joggers running faster than 9.6km/h so as not to disturb mating squirrels.

2002 UK supermarket chain Tesco advertises genetically modified “whistling carrots”. Tapered air holes in their sides cause them to whistle when cooked.

2009 A British newspaper, the Guardian, announces it will only publish stories less than 140 characters long, via Twitter. Here’s how it said it would have covered the invasion of Poland in 1939: “OMG Hitler invades Poland, allies declare war see tinyurl.com/b5x6e for more”. 



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