April Fool’s Day: Best pranks from the house of BBC, Google, Burger King

By Ishan Kukreti

There is a window of approximately half a day, every year for pranksters all around the world to go bonkers on the oh-so-serious fellow folks of lower humor capacity. The excitement of planning a prank, the lip biting forced seriousness of its execution and the eruption of all senses weird and wacky as one shouts, ‘April Fool!!’ on the April Fool’s Day is something which we all have felt and sometimes dreaded.

But it can be a bit of a task to surprise those who are creatively challenged at conceiving practical jokes and have been at the receiving end of the punch line for too long. Here are some tried and tested absolute go-nuts ideas by organizations and people to let the juices in the creative corners of one’s mind start something mischievous.


BBC’s 1957 Spaghetti Prank

BBC has been an active and entertaining prankster for years now. On April 1st, 1957, BBC’s current affairs show Panorama carried a 3 minute piece, narrated by late Richard Dimbleby about Spaghetti harvesting in Switzerland. The visuals showed a family of supposed Swiss Spaghetti harvesters carrying out their usual farm activity. BBC got many calls from viewers to know the intricacies of Spaghetti harvesting.


Kodak’s invents Aromatography

Global camera manufacturing giant, Kodak, on April 1st 2010, gave the world something of an almost-breakthrough in photographic technology. It would have been a complete breakthrough if it wasn’t a April Fool’s Day prank.

The company stated that a certain Dr Harold Museau had developed a technology that can capture smell in a picture. The doctor, very scientifically claimed that the breakthrough in the  Neuro-Optic-Nasal-Sense Imaging (abbreviated as  NONSense) has enabled camera sensors to capture smell in photographs.

Dr. Museau explained that, ‘The proprietary imaging algorithms create an array of pixels, undetected by the conscious mind, that trigger reactions in the synapses along optic neural processing pathways within the brain to create, the olfactory equivalent of a optical illusion. The nose does not actually detect anything, but the mind experiences the aromas as if they were real. Interestingly, our tests have found that humans have an innate need to ‘sniff’ when experiencing Aromatized images even when fully aware that nothing is actually there for their nose to detect.’

The company even cautioned potential consumers that only people born between May and June can fully enjoy the technology.



Virgin group’s purchase of planet Pluto

On 1st April 2011, the company claimed that it’s founder Sir Richard Branson has bought the controversial planet Pluto to re-establish it’s authority as a  planet. It was also said that he was getting a space vehicle built to make the interstellar travel possible.

“Virgin has expanded into many territories over the years, but we have never had our own planet before,  this could pave the way for a new age in space tourism.” said Branson.


Google Translator for Animals, 2009

When it comes to practical jokes, folks at Google just love it. On April 1st 2009, Google got pet lovers going crazy when they released this statement, ‘We are excited to introduce Translate for Animals, an Android application which we hope will allow us to better understand our animal friends. We’ve always been a pet-friendly company at Google, and we hope that Translate for Animals encourages greater interaction and understanding between animal and human.’

The company claimed that the translator could ‘ recognize and transcribe words and phrases’ of the common species of animals like cats. They even created a video for the translator.


Guardian’s Republic of Sans Serriffe

On 1st April, 1977, the Guardian published a seven page supplement about the beautiful island republic of Sans Serriffe, a collection of semi colon shaped islands in Indian Ocean. The articles described the geography and history of the country whose two main islands were called Upper Caisse and Lower Caisse. Its capital was Bodoni, and its leader was General Pica. It took some time and several phone calls to Guardian’s office for people to realize that everything about the country was related to printer terminology.


Burger King’s Left hand Whopper

In 1988, Burger King published a full page advertisement in USA Today, on April Fool’s Day announcing the launch of their ‘Left-Hand Whopper.’ The ad claimed that the Whopper was specially designed for 32 million left-handed Americans. The sandwich had the same ingredients as the original Whopper, but they were rotated 180 degrees to suit the left handed population. The fast food joint later revealed that not only many people had come to try the Left Hand Whopper, many had demanded the right hand kind.