April Fools Day, also known as All Fool’s Day in some countries, isn’t exactly a holiday, but it is celebrated every year all over the world. In the U.S. April 1st is prime time for practical jokes and hoaxes. Our friends, family members, and co-workers usually bear the brunt of our “celebrations,” but with the advent of the internet, virtual strangers can put one over on millions of people before they realize they’ve been had.
People have pulled thousands of pranks over the years, but only the most astounding usually land a spot on the “best of” lists. The internet is full of hoaxes and practical jokes that have stood the test of time for 50 years or more.
A good way to memorialize the best of these is to create a custom T-shirt. It’s a great conversation starter, and at least you’ll have something new to wear this April 1. Here are some great hoaxes to commemorate with a custom T-shirt:
* Spaghetti trees: In 1957 a BBC show famously claimed that Swiss scientists had successfully eradicated the “spaghetti weevil.” As a result, spaghetti trees were flourishing across the land. The BBC fielded hundreds of phone calls from viewers who wanted to obtain their own spaghetti trees.
* Left-handed Whoppers: In 1998 Burger King ran an ad in USA Today announcing a new Whopper for left-handed people. The difference? The toppings were engineered to drip out of the right side. Thousands of people ordered the new burgers, or requested the “old,” right-handed version.
* Smell-O-Vision: In 1965, the BBC announced it was going to try out a new technology that transmitted odor over the airwaves to its viewers. Thousands called in to say the study was a success. The BBC.com conducted an online version of the hoax in 2007–again duping thousands of people.
* The Great Iceberg: In 1978 an Australian adventurer and businessman promised to tow an iceberg from Antarctica to Sydney Harbor. He said he planned to carve the block of ice into small cubes and sell them to the public for 10 cents each. The barge pulled into the harbor, pulling the iceberg. However, once it started to rain, the prank was revealed–it was just a mountain of firefighting foam and shaving cream.
Creating a custom T-shirt remembering these well-known hoaxes takes only your creativity and your wallet. It’s easy enough to design your own “spaghetti tree” or “spaghetti weevil”–easier still to hire a designer to do it for you. Same goes for the “left-handed Whopper.”
Just the words “Smell-O-Vision” on your T-shirt is sure to generate a comment or two, while “The Great Iceberg” hoax will probably result in more shrugs than anything. However, that will be the most unique, eclectic shirt in your closet–no one will have anything that remotely resembles it.
Although April Fool’s Day is one of the few holidays that isn’t celebrated with gatherings, food, and dancing, it’s still an opportunity to show your creativity and passion for pranks.