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Norwegian April Fool's Day Hoaxes
The Norwegian Wine Surplus. (1950)
Aftenposten, Norway's largest newspaper, announced on its front page that the government-owned Wine Monopoly (Vinmonopolet) had received a large shipment of wine in barrels, but it had run out of bottles. To get rid of the extra wine, they were running a one-day sale, offering wine at 75% off and tax-free. The catch was that buyers had to bring their own containers to put the wine in. "Buckets, pitchers, and the like" were recommended. When the Vinmonopolets opened at 10 a.m., long queues formed outside. According to legend, numerous empty buckets were later seen lying in the streets, left there by people who had realized, while standing in line, that the sale was a hoax. More…
Norwegian Tax Rebate. (1971)
Norway's Aftenposten ran a front-page article reporting that an error by data company EDB had caused tax returns to be "eaten up." An accompanying photo showed a technician struggling with tangled data tape. Taxpayers in Oslo and Bærum were being asked to submit new tax returns. However, those who submitted the returns by the end of that day, April 1st, were promised a 10% rebate on their taxes. More…
Repent, Criminals!. (2004)
Norway's TV 2 announced a new crime-reduction strategy being considered by the police. Prisons were going to send inmates to see The Passion of the Christ. Police officers would then position themselves outside the theater and wait for the criminals to confess and repent after seeing the movie. More…
Scandinavian Earthlines. (2004)
The Norwegian Board of Tourism ran an ad in Swedish newspapers debuting a new underground super-train, Scandinavian Earthlines, that would connect Sweden and Norway and allow a trip from Stockholm to Lofoten to be made in under an hour. Readers were invited to call a phone number for more information. Those who phoned up were informed that the super-train wasn't actually real, but were given a pitch inviting them to visit Norway anyway. More…
Medical ID Chips. (2004)
Norway's Aftenposten reported a plan by government health authorities to implant electronic id chips under patient's skin in order to better monitor their medical needs. Health workers would be able to monitor their movements and know when they entered a hospital. Aftenposten later noted that over 2,000 people clicked on a link that accompanied the internet version of the story for people who wanted to participate in the project. More…
Homo Metro. (2004)
An Oslo Township announced that city workers had discovered the remains of a 15,000-year-old body while digging part of a tunnel for the local subway system. As a result, work on the subway had been halted indefinitely. The skeleton was going to be named “Homo Metro” because of where it had been found. More…

Opera SoundWave. (2005)
The Norwegian company Opera Software (maker of the Opera web browser) issued a press release announcing it had developed new "P2P speech technology" that used "analogue signals carried through open air, enabling users to communicate in real-time without the use of computers or mobile phones." It called this invention "SoundWave technology." It elaborated: "The new SoundWave technology was accidently discovered during an R&D study to speech-enable Opera's e-mail client. One of Opera's desktop developers needed to find an alternative way to relay a message to his colleague at a time when the e-mail server was down, and was startled to notice that his verbal outcry was intercepted and More…
Energy From Starlight. (2008)
Norwegian energy company Statkraft released a video announcing they had developed a way to generate power from starlight: "Our planet needs more energy — pure energy. And thanks to pioneering Norwegian technology we may be able to provide it. The energy source of the future is starpower... When stars explode, gamma rays with vast amounts of energy are hurled out into space. Now game capturers will be placed in orbit around the earth to capture this energy. This pioneering breakthrough has been developed by researchers and engineers from Statkraft." More…
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