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The Daily Mail's April Fool's Day Hoaxes
The 26-Day Marathon. (1981)
The Daily Mail ran a story about an unfortunate Japanese long-distance runner, Kimo Nakajimi, who had entered the London Marathon but, on account of a translation error, thought that he had to run for 26 days, not 26 miles.

The Daily Mail showed pictures of Nakajimi running and reported that he was still somewhere out on the roads of England, determined to finish the race. Supposedly he had been spotted occasionally, still running.

The translation error was attributed to Timothy Bryant, an import director, who said, "I translated the rules and sent them off to him. But I have only been learning Japanese for two years, and I must have made a mistake. He seems to be taking this marathon to be something like the very long races they have over there." More…
The Interfering Brassieres. (1982)
The Daily Mail reported that thousands of "rogue" bras made by a local manufacturer were causing interference with the reception of television signals throughout the country. The problem was that the support wire in the bras was made out of specially treated copper which, when it came into contact with nylon and body heat, produced static electricity that caused the women to jam TV signals.

The Daily Mail advised women to conduct a simple test to determine if their bra was "rogue": "After wearing the bra for at least half an hour, take it off and shake it a few inches above the TV." Hundreds of readers took the article seriously. Among the readers who were fooled was the chief engineer of British Telecom who, according to later reports, upon reading the article immediately called his office and asked that all his female employees be checked to see if their bras were interfering with any electronic equipment. More…
The Napoleonic Chunnel. (1988)
The Daily Mail revealed the discovery of a tunnel linking England and France that had been constructed during the Napoleonic wars. Supposedly the tunnel was wide enough to allow an ass carrying two barrels of brandy to pass through it. The tunnel had supposedly been discovered beneath Dover Castle. The article explained, "It would have been used to rescue aristocrats from Napoleonic France, to transfer spies and to trade British goods with Europe." More…
Stonehenge To Move. (1991)
The Daily Mail reported that on account of the "gradual slowing of the earth's rotation" the heel stone at Stonehenge had become out of line with the sun on Midsummer's Day. As a consequence there were plans afoot to dismantle the monument and re-assemble it "on another site of similar prominence."

However, where to re-assemble it had become the source of controversy. The Ancient Society of Cosmologists wanted to re-assemble it on Mt. Snowdon. However, a Tokyo consortium had offered 484 billion yen to move it to Japan, saying it would "enhance Japan's status as the Land of the Rising Sun when re-sited on top of sacred Mount Fuji." More…
Ostrich Buries Its Head in the Sand. (1994)
The Daily Mail published a photograph showing an ostrich burying its head in the sand, under the headline "The picture that will give all sceptics the bird." An accompanying article explained:

"Despite years of trying, wildlife experts had been unable to find a single witness to confirm that the world's largest bird indulges in the extraordinary habit featured in the saying. Today, however, the Daily Mail can reveal that it does. Our picture means the sceptics can bury their heads in the sand no longer. It was taken by British wildlife photographer Jones Bloom, who ventured into the heart of Africa in his quest for the truth. He made contact with the Chostri Setear, a little-known tribe of the central Kalahari region whose members understand the ways of the ostrich better than any other people on earth... This week, after four years spent trying to win the tribe's confidence, Bloom was at last invited to accompany the Chostri Setear on a hunting expedition deep inside Ofolri Lap National Park... 'It was an astonishing experience,' Bloom said yesterday. 'For three hours we crept through the bush. When at last we spotted an ostrich, the lion cub ran straight at it. As soon as the bird saw it, it dived beak-first into the sand.' As the photographer moved in to take his historic picture, the lion began to roar and the tribesmen bellowed their victory chant. 'Yet through it all,' said Bloom, 'the ostrich remained immobile, head buried, apparently convinced it had become invisible. 'At least I didn't have to ask it to keep still for the camera.'" More…
FatSox. (2000)
The Daily Mail revealed that American scientists had invented "FatSox" — socks made out of a revolutionary new material that actually sucked fat out of a person's body as they sweated. The discovery promised to "speed up the fight against flab without any extra effort." The socks employed a nylon polymer that reacted with a newly-patented compound, Tetrafloramezathine, in order to draw fat out of the bloodstream: "As the exerciser warms up, molecules in the sock are activated by the increased blood flow and the material draws out the fatty liquids, or lipds, from the body through the sweat." After a good workout, the socks, and the fat, could simply be thrown away. More…

Sky Becoming Less Blue. (2001)
The British Mail on Sunday announced that the sky was becoming less blue. It cited a five-year study conducted at the Koenraad University in Amsterdam which had used special digital cameras and color charts to measure subtle shifts in the sky's color. The study's researchers had found that the "'coefficient of blueness'... has drastically diminished in five years from 9.3 per cent in 1996 to just 6.9 per cent this year." They attributed this color change to the effects of air pollution and the depleting ozone layer. The article explained, "Particles of airborne pollution are thought to be creating a thick blanket of dirty grey." This blanket of pollution was preventing the 'scattering' of sunlight as it passed through the atmosphere, causing the sky to darken. Astronomer Patrick Moore was quoted as saying, "There's an awful lot of pollution, making the sky turn a strange russety colour."

The Mail on Sunday invited its readers to help the researchers in Amsterdam by taking part in a "mass observation" scheduled to occur between 10am and noon on April 1. A "Skyometer" had been printed on the right side of the page that provided a graded chart of different shades of blue. By holding this chart up to the sky, readers could determine which shade best matched the color of the sky. They were asked to mail their results to the Mail on Sunday, which would forward them to the Amsterdam researchers. The reference to astronomer Patrick Moore should have given readers a clue that the article was a hoax. Moore is famous for an April Fool's Day prank he perpetrated on the audience of BBC Radio back in 1976 in which he claimed that a rare alignment of the planets was temporarily going to lessen the earth's gravity. More…
The Queen Visits the Bookie. (2004)
The Daily Mail ran a photo, allegedly taken by an Austrian tourist named Otto Breeching (an anagram for "bet on the corgi"), showing the Queen with her corgis at a bookmaker placing a bet on the Grand National: "The Daily Mail can reveal that the Queen has insisted on placing her bet in person every year since a flutter went disastrously wrong... And what of the latest wager? A betting shop spokesman would say only that the VIP customer had placed 'a sizeable sum' on one horse to win at the Aintree meeting on Saturday. He declined to name the horse, adding: 'If everyone finds out what she's putting her money on, all the odds will go crazy.'" More…
Prince Charles Goes Lingerie Shopping. (2005)
The Daily Mail published pictures of Prince Charles visiting a lingerie shop to pick out gifts for Camilla:

"He is caught pondering over a matching camisole and apparently seeking advice from his young son Prince Harry on the delicate question of how one should invite one's wife to turn one on." More…
Red Door for 10 Downing Street. (2006)
The Daily Mail reported that Tony Blair, in a "literally incredible break with decades of tradition," had decided to paint the door of 10 Downing Street "socialist red." The color choice was made with the help of design consultant April Fewell. More…
Silent Crisps. (2009)
The Daily Mail revealed that Walkers Crisps had collaborated with acoustics experts at the London Institute of Sound Performance (LISP) to design noise-free crisps, to be marketed as "Ready Silent Cri-sshhp." The crisps allowed people to "eat loud snacks in the cinema without disturbing the person next to you." The crisp was said to have "the same flavour and crunchiness, except it comes already crushed." More…
Jacqui Smith Goes Shopping. (2009)
The Daily Mail ran a photo (doctored) of Home Secretary Jacqui Smith walking out of a lingerie store. The headline above it read, "Oh Jacqui, surely that can't be you?"

Jacqui Smith had recently been embroiled in a scandal after her husband downloaded two pay-per-view adult films, the cost of which Smith had included as part of an MP expenses claim. More…
Fifty Shades of Grey Toilet Paper. (2013)
The Daily Mail reported that the supermarket chain Asda, hoping to capitalize on the popularity of the erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey, had inked a deal with its author to offer a new range of Fifty Shades of Grey Toilet Paper.

The toilet paper would indeed come in fifty different shades of grey — each shade named after one of the lead character's traits, ranging from 'enigmatic' to 'obsessive'. Kevin Merden, Asda's "director of tissue buying," was quoted as saying, "Much like Grey’s character all rolls are tightly wound and will take time to unravel.
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