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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: April Fools Day
Kenya’s Best April Fools — Standard Digital News offers a round-up of April Fool's Day hoaxes that's a bit different. The 10 best ever from Kenya. I hadn't heard of any of them before. I wish there was more info about some of these. It would be nice to add them to the April Fool Archive so that Africa would be better represented. These, in particular, caught my eye: Mermaid with family in Naivasha In the mid-1990s, The Daily Nation pulled a grand hoax with a believable photograph of a family of mermaids - one male, two females and four children - in Naivasha. The photo prompted frantic calls from people who… Continue…
Posted: Fri Apr 03, 2015.   Comments (0)

The Left-Handed Whopper — For many years, I've had Burger King's left-handed whopper hoax from 1998 listed as one of the most popular April Fool hoaxes of all time. But in all that time, I had never seen a copy of the actual ad that Burger King ran in USA Today. I tried contacting Burger King repeatedly asking for a copy, and they ignored me. And no libraries had back issues of USA Today that included the ads. But finally, I managed to track down a copy at the Library of Congress. So here it is. The original left-handed whopper ad. Unfortunately, only in black-and-white, but that's probably as good as I'll… Continue…
Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2015.   Comments (1)

Brides for Liechtenstein — In 1928, the weekly German periodical Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung published an article in its early April issue about a Bride Import company that had been created to supply wives to the men of Liechtenstein. The small principality was losing women, the article explained, because they were all going to neighboring Switzerland and Austria to find work. As a result, the gender ratio of the country was becoming seriously unbalanced — to such an extent that the government had decided to start this Bride Import company to prevent depopulation. Suitable women were found in cities and towns… Continue…
Posted: Wed Jan 14, 2015.   Comments (3)

Lard From Live Pigs — Daily News - May 1921In May 1921, a story ran in the British Daily News about an unusual advance in pig farming. A German farmer living in the town of Schleichegrieben had, the paper said, figured out a way to have his pigs but eat them too, by developing a method of obtaining lard and rashers from live pigs. The technique was made possible by surgical innovation using novocaine (a local anesthetic), which at the time was still something of a novelty, having first been synthesized in 1905. The farmer began the procedure by strapping a pig to a table. Then he had a veterinary… Continue…
Posted: Sun Jan 11, 2015.   Comments (1)


Microsoft skips Windows 9 — On September 30, Microsoft announced the upcoming release of the latest version of its operating system, Windows 10. The strange thing is that there was no Windows 9. They went straight from version 8 to 10. It's been noted that this makes real an April Fool's Day hoax published by InfoWorld in 2013, which claimed that "Microsoft skips 'too good' Windows 9, jumps to Windows 10." Microsoft hasn't explained why they really did decide to skip version 9.
Posted: Wed Oct 08, 2014.   Comments (1)

Hamburger Helper Restaurant — Back on April 1st, Hamburger Helper (which now prefers to be known simply as 'Helper') ran an April Fool joke about the opening of a Hamburger Helper restaurant, Helper Hut, serving only Hamburger Helper food. On Sep 12 in Minneapolis that vision briefly became a reality when a "pop-up restaurant" opened for one night, serving only Hamburger Helper. Apparently the company had received such positive feedback about the April Fool joke that they decided to do it for real. However, there are no plans yet for a permanent Hamburger Helper restaurant. [youtube]
Posted: Mon Sep 15, 2014.   Comments (0)

Das Can-in-Stein — April Fool becomes reality. ThinkGeek first introduced "Das Can-in-Stein" on April 1st, as an April Fool's Day joke. The idea was to insert your beer can into the device so that you could pretend you were drinking from a pewter beer stein. ThinkGeek has now decided to sell this product for real. You can purchase one for $10.
Posted: Thu Aug 28, 2014.   Comments (0)

Mummified Fairy Kit — Seven years ago Dan Baines created a mummified fairy as an April Fool's Day hoax. Now he's taken to Kickstarter to raise money so that he can produce a "Mummified Fairy Kit" that will contain everything a person needs to create their own mummified fairy. He hoped to raise £5,000, and he's already raised more than that: £8,106 as I write this, with six days left before the funding period closes. So it seems like he's discovered a strong market demand for mummified fairies!
Posted: Thu Apr 24, 2014.   Comments (0)

Paradise Closed — This sign appeared on a road in the town of Cambridge, UK on April 1st. There was some speculation that it might have been a joke, but the Cambridge News confirms that it actually was a genuine sign for a temporary road closure. Just a case of strange British road names. And pure coincidence that the sign went up on April 1. [Cambridge News]
Posted: Tue Apr 15, 2014.   Comments (0)

Speakerphone Pregnancy Call Terrifies Teacher — The video of this April Fool's Day prank, played by students at Aquinas College on their Macroeconomics professor, now has over 25 millions views on YouTube, which has to make it one of the most popular April Fool pranks this year (if not the most popular). It's nice to see that a low-budget prank by amateurs still can overshadow all the April Fool marketing efforts of the advertising professionals. The premise of the prank is that a female student receives a call on her cell phone…
Posted: Mon Apr 14, 2014.   Comments (1)

No, Beyonce is not offering to pay her interns with selfies — HerCampus, a news site for women in college, recently posted that Beyoncé was looking for interns to help organize the "official Beyoncé archive." She wasn't offering any financial compensation, but she did promise "the opportunity to take three selfies with Beyoncé over the course of the internship." Quite a few media outlets picked up on the story and reported it as news. It's also circulated widely on social media. But prospective applicants should note that HerCampus posted the announcement on April Fool's Day. In other words, it was a hoax. It's definitely one of the more… Continue…
Posted: Thu Apr 10, 2014.   Comments (0)

Has April Fool’s Day Marketing Jumped The Shark? — This e-junkie author complains that April Fool's Day marketing has gotten out of hand. There definitely was a huge amount of it this year. But I don't see the trend going away anytime soon, since marketers aren't exactly known for restraint. And to be honest, I'm not really bothered by it like this author is. Perhaps I'm just easily amused, but I kind of enjoy looking through all the weird stuff advertisers come up with every April 1. Though it is true that the advertisers don't make much of an effort to actually fool anyone. They're primarily aiming for being funny/cute/quirky. Continue…
Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2014.   Comments (1)

Why doesn’t America read anymore? — NPR succeeded in pulling off one of the most successful April 1 pranks this year, in terms of number of people fooled. It posted the article below to Facebook that asked in the headline, "Why Doesn't America Read Anymore?" The provocative question quickly generated hundreds of responses. Some people bemoaned falling standards of education. Others disagreed with the premise, insisting that people do read nowadays. But what all the responses shared in common was that the people who posted them apparently hadn't bothered to click through and READ THE ARTICLE ITSELF! If they had, Continue…
Posted: Fri Apr 04, 2014.   Comments (2)

Siamese twins joined by their beard, 1937 — April 1, 1937 — The Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung ran a story about Siamese twins joined by their beard. The story noted: "The brothers have solved all the problems of life joined together by means of their exemplary camaraderie. It is interesting that the phenomenon only manifested itself when the twins reached the age of 14." Continue…
Posted: Tue Apr 01, 2014.   Comments (0)

Happy April Fool’s Day! — It seems like the site's server isn't crashing, as it usually does on April 1! So that's good news. I've been posting a bunch of today's April Fools over at the Hoax Museum Facebook page, since it's easier to post stuff quickly over there. I'll add the best to the April Fool Archive later.
Posted: Tue Apr 01, 2014.   Comments (0)

Salton Sea Freezes, 1906—the NYT’s only April Fool’s Day Hoax — The New York Times does not participate in the custom of April Fool's Day. It's the paper that only publishes "news that's fit to print," and April fool absurdities don't make the cut. Except for one time that maybe it did publish an April fool story. It was way back on April 1, 1906 when the following story appeared on the front page of the Times. It's an odd story. It's not really laugh-out-loud funny. But anyone familiar with the climate around the Salton Sea would immediately realize that the idea that it had frozen solid was absurd. And ice skating on the Salton Sea? Never… Continue…
Posted: Mon Mar 31, 2014.   Comments (0)

What’s the earliest German reference to April Fool’s Day? — With April Fool's Day fast approaching, I've been working on the April Fool Archive, trying to add supplementary material, etc. In the course of which, I realized that I didn't have much information about the early history of April Fool's Day in Germany. Specifically, what is the earliest German reference to April Fool's Day? Knowing this would give us an idea of how long the Germans have been celebrating April first. That question was harder to answer than I had anticipated. The Diet of Augsburg, 1530There's a German origin story about April Fool's Day that alleges the celebration… Continue…
Posted: Thu Mar 20, 2014.   Comments (1)

Hairy Chest Sweater — On April 1, 2013, Internet commerce site Firebox.com released a new product — the 70s Hairy Chest Sweater. From the product description: What makes lumberjacks, 70s television stars and the giant Brown Bears of Alaska so irresistibly attractive to others? Simple. Their long, luxuriant chest hair. Sadly, the recent 'man-scaping' trend has led to an epidemic of people pedantically plucking their pecs. Oh, the humanity. Thankfully, we’ve found a solution (while you wait for your rug to regenerate). The 70s Hairy Chest Sweater. This 100% polyester sweater is almost guaranteed to… Continue…
Posted: Sun Mar 02, 2014.   Comments (0)

April Fool UFO Hoax — One problem is that the planned hoax is too late in the day. According to the rules of April Fool's Day, pranks have to be done before noon! If you do it after noon, then you become the fool. (Does no one care about the rules any more???) So it would be better to do this early in the morning on the 1st, rather than in the evening. RC Group Plans UFO Hoax A Group of RC enthusiasts plan a April Fools Day UFO hoax. This group of RC enthusiasts seem to have a secret plan to create an…
Posted: Thu Feb 27, 2014.   Comments (2)

Did Chaucer Mention April Fool’s Day? — The Nun's Priest's Tale in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales tells the story of a vain rooster, Chauntecleer, whose vanity leads him to drop his guard while showing off how splendidly he crows. As a result, he almost gets eaten by a fox. But Chauntecleer outwits the fox that carries him away in its mouth by taking advantage of the fox's own vanity. He persuades the fox to stop and mock his pursuers. As soon as the fox opens its mouth to do so, Chauntecleer flies to safety up into a tree. The…
Posted: Mon Feb 17, 2014.   Comments (0)

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