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Today is April 1, also known as April Fools' Day.
For hundreds of years jokers have tried to play practical jokes on each other on this day. If you're looking for your own pranks to play you can check out our guide for best pranks and jokes.
As well as individuals, restaurants, businesses and media outlets also like to play practical jokes.
There are some things that just aren’t okay to joke about, while some may have been well intentioned but were not received that way.
Throughout history some pranks have been fun and well timed, and some gags have seriously backfired.
Remember to be mindful and sensitive if you are planning on pranking people on April Fools' Day – it may not work out as planned.
Here are seven April Fool's Day pranks that went from – from the amusing to the downright dangerous.
A flying saucer
On March 31, 1989, what looked like a glowing flying saucer could be seen landing on a field in Surrey.
Two policemen were sent to investigate, and saw a small figure in a silver space suit walk out of the aircraft and ran away.
It was later revealed it was a hot air balloon specifically built to look like a UFO.
It was a prank played by Richard Branson, chairman of Virgin Records, and was supposed to land in Hyde Park in London on April 1 but it had blown off course.
A fake robbery
A US clothing store employee in Columbus, Ohio, thought it would be a good idea to prank her boss with a fake robbery in 2003.
Despite only working there two weeks, she called her boss and said two armed men were robbing the store.
The manager instantly called the police, who dispatched four response vehicles.
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A few minutes later the employee called to shout “April Fool's!” – but it was too late.
The unamused police arrived, charged her with inducing panic, and she was fired.
Water prank sparked terrorist concerns
Radio hosts in Kansas City created panic after reporting that local tap water contained high levels of dihydrogen monoxide in 2002.
Side effects of the chemical include urination and wrinkled, “prune-y” skin, said the DJs.
Concerned members of the public soon began calling the water department and 911, discussing whether or not the contamination could be a terrorist attack.
The police received more than 100 calls from worried residents.
If you didn’t already know, dihydrogen monoxide, or H2O, is the chemical name for water.
Fake prison release
The Romanian Opinia newspaper reported that prisoners from Baia Mare prison were going to be released in 2000.
A total of 60 people made the long journey to the prison, only to found out their loved ones were not being released.
The Opinia later published an apology.
The left-handed burger
In 1998 Burger King announced they were releasing a Left-handed Whopper in America.
The new item had all the same ingredients as the original whopper, but all the condiments were rotated 180 degrees.
This was supposed to redistribute the weight of the sandwich, so there would be less spillage out of the right side.
Thousands of customers went to the restaurant to request the genius new invention.
Hooters win a “Toyota” contest
A Hooters restaurant in Florida decided to celebrate April Fool's Day 2002 by hosting a beer drinking contest.
The person who drank the most beer would receive a “free Toyota”.
After a waitress “won” the contest, the manager blindfolded her and took her to the car park.
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There she was awarded with a “toy Yoda” prize – a plastic doll from the Star Wars franchise.
The furious waitress sued the restaurant and won.
While he amount she won wasn’t disclosed, according to her lawyer it was enough to walk into any car dealership and “pick out whatever type of Toyota she wants”.
The cliff hanger
In 2001, a Brighton radio DJ decided to tell his listeners that a ship that looked like the Titanic could be seen from the cliffs at Beachy Head in East Sussex.
Hundreds of people believed him and rushed to the spot to catch a glimpse.
Due to the influx of visitors, a five-foot crack was made in the cliff face, which two days later fell into the sea.
Remember to be mindful when pranking people on April Fool's Day!
- In the News
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