The 10 Greatest April Fools Pranks Ever Played On The Public

These April Fools' Day pranks weren't just played on a roommate or girlfriend. These pranks were played on entire nations, states and communities. That's what makes them epic. This list has the first recorded internet prank and many expensive corporate pranks from across the globe.

Sure, it's fun to prank your best friend, but entire nations? That takes some doing. Whether it's a billionaire like Richard Branson, a local government, or a fast food chain, these pranks were all carried out by large organizations... and one newspaper factory worker in the early 1900's.

What's your favorite April Fools' Day prank? Which of the pranks on this list do you think was the most elaborate and awesome? Vote up the practical joke you were most impressed by below.
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  • 1
    124 VOTES

    Left-Handed Hamburgers

    Left-Handed Hamburgers
    Photo: uploaded by PT_Tesla

    In 1998, Burger King acknowledged the 32 million left-handed Americans by taking out a full page ad in USA Today introducing the "Left-Handed Whopper." 

    All the ingredients would be the same as the original but rotated 180 degrees. Thousands of people swarmed Burger King to try the new burger and praised its better taste. Thousands also requested the original Right-Handed Whopper.

    The next day Burger King issued a press release revealing the ad as a prank. Sometimes, America makes us sad.
  • 2
    74 VOTES

    Global Gravity Shift

    Global Gravity Shift
    Photo: uploaded by PT_Tesla

    In 1976, astronomer Patrick Moore announced on the BBC radio that a once-in-a-lifetime planetary alignment would create a global phenomenon on Earth.

    Pluto (back when it was still a planet) would pass behind Jupiter, thus creating weightlessness on Earth at exactly 9:47 A.M.

    Thousands of people called into the station claiming to have experienced the event and reported having floated around their houses.

    ...

    ...

    We blame the 70's.
  • 3
    109 VOTES

    Ban Water

    Ban Water
    Photo: uploaded by PT_Tesla

    The city of Aliso Viejo, California was preparing to ban foam cups because of a dangerous chemical called dihydrogen monoxide.

    A city employee received an email warning him, and the city, of the dangers of dihydrogen monoxide and passed it along without even googling or wikipedia'ing the compound.

    Before holding a vote, it came to the city officials' attention that dihydrogen monoxide is the scientific term for water. Apparently there are no chemistry classes in Aliso Viejo.

    Consider Aliso Viejo pranked. Hard.
  • 4
    84 VOTES

    Aliens in London

    Aliens in London
    Photo: uploaded by PT_Tesla

    On March 31, 1989 a glowing UFO descended over London causing widespread confusion and panic among the Brits.

    The flying saucer landed in the outskirts of London where onlookers, having been raised on way too much "Doctor Who," gathered to make first contact with an alien being. A highly trained police officer poked the saucer with a stick and then ran as the door to the craft opened. A silver suited being stepped out of the saucer to greet the world.

    The being was Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin Records. He had built the craft and planned to land it on April 1st in Hyde Park, but was blown off course and forced to land early.
  • 5
    64 VOTES
    Taco Bell
    Photo: uploaded by PT_Tesla

    April 1st, 1996. A full-page ad was published in the New York Times, USA Today, Washington Post and 3 other major newspapers celebrating the sale of the historic Liberty Bell.

    To help alleviate the mounting U.S. national debt, Taco Bell "bought" the Liberty Bell and would be renaming it the Taco Liberty Bell. It would be moved to the Taco Bell headquarters in Irvine, CA where it would be made available for public viewing.

    Thousands of shocked citizens inundated Taco Bell and the National Park Service with phone calls.

    It was then revealed that Taco Bell had played a nation-wide April Fools' prank resulting in 1.1 million dollars in increased sales over the next 2 days for their restaurants.
  • 6
    68 VOTES

    Volcano Erupts

    Volcano Erupts
    Photo: uploaded by PT_Tesla

    Citizens of Sitka, Alaska had a rude awakening in 1974 when the dormant volcano Mount Edgecumbe began billowing clouds of black smoke. Residents flooded the streets in terror fearing the volcano was prepared to erupt.

    Word soon spread that it was just a local prankster named Porky Bickar who flew hundreds of tires to the mountain and set them on fire, thus exponentially increasing his carbon footprint.

    According to rumors, six years later when Mount St. Helens ACTUALLY erupted, people wrote old Porky saying "this time you've gone to far!" Awesome.