Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 September 2014

Penguins learn to fly: the best ever April Fools' hoaxes

The classic BBC April Fool's hoax - click image to launch gallery
The Swiss spaghetti harvest
In 1957 the BBC news show Panorama broadcast a programme reporting that farmers in the Swiss canton of Ticino were enjoying a bumper spaghetti harvest. The clipped BBC voiceover states benevolently: "Spaghetti cultivation here in Switzerland isn't carried out on a scale similar to the huge spaghetti plantations of Italy, but is a more domestic industry". He goes on to describe the regions' struggle with the depredations of the dastardly spaghetti weavel and their recent triumph over it. The story was so convincing that hundreds phoned into the BBC either to query it or to ask how to grow their own spaghetti trees
Natural blonde
Stuffy global agencies aren't known for their jokes. Which made it all the more believable in April 2002 when the World Health Organization released a report claiming that natural blondes were likely to be extinct within 200 years. It said that due to the proliferation of dyed blondes and a genetic weakness, the last natural blonde would probably be born in 2202. The study was revealed to be a hoax and the WHO denied conducting the research

Check out our pick of the ten best April Fools' hoaxes.

>> Click on the image to launch the gallery

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