top of page

April's fool, the full story



Many people across the globe annually celebrate the first day of April, which they call “Fool’s Day,” where tricks and pranks are played and jokes are told, often ending with shouting: “April Fools!”


Where did "April Fool's" come from?

Some historians trace the origin of this day to the year 1582, when France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, and the new year in the Julian calendar that changed began with the vernal equinox on about April 1, and because some people did not know about the change in the calendar and the move of the beginning of the new year to the first. Since January, they celebrated the beginning of the new year on April 1, as usual, which made them an object of ridicule.

They were called “April fools,” and some placed a logo of a fish made of paper on their backs, calling it “Poisson d’Avril” or “April fish,” to symbolize the ease of catching them like a fish.


Some people or institutions succeeded in deceiving not only friends, but the entire country, through funny lies that they fabricated on this day. We will go through the most prominent and funniest of them.



The world's first April Fool's Day


It dates back to the year 1698, specifically in London, when it was announced to the masses that they were invited to watch the annual lion washing ceremony in the Tower of London in exchange for paying the price of a ticket. Indeed, many people paid for the tickets, but unfortunately they went to the Tower and did not find even a single lion waiting for them.


Trees that produce spaghetti


The radio report broadcast by journalist Richard Dimbley in 1957 is at the forefront of these funny lies. The report spoke of the harvest of a bumper crop of spaghetti pasta from trees in Switzerland.

Listeners contacted the program to ask how to grow spaghetti trees and were told to plant some pieces of spaghetti in a box containing tomato slices, and wait for the results.


Defying gravity


In 1976, prominent physicist Patrick Moore announced on BBC Radio 2 that at 9.47 a.m. we would feel what he described as “a double gravitational influence from the planets Saturn and Pluto.”

He said that at a certain moment the two planets will line up in one line and the gravity on Earth will become weaker. If you jump into the air at the right time, you will almost float in the air.

Of course, this advertisement had nothing to do with science, but many fell victim to this hoax and some of them continued to circulate it as a scientific fact.


Big Ben goes digital


In 1980, the BBC Radio Service announced to its listeners that Big Ben would enter the digital age. Not only that, but it indicated that the first listeners to call could get the hands of the clock that would be dispensed with.

Unfortunately, things did not go as the organizers of the radio program had hoped at the time with their April Fools' Day joke, and the BBC was forced to apologize for the prank.


All of the above can be called white lies, and sarcastic pranks whose primary goal is to make others laugh, after laughing at them. However, human history has also witnessed many lies that were not so fun, and some of them turned history upside down.


The "Piltdown Man" lie


In 1912, Arthur Smith and Woodward of the Natural History Museum announced that Charles Dawson, a lawyer and archaeologist, had discovered parts of a human skull and jaw bones estimated to be about 500,000 years old, in a Pitdown mine in East Sussex, England.

These remains were believed to belong to the first humans, and were considered a link in proving the validity of the theory of evolution. The falsity of these pieces was not discovered until 40 years later.

The counterfeiting process was so precise that it was only discovered with the development of modern means of detecting fossils. It appeared that the lower jaw belonged to an orangutan, and was about 500 years old, while the remains of the skull belonged to a human skull, no more than 620 years old.



Source: RT Published on April 1,2024 https://r.rtarabic.com/x9nk


Comments


bottom of page