Here are five of the best

Few people know how long April Fool’s Day has been around.

Officially, it began in 1700 in England, although its origins are believed to date back to 1582, according to history.com.

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It’s been at least 300+ years of pranks being played out, so obviously there’s been a doozy here and there. Here are some of the most memorable April Fool’s Day pranks ever played.

The great spaghetti harvest

Seemingly cited online more than any other prank as the best, the story behind the Great Spaghetti Harvest began with the reputable and (usually) serious British Broadcasting Corporation.

The network reported on April 1, 1957, that an area in Switzerland had a bountiful spaghetti crop that year, according to history.com. Spaghetti was not a common food in Britain at the time.

The story even showed people plucking sprigs of spaghetti from trees. It led to a mountain of calls to the BBC about how people could grow their own spaghetti. The network exploited the prank for some time before coming to light.

Sidd Pinson

This one is widely regarded as the best April Fool’s Day prank of all time in the sports world. The April 1, 1985 edition of Sports Illustrated hit people’s mailboxes with a story about an unknown New York Mets prospect named Sidd Finch.

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The story went like this: Finch could have thrown a baseball at 268 km/h (more than 100 km/h faster than the fastest pitch ever thrown, even today), played the horn French, wore only one shoe and was generally considered extremely eccentric. Mets players and coaches agreed to the ruse. There were even pictures of “Sidd Finch”.

Fans and news outlets followed the story closely until the magazine finally admitted the hoax 15 days after the article was published.

Jovian-Plutonian gravitational effect

The BBC has struck again, this time looking beyond the boundaries of the Earth to pull off a quick one.

According to enacademic.com, the BBC Radio Network reported that on April 1, 1976, at 9:47 a.m., the alignment of Pluto and Jupiter would lead to a powerful combination of gravity that would briefly decrease gravity on Earth. Listeners were told that if they jumped at the right time, they would have a floating sensation.

Although the BBC received calls from hundreds of people reporting the one-off effects, the story was quickly proven wrong.

Nixon for President…Again

Richard Nixon is one of America’s most reviled presidents because of Watergate, but according to National Public Radio’s “Talk of the Nation” on April 1, 1992, he announced he was running for president 18 years after he had resigned in disgrace.

There were even (fake) audio clips of Nixon saying, “I’ve never done anything wrong, and I won’t do it again” in his announcement speech, according to hoaxes.org.

The response was immediate and very negative, from listeners to political pundits. But the second half of the program revealed the farce.

joker in a bottle

This dates back to the first days of April Fool’s Day, which occurred in 1749.

An ad in a London newspaper advertised an event where a man would squeeze into a bottle of wine and sing inside, among other tricks, according to history.com. Legend has it that two men bet that people would show up to watch something impossible.

They showed up, filling the house. However, no artist has ever appeared on stage. The public, realizing that they had been deceived, revolted.

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