Here are 10 of the top April Fool’s Day pranks ever pulled off, as judged by the San Diego-based Museum of Hoaxes for their notoriety, absurdity, and number of people duped.
A few examples:
— In 1985, Sports Illustrated magazine published a story that a rookie baseball pitcher who could reportedly throw a ball at 270 kilometers per hour (168 miles per hour) was set to join the New York Mets. Finch was said to have mastered his skill — pitching significantly faster than anyone else has ever managed — in a Tibetan monastery. Mets fans’ celebrations were short-lived.
— In 1996, American fast-food chain Taco Bell announced that it had bought Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell, a historic symbol of American independence, from the federal government and was renaming it the Taco Liberty Bell.
Outraged citizens called to express their anger before Taco Bell revealed the hoax. Then-White House press secretary Mike McCurry was asked about the sale and said the Lincoln Memorial in Washington had also been sold and was to be renamed the Ford Lincoln Mercury Memorial after the automotive giant.