April fool’s Day began in the 4th century, and it has continued to the present day. Over the years, we have seen a fair number of extremely nerdy, funny pranks. Here are some of the best on the Internet.
1984 – The Kremlin joins the Internet
Before the advent of the Web Internet, the easiest way to get into a public discussion was to use a Usenet newsgroup. Newsgroup members learnt on 1st April, 1984 that the Soviet Union had petitioned to join Usenet under the domain name Kremvax. This generated vigorous online debate since the cold war was still raging. However, this was a prank.
2000 – Google’s MentalPlex
Over the years, Google has generated so many April Fools pranks that it is now regarded as owning the April fool’s Day on the Web. The first prank appeared in 2000 via The MentalPlex. Google encouraged viewers to stare at an animated pinwheel and try to visualize the results they wanted to see, but the responses were very hilarious. The users could get responses such as Querry is unclear, try again after removing glasses, hat and shoes, etc.
2008 – YouTube: The Ultimate Rick Roll
It is one of the oldest Internet pranks. YouTube pulled the ultimate Rick Roll in 2008. By clicking on any video on the viral video site’s home page, you could be lead to the Rick Astley’s 1987 classic, “Never Gonna Give You Up.”
2009 – Qualcomm’s Wolfpigeon network
Qualcomm revealed its foolproof plan for seamless wireless coverage in April 2009. The issue was about breeding pigeons with wolves, then attaching wireless transmitters to their claws/paws. Being lone wolves, they would naturally more to less populated areas thus ensuring reliable 3G connections in remote areas.
2010 – ThinkGeek’s Canned Unicorn Meat
Thinkgeek hit their pranks peek with their Canned Unicorn Meat which they marketed as “the new white meat”. The product was going for $10 and when you ordered it you received a dismembered unicorn doll in a can.
2012 – Virgin goes Volcanic
Virgin CEO Richard Branson announced plans to plunge ordinary citizens into the heart of an active volcano via the VVS1, an experimental corkscrew-shaped craft. This followed another project where they had vowed to hurl humans into space.
2013 – Twitter purges its vowels
Twitter announced a two-tiered pricing plan to celebrate April 1, 2013. You could continue to use the service for free, but your tweets had to be without vowels. If you had to use vowels, then you were required to pay $10 a month. Well, this was a prank.