Have chain, will yank

April Fool's Day has come and gone but certain legendary pranks live on.

After reading these, you can only ask: What were they thinking? (and by which I don't mean the pranksters).

All Fired Up Over Nothing

A long-dormant Alaskan volcano, Mount Edgecombe, began puffing black smoke, eliciting panic in a nearby town. Turned out that a resident had dumped hundreds of old tires into the mouth of the volcano and set fire to them as a practical joke. (1974)

A Capital Prank

A newspaper in Madison, Wisconsin, ran a story, with photos, reporting that the state capitol building had collapsed due to "the large quantity of gas generated through years of verbose debate" by state legislators. Distraught readers flocked to the building and couldn't figure out why it was still standing. (1933)

Hands Off My Buns!

Burger King ran a full-page ad in USA Today introducing "the left-handed Whopper" — same meat, same cheese, same toppings, but everything rotated 180 degrees to the left. People ordered them. Others requested their Whoppers be made the old-fashioned way — right-handed. (1979)

Now That’s Usin’ Your Noodle!

The BBC reported that the Swiss spaghetti harvest was in fine shape thanks to mild weather and "the virtual elimination of the spaghetti weevil." Footage showed people diligently pulling spaghetti from trees. Loads of viewers called in wanting to know how they could plant spaghetti trees. BBC diplomatically responded, "Place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best." (1957)


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