Oh, Internet: The Web's Best April Fools' Pranks
Annual holiday celebrations are what bind people together through the years. While Christmas, Easter and Halloween are treasured holidays in their own right, there are few days more revered on the web than April 1.
For, it has been ordained that on the first day of the fourth month, the internet shall take a break from its usual business and go collectively insane. This is the date when we feel compelled to "fool" websurfers into believing ridiculous un-truths.
And it's not just a time for snarky tweets and spurious Facebook posts. Even big, sprawling multi-billion dollar Google usually joins in the fun with an annual array of needlessly intricate make-em-ups. We get that Google is a for-profit entity that wants to show a not-at-all evil face to the public so that millions of people will feel comfortable handing them all our most private information. But the company has invested serious time and resources into producing comical April Fools' videos complete with actors, sets, extras and animal handlers.
Why? Because April Fools. That's why.
At this point, come 4-1, we all know that the fake-outs and jokes are coming. And rarely are they ever that funny or surprising. But it is a yearly tradition that harkens the coming of spring, or some such. So, endure this yearly ritual, we must.
We have scoured the annals of the web in order to find some of the most interesting April 1 pranks from recent years. Enjoy them today, because soon enough, the web will return to its natural state as a den of serious thought and contemplation.
Warner Bros. Acquires The Pirate Bay (2009
The Guardian Goes All Tweet (2009)
Think Geek Plush Bacon (2010)
The Hulu of 1996 (in 2011)
World of Warcraft Introduces Crabby (2011)
Etsy Acquires City of Portland (2012)
All of YouTube on DVD (2012)
AdBlock LolCats (2012)
Google Nose (2013)
Apple Newton Tote bag (2013)
Sphero SelfieBot (2014)
Virgin America and Nest Bring Total Temperature Control (2014)
Sir Richard Branson and Nest co-founder Tony Fadell joined up in 2014 to showcase an amazing new technology that allows flyers on Branson's Virgin Airlines to control the temperature at their seat with their own personal Nest thermostat. The clip actually has a very genuine sheen, complete with the required start-up ukulele soundtrack. Is it funny? Not necessarily, but it's a good attempt at a fake-out.
Unfortunately, this particular feature will never actually see the light of day. In 2016, Alaska Airlines acquired Virgin America and soon after made the decision to nix the brand.
SwiftKey on a Physical Keyboard (2014)
Toshiba DiGit Smart Glove (2014)
MS-DOS Mobile (2015)
T-Mobile Pets Unleashed (2015)
Hulu Pets (2015)
Google Panda (2015)
H&M's Mark Zuckerberg Collection (2016)
Mark Zuckerberg: social media visionary, millennial folk hero, fashion icon? That was the idea behind a supposed new Zuckerberg fashion line, which is described on its official site as such:
This new gender-neutral minimalistic range was inspired by Mark's beliefs that making even the easiest decisions (like what to wear or what to eat for breakfast) consumes mental energy and gets in the way of doing more important things. That’s why we named this collection “One less thing to think about in a morning."