There are a lot of great pranks in the history of the world that took in the gullible and not-so-gullible alike—spaghetti seeds anyone? But then there are pranks that are in a class by themselves. Pranks so good that they became a real thing.
Social Media for the Unborn—CNet 2007
When CNet introduced UltraSound, a fake social media channel that had posts from the womb, most had a good laugh. But others took it to heart. Just a year later, a dad launched Kickbee. Moms wear a band around their tummies that picks up fetal movement and posts baby’s movement to Twitter.
Gorilla iPad—The Sun 2011
British publication, The Sun, wrote a totally fake story about gorillas using iPads meant to increase happiness in zoos and within the year a Milwaukee zoo started enriching the lives of its resident orangutans with iPads.
New York Rats—Cnet 2007
This imaginary Google Maps feature let users report on recent rat issues in the Big Apple’s restaurants. In 2014, New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene created the Rat Information Portal that showed rat inspections throughout the city.
Virgle in Space—Google 2008
Google pranked the world with a report on a venture with Virgin in which it promised the settlement of Mars. Richard Branson thought that was a great idea and got Virgin to go along with it and Virgin Galactic was born. Today you can book a seat on a spaceliner (though they aren’t making trips yet). It’s not Mars, but seeing Earth from space in zero gravity is pretty cool.
Pink Shirts—Bristol Rovers FC 2005
The English football team put a pink shirt on their official gear webpage as a joke but were forced to actually produce the shirts when demand overwhelmed them. They delivered the shirts to adoring fans a few months later.
This tech website announced that Apple had launched a mobile phone add-on for the iPod that would revolutionize the cell phone industry. They admitted that it was a hoax but they expressed hope that the tech giant would do something similar in the future. Three years later, Steve Jobs did just that.
Here’s to more hoaxes so good that they can’t help but become reality. Happy April Fools!