On December 16, 1965, NASA received a prank transmission from two astronauts: “We have an object, probably in polar orbit… I see a command Module and and eight smaller modules in front. The pilot of the command module is wearing a red suit.” They then started playing, “Jingle Bells”.
A pair of Miami DJ’s prank called Fidel Castro in 2003. They pretended to be Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to get Castro on the line, and had a brief chat before telling Castro he had been fooled. Castro responded with a brief verbal tirade. The radio station was later fined $4,000.
In 1948, a man wore 30-pound, 3-toed lead shoes and stomped around a Florida beach in the night. The footprints lead people to believe that a 15-foot tall penguin was roaming their lands. He kept up the prank for 10 years, visiting various beaches. The hoax wasn’t revealed until 40 years later.
In Bosnia and Herzegovina, a boss decided to play a prank on his employees. The owner of NSoft, Igor Krzyzic, held a meeting at the company’s main office and delivered a speech. Apparently, he thought that committing suicide would be a great conclusion of the speech. So, he just jumped off the balcony. Fortunately, no one was hurt; including the creative boss. This was not his first prank. Back in 2015, he did another one.
NASA Astronaut Owen Garriott successfully pranked flight controllers by playing a recording of his wife whilst on SkyLab. There were no women on board the space station and was used to make it look like there was a stowaway.
For an April fools prank, Virgin cola announced they had a new technology that would turn their cans blue when they expired. They advised their customers not to buy blue cans. Coincidentally, Pepsi had just released their bright blue can design.
Hunter S. Thompson pranked Jack Nicholson on his birthday by shining a spotlight on his house, blasting a recording of a pig being eaten alive by bears, firing his pistol, and leaving an elk’s heart at the front door, while Nicholson and his two daughters hid in the basement.
In 1974, two phone hackers stood on a California beach and from two public phone booths intercepted every incoming call to Santa Barbara, and told the dialers the city had been wiped out in a nuclear explosion, causing a widespread panic.
In 1996, as a April Fool’s Day prank, the Taco Bell Corporation took out a full-page ad that appeared in six major newspapers saying that it had bought the Liberty Bell and was renaming it the Taco Liberty Bell. The National Historic Park in Philadelphia received hundreds of outraged calls.