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9 historic situations where the pranks of April Fools spiraled out of control and ended in tragedy


Although it is not a legal holiday, it is a celebration April Fools Day It is taken all over the world as a justified day for making jokes or making funny pranks.

You may want to be more cautious or skeptical about that day, because family members, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and even teachers may try to get you into the traps of their banter.

How did this tradition begin?

Some believe that the first link between April 1st Or “April Fools” goes back to the Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer from 1392.

In “The Nun’s Priest’s Tale,” the fox deceives a proud rooster on the 32nd day of March, that is, April 1, according to what he published Wondorpolis.

Others believe that April Fools’ Day was the result of a desire to celebrate the changing seasons with the advent of spring.

But not all pranks are equal, nor are all humorous, some of them almost started a war and another that cost others their jobs and sometimes their lives!

A tragic end to April Fools’ pranks

  1. War games between Lebanon and Israel

Tensions in the Middle East during the 1980s were not a joke. In 1986, an Israeli intelligence analyst invented a false report on April Fools’ Day or April in which he said that Nabih Berri, the leader of the Lebanese Amal Movement, had been wounded in an assassination attempt.

The story spread on Israeli radio before it turned out to be a hoax and they were forced to withdraw the story in order to avoid international embarrassment. The analyst was subjected to a military trial, while the defense minister was held accountable in Parliament.

A student’s prank spiraled out of control in 1897, when students from the prestigious Lucy Cobb Institute thought it would be hilarious to escape from school and have a fun day.

In addition to being absent from school, they made a decision that is not suitable for women to wander around the city without supervision, but they did not expect the principal to write a letter quickly to all of their parents requesting their dismissal from school. To maintain its reputation.

Not all pranks are equal, nor are all humorous, some of them almost started a war and another cost others their jobs and sometimes their lives! / Istock
  • A lie that causes a ramp to collapse

In 2001, a DJ from Brighton told his listeners that a replica of the Titanic could be seen off the coast of Beachy Head in East Sussex, Britain’s highest sea cliff.

Hundreds of people flocked to the site, only to discover that it was a joke, and the crowds caused a crack of up to a meter and a half the width of the slope, with the police asking people to leave before a disaster struck.

Just two days later, part of the cliff collapsed into the sea, according to a website History Extra .

  • A volcano ditches my media

A news report in 1980 spread fear among residents of Milton, Massachusetts, by warning that a local (non-volcanic) hill would erupt.

The report backed up his false claims with footage of Mount St. Helens in Washington, a volcano that was already on the verge of erupting, with old statements by President Jimmy Carter.

At the end of the paragraph appeared a card reading “April Fools”, but it was too late, as anxious citizens poured into calls to the police, many of whom were ready to leave their homes.

The executive producer responsible for that paragraph was fired, for failing to “judge the news well”.

  • Written on the stars

Known for his inaccurate predictions and criticism of the church, English astrologer John Partridge caught the attention of satirist and Gulliver’s Travels author Jonathan Swift, who decided to have some fun.

He wrote under the pseudonym Isaac Pickerstaff that he foretold the death of Partridge in 1708. He later wrote under the pseudonym of a government official confirming the death of Partridge, so that the news would be published on April 1.

Partridge protested, but he did not stop the spread of the rumor of his sudden death, and his career suffered until his death six years later.

  • Fools ship

In 1972, The Times of Britain published an article on British travel company Thomas Cook, to celebrate the centenary of its founder’s first world tour.

A few pages later, the newspaper quipped that a travel agent was offering a trip around the world for its 1872 price: roughly $ 291.

It was a hoax, but queues lined up in front of Thomas Cook’s branches around the country, while the poor reporter lost his job.

  • Encounters with aliens

The alien threat reached the Al-Jafr region in Jordan in 2010, when a newspaper jokingly carried a report on its home page that an unidentified flying object had landed near the desert town, with the detection of aliens three meters long.

Residents panic, as residents were afraid of sending their children to school, and the mayor considered evacuating the town completely.

  • Hydrogen monoxide

Some words have overwhelming persuasive power. In 2002, a Kansas City radio broadcaster caused listeners to panic when he said that local tap water contained high levels of hydrogen monoxide.

And he warned that this natural substance may cause constant urination and wrinkles of the skin.

In fact, hydrogen monoxide is the chemical name for water, and the police received more than 100 calls from anxious residents, while a city official likened this hoax to terrorist act.

John Arens probably did not mean the tragic consequences of his prank.

Close to Nashville in 1896, he thought it would be funny to dress up as a homeless in a white mask to scare his wife.

He knocked on his door to greet her and asks her to start cooking dinner, but she fell into a coma immediately and died within an hour, after a marriage that only lasted several months!





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