April Fools: The year's best (and worst) hoaxes

By Hayden Donnell, Rachel Bache

We round up the year's best and worst April Fools' hoaxes.

Australia didn't steal this one thing

They took Phar Lap. Fred Hollows. Kimbra. The electric fence. You could be forgiven for believing our Australian cousins also stole the Lamington from New Zealand. Fresh analysis from The Guardian's Olaf Priol would suggest we were robbed. New Zealand should own the copyright for this famous dessert.

Stop being xenophobic. Olaf Priol is an anagram of April Fools'. He only writes once a year and his previous stories include a report that The Guardian was switching to printing its paper exclusively on Twitter. This story is a moderately funny joke. But Pavlova is definitely ours.

Good one guys

The NSW Department of Education pulled one of this year's least funny April Fool's jokes when it texted 1000 parents of students at Sydney's Castle Hill High School to tell them the school had burned down. It hadn't. A text was later sent out correcting the 'error'.

Mum Karen Reus didn't see the funny side.

"Lots of friends, because of this, thought it was real," she told the Hills Shire Times. "Lots of students will be late for school today."

There's a lesson in this for anyone thinking of tricking a loved one into thinking their property has burned down. It won't feel good when you're yelling 'April Fools'!' over the top of their distraught sobs.

You can be a master.... a Pokemon Master


The award for the most elaborate April Fools' scam goes to Google and its mountain filled with cash. The tech giant partnered with Nintendo and Pokemon to make Google Maps into a working game that allows people to search their city and beyond for all 150 Pokemon.

Brian McClendon, Google Maps VP, announced on YouTube that the company is looking for the world's greatest Pokemon trainer. Applicants who collect all 150 Pokemon would be invited to the Google headquarters in California. There they would duke it out to become Google's resident Pokemon Master - starting their employment at Google on September 1st this year.

If you are the kind of person that wants to play Pokemon on Google Maps, just jump into an updated version of the the maps app on your iPhone or Android and search various areas to hunt out wild Pokemon. You can check your Pokedex to show your progress and even visit the local Pokemon Lab.

Geoff Robinson will not be leading us to a digital future

The Listener posted a story this morning claiming departing Radio New Zealand veteran Geoff Robinson was the "sitting MP" Kim Dotcom told us he'd signed up to the Internet Party. He's not. He may not even have the internet. Though history has proven that anything can happen with Dotcom. Hone Harawira should stay alert.

This would actually be kind of great


You will never see a dinosaur in real life

So stop believing stories like this one that prey on your sad, secret hopes. The hoax, titled 'British Scientists Clone Dinosaur', claims scientists at Liverpool's John Moores University extracted DNA from an apatosaurus fossil and injected it into a fertile ostrich womb to create a modern day dinosaur. Sounds like it would work, right? Wrong. It turns out DNA doesn't last that long at all. Jurassic Park will never happen in real life. If you want to see a dinosaur, adopt a baby kangaroo*.

* This is not really an April Fools' gag so much as a widely shared dino-scam. However, its period of fooling intersects with that of April Fools' so it makes the list on a technicality.

This is actually true

- nzherald.co.nz

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