Tuesday, 1 April 2008

April fool's gags

The Museum of Hoaxes lists the 100 best April fool's hoaxes of all time. It also has the 10 worse which are somewhat distressing. My favourite (though I have yet to read them all) was the discovery of a new fundamental particle: the bigon.
#37: Discovery of the Bigon In 1996 Discover Magazine reported on the discovery by physicists of a new fundamental particle of matter. This particle, dubbed the Bigon, could only be coaxed into existence for mere millionths of a second, but amazingly, when it did materialize it was the size of a bowling ball. Physicist Albert Manque and his colleagues accidentally found the particle when a computer connected to one of their vacuum-tube experiments exploded. Video analysis of the explosion revealed the Bigon hovering over the computer for a fraction of a second. Manque theorized that the Bigon might be responsible for a host of other unexplained phenomena such as ball lightning, sinking souffles, and spontaneous human combustion. Discover received huge amounts of mail in response to the story.
Very amusing!

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