It’s that time of the year again.
Long awaited by serial prankers, feared by their victims. That time when you are, or should be, skeptical even when reading your favorite newspaper, not to mention what you get in your inbox.
Welcome to the 1st of April.
Last year was a good one for April Fools’ pranks. So have this year’s jokers, media outlets and PR agencies lived up to it?
READ: The greatest April Fools’ hoaxes ever
Whether you love or hate it, here’s a catalog of the best, and worst, of the Internet, to help you navigate through April Fools’ Day 2016.
But first, as somebody who has assumed the role of victim more than once, a minute’s silence to those who fell for a prank.
Their faces tell it all.
And now, let the jokes begin.
READ: April Fools’ Day Fast Facts
Did China ban Fools’ Day?
April Fools’ Day is un-Chinese, the country’s official news agency said, according to Agence France Press.
It “does not conform with our nation’s cultural traditions, nor does it conform with the core values of socialism,” Xinhua news agency declared on micro-blog platform Weibo.
Many users reacted with irony.
“The most amusing ‘April Fools’ news is that Xinhua is seriously saying ‘don’t believe rumors’,” one comment said.
Even The Global Times, a paper close to the ruling Communist Party, seemed to suggest Xinhua needed to loosen up – It did that on Twitter, which is not available in China.
Google’s pranked… itself
The Mountain View giant is usually very good at April Fools’ jokes. This year they didn’t get it right.
Google’s “Gmail Mic Drop” featured a special “send” button, which ended your emails with a gif showing a Minion dressed as a king dropping a microphone.
“Simply reply to any email using the new ‘Send + Mic Drop’ button,” the company said in a blogpost.
“Everyone will get your message, but that’s the last you’ll ever hear about it. Yes, even if folks try to respond, you won’t see it.”
The way it was implemented confused many users though. Some used it in error, which caused serious problems.
After the blacklash, Google turned it off and updated the post with an apology.
Apart from this unfortunate idea, Google played several, and more successful, jokes this year. “Google Cardboard Plastic,” for example, allow you to “experience actual reality.”
READ: Some of the greatest April Fools’ hoaxes ever
London’s Big Ben strikes… Pimm’s O’ Clock
Big Ben in London got a facelift and a sponsor.
Old is the new… new
If you are tired of your phone getting smarter and smarter, the Samsung Galaxy LTD is what you need. It is “ergonomically designed to perfectly fit in your hands, both of them,” the ad stresses, adding that it has Samsung’s “largest ever battery – making it the perfect makeshift doorstop even when turned off.”
Roll around London with the new Boris Board
Tired of the Tube’s overcrowded carriages during rush hours? Boris Johnson, the exuberant mayor of London, has the solution: The new Boris Board.
And if you’d rather stick to your beloved bike, Johnson, a passionate cyclist himself, has another solution. The Independent uncovered his secret plan to “tarmac over UK’s canals to create nationwide cycle superhighway if he becomes PM.”
The only problem? According to an expert, the scheme is “illegal under EU Regulation 01/04/2016.”
Another reason for Boris to push for Britain to leave the EU?
And of course… Brexit jokes
With the June’s referendum approaching, and the results uncertain, The Guardian’s exclusive revelations sent shock waves across the UK.
The royal family, famously above the country’s political fray, is considering to publicly support the campaign to stay in the EU.
The burden of the public announcement, the paper said, will be on the almost-95-year-old Prince Philip – famous for his gaffes – thanks to his “impeccable European credentials, a strong affinity with the continent and the character to speak out,” the paper reported.
Panic spread in the pro-exit campaign when Nigel Farage, a leading figure on the “leave” side, tweeted his Brexit U-turn.
If you have time, take a look at the comments… Some are hilarious.
The cracks in the leave front came just as the rogue European bureaucrats “DEMANDED European Union flag stars be incorporated into Union Jack,” the Daily Express reported.
Veiled criticism of political correctness?
In a bid to “decolonize and demisogynize” UK’s higher education, British paper The Times announced, students in the UK have called for Imperial College and King’s College universities to be renamed respectively Gaia College and Citizen’s College.
Bathstore launched a new app to “drown out unwanted bathroom noises:” The new “Silent Loo app” let you “choose from Tap, Shower, Costa Rican River or Tsunami and protect both modesty and the planet with one simple to use solution.”
U.S. Army teleports soldiers?
Hard times lie ahead for enemies of the U.S. The U.S. Army has announced a groundbreaking technology to teleport troops everywhere in the world in a few seconds.
“No one is more impressed by this than I am,” said a witness who took part in the experiment. “One moment, I was chatting with the young soldiers, and the next, they all vanished into thin air.”
For nostalgic cinephiles
BBC thought of you: VHS are back!
Fall-proof kids with BMW shoes
Your toddler keeps falling over? Then you need the revolutionary BMW baby shoes, which offer “total stability in all conditions.”
‘Men, don’t let your flow dictate your fashion…’
” …Take control with Manpons.”
With this ironic video, WaterAid reminds us that access to sanitation is not granted to over 1 billion women.