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31 March 2017 , 10:01 am

1 April – don’t get caught

Did you hear…scheduled passenger flights to Mars will be launched in December?

Well not really, but in light of 1 April and of course April Fools’ Day, you are sure to come across some funny, outrageous and perhaps even some crazy news headlines on the day.

Also referred to as ‘All Fools’ Day, April Fools’ Day is perhaps one of the most light-hearted days of the year which has spanned over many decades. Strangely enough though, the origins of the day are uncertain. In some corners of the world the day is seen as a celebration related to the turn of the seasons, while others believe it originates from the adoption of a new calendar.

Most common practices include sending someone on a “fool’s errand,” looking for things that don’t exist; playing pranks; and trying to get people to believe ridiculous things. In France the day is referred to Poisson d’Avril, or “April Fish”. French children sometimes tape a picture of a fish on the back of their schoolmates, crying “Poisson d’Avril” when the prank is discovered.

Yes, all over the world and across many different industries, 1 April is sure to bring with it some light-hearted fun and in the spirit of it all we bring you some of the most memorable April Fools’ travel pranks.

Cheap flights in the cargo hold

With budget-conscious travellers in mind, a travel consortium in Australia once tried to convince travellers they could fly from Australia to London for AUS$199 in a modified cargo crate.

Travelling down an active volcano

In 2012, the Virgin Group announced Virgin Volcanic, a vehicle which could take up to three geo-tourists into the molten cores of active volcanoes.

Another gem from the group was ‘green skyscrapers’. The group claimed that it was planning the construction of several green skyscrapers ranging from a spaceship design in Sydney, to a plane design in London; a balloon design in New York and a kiteboard design in Cape Town.

The press release about these futuristic new hotels, for added authenticity, quoted the physicist and television presenter Professor Brian Cox, who applauds “efforts to source more of our primary energy from the sun – and put sustainable hotels on the moon.”

The Leaning Pisa to become a hotel

A prominent UK-based news service once tried to convince us that we would soon be able to book a room in the Leaning Tower of Pisa, as it was to be transformed into a hotel called the 3.99 Degrees.

Ever heard of a Manaphin?

The St. Pete/Clearwater coastal region of Florida once claimed the “long-extinct manaphin” was discovered on its shores. Manaphins were hybrid mammals that apparently sported the nose of a manatee (sea cow) and the body of a dolphin. A press release sent to media outlets even went as far as to quote a local kayaker, describing the sighting as “very cool”

Dining in the dark at 30 000ft

Taking inspiration from a popular global dining phenomenon of dining in the dark, one airline announced plans to – quite literally – leave passengers in the dark.

In making the “announcement”, the airline said that passengers who book on these specially-offered flights will dine in a 100 percent pitch black cabin. Without any sense of sight, other senses such as touch, hearing, smell and of course, taste are intensified, giving passengers an unprecedented in-flight dining experience. As there will be no light throughout the cabin, passengers will specify dietary restrictions prior to boarding and meals will be a surprise, revealed only by their taste buds.

The airline added that it hired a renowned chef with vast experience in fine-dining-in-the-dark, also that heavy preparation will be done prior to take-off but all food assembly and serving will be carried out by airline staff, wearing night-vision goggles, in complete darkness.

What are we in-store for this coming April Fools’ Day? Nobody can know for sure, but if it sounds to good or too crazy to be true on 1 April, it probably is….

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This post was written by Jeanette Phillips

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