Don’t Be April Fooled on Monday: Spotting the Weirdest Current Pranks

April Fools' Day is here again, so get ready to spot the craziest pranks and hoaxes circulating this year. Stay skeptical and cautious!

April Fools' Day: A Day of Hoaxes and Pranks

Do we really need another day of hoaxes? After all, isn't the internet trying to fool users pretty much every other day of the year too? Regardless, April Fools' Day is here again, so it's worth saying: Everything you read on Monday that seems even the least bit weird is possibly false. And this year, the astrological movement known as Mercury Retrograde, which some people believe brings bad luck, begins on April 1. So if you believe in that, get ready for extra weirdness.

Have you ever read the Wikipedia entry for April Fools'? We can't even trace the origins of this holiday, like we can with Mother's Day or Earth Day. There might be a connection to Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, or to Noah's Ark, but then again maybe not. It's perhaps the weirdest -- or the most foolish -- holiday we have.

The Reader's Guide

How to Spot an April Fools' Prank

The best tip is simply to be suspicious. If a company picks April Fools' Day, or the days leading up to it, to release or announce a product that sounds too odd to be true, don't be quick to believe in the offering. Fact-check anything that looks suspicious -- especially before spending any money. Make sure you're on the company's own site, for one thing. Google the name of the product, or information about the item, to see if anyone has called out the product as a prank. Usually, fake products will offer a page to click to, and that page may simply say APRIL FOOL.

Some of the biggest companies out there have created joke products for the holiday, but not all the shams and hoaxes are corporate jokes. Don't fall for April Fools' pranks from random tricksters. It's easy to spread falsehoods and misinformation on Reddit, Facebook, TikTok or Instagram, where everyone is a publisher and not everyone can be trusted. And not all pranks are products. Be very wary of "news reports" you see on sites that aren't real publications. Check the URL. The New York Times doesn't misspell its own name in its URL, but joke sites may pick a very similarly named web address to try to trick you.

April Fools' Pranks of 2021

7-Eleven Hot Dog Sparkling Water

Hot dog water, aka the water you cook hot dogs in, has to be one of the nastier liquids out there. (There's even a Scooby-Doo character called Hot Dog Water, yeesh.) Convenience store chain 7-Eleven is touting a new flavor of sparkling water named for the hot dogs it sells, Big Bite Hot Dog Sparkling Water. "More details on the availability of this flavor will be revealed on April 1," the press release says. Hmm... Mmm, hot dog sparkling water...

Adidas Box Shoe

Adidas makes shoes. Shoes come in boxes. So this year, the company is putting forth not a shoebox, but a box shoe -- a fake (we hope) shoe shaped like a box. It's shown on Adidas' Confirmed app, and shoes are so extreme these days, who knows? It could be real one day. Adidas is advertising a box-shaped "shoe" on its Confirmed app, but we're guessing the April Fools' Day holiday has something to do with it.

Del Taco Hot Sauce-Flavored Tic Tac Mints

Del Taco is a fast-food chain with nearly 600 locations. It offers hot sauces for its Mexican-inspired food in mild, Del Scorcho and Del Inferno flavors, and it sent out a press release touting Tic Tac mints in those three hot sauce flavors. Writing as someone who's been sent actual samples of curry-flavored and Hidden Valley Ranch-flavored lip balms before, I guess this isn't so tough to believe. But don't try to buy these mints -- it's a hot prank. Let's be thankful these hot sauce Tic Tacs are just a joke.

Again, we'll update this list as more pranks roll out.

Saadat Qureshi

Hey, I'm Saadat Qureshi, your guide through the exciting worlds of education and technology. Originally from Karachi and a proud alum of the University of Birmingham, I'm now back in Karachi, Pakistan, exploring the intersection of learning and tech. Stick around for my fresh takes on the digital revolution! Connect With Me