Like most holidays, historians aren’t exactly sure when or why April Fools’ Day originated. The earliest record of the holiday is in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (“Nun’s Priest’s Tale” to be exact). You can find later mentions in French and Flemish poems, and in the Middle Ages, France celebrated New Year’s Day on April 1 thanks to King Charles IX’s Edict of Roussillon. But the best things about April 1 are the hoaxes – especially those from Google, ThinkGeek and YouTube.
Since 2000 Google has announced everything from the Google Gulp (a fictitious drink that increased intelligence to help with search engine optimization) to Google Romance (“Dating is a search problem. Solve it with Google Romance.”) to offering Google books that could be read in Anachrome 3D. This year Google changed its name (and all subsequent uses of the word) to Topeka – go ahead and Topeka search it.
Each year ThinkGeek’s homepage is filled with fake products. Due to customer demands, some of these products have actually made it into the company’s catalog year-round. This year’s offerings include the iCade (an arcade cabinet for your iPad), the 2001: A Space Odyssey Monolith Action Figure, and boxes of Tribbles ‘n’ Bits that include a free Captain Pike action figure.
Thanks to YouTube, you can watch all of Sealevel’s videos in text!
You can check out more April Fools’ Day fun on TechCrunch’s 2010 list of tomfoolery.