Reporter's Notebook

April Is the Foolest Month: 2016 Edition
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A handful of our favorite April Fool’s hoaxes. Last year’s are here.

Show 1 Newer Notes

Orbital View: Fools From Above

A quick skim of our favorite satellite and space Instagram accounts revealed some out-of-the-ordinary sights:

From Daily Overview’s caption:

We think we’ve spotted something unusual on the surface of Loch Ness in Scotland. The lake extends for approximately 23 miles (37 km) and is well-known as the possible home to “Nessie” - reportedly a massive sea monster resembling a plesiosaur. While water visibility is exceptionally low at the lake because of high peat content in the surrounding soil, our Overview perspective does not suffer from the same limitations and picked up this figure in imagery from 2014.

Hmmm. And over in Nevada, are those what I think they are?

Groom Lake, Nevada, more commonly known as Area 51

A photo posted by Planet Labs (@planetlabs) on

April Fools jokes or signs of something darker? You be the judge.

(See all Orbital Views here)

We briefly had another track posted today (available tomorrow at this link), but then Caroline flagged an April Fool’s mixtape that a reader tweeted at her:

The first track is actually pretty damn good. (And nope, this content isn’t sponsored.)

(Track of the Day archive here. Access it through Spotify here. Submit via hello@)

National Geographic offers an early contender for most awww-worthy prank for the day:

Oops. If posting nude animal pictures is a sin, I’m guilty.

On their website, National Geographic fesses up to the prank, offering a slideshow of “real, quirky snapshots of well-dressed cats and dogs, created by photographer Harry Whittier Frees in the early 1900s.” Behold, tiny kittens in clothes:

National Geographic / Library of Congress

Well played.

If this tool didn’t exist, Slavoj Žižek would have had to invent it.

Clone Zone was built by a pair of artists and opened to the public last April, after the artists’ TechCrunch spoof site won them some Facebook love. The tool aims to democratize the art of spoof-making, letting users create fake spins on popular sites with as little time and effort as it takes to craft a tweet.

Because it was out of beta weeks after April Fool’s Day 2015, Clone Zone wasn’t ready for the public to test its true Internet-trolling potential last year. This year it is live, but is the Internet ready?