Unless you were already in the Needle, in which case you were right to freak out.
So the Needle's destruction was a joke -- but the panic, unfortunately, was real. As soon as the short, fake segment aired, the city of Seattle collectively lost its shit. The ensuing avalanche of frantic 911 calls effectively shut down emergency services, and a team of doctors was dispatched to the site to offer aid. The station was also swamped by distraught callers who had feared their family members were among the rubble, despite the fact that the "newscaster" specifically said everyone was fine (presumably they thought that was the April Fool's joke).
They probably figured the Needle looked blurry to censor all the blood.
Once they realized they'd been duped, the station, the emergency departments, and pretty much everyone in Seattle were pissed at the guys who temporarily shut down their city. They were allowed to keep their jobs, though, since most residents quickly forgot about the stunt when a new vegan doughnut shop opened up. Remember, this was pre-9/11, so collapsing buildings could still be considered hilarious comedy; if the same prank happened today, it would probably result in the invasion of at least three foreign countries.
Canadian Students Keep Hanging VW Bugs From Bridges
Cops in San Francisco are pretty used to dealing with tragedy when it comes to the Golden Gate Bridge, so when they were called there one morning in 2001, they probably expected the worst. We can only imagine the relief they felt when they saw somebody had simply dangled the empty shell of a Volkswagen Bug off the side of the bridge ... followed by a resounding, "Wait, what?"
Craig Lee/San Francisco Chronicle
The Germans have a word for this exact feeling.
During the dead of night, some Canadian engineering students laid almost 90 feet of cables under the bridge, latched them to the VW (which they brought from Canada in a van), and lowered the thing over the side of the span. They then sped off back to the land of Celine Dion and faxed the San Francisco media a press release taking responsibility for the prank, which resulted in hours of held up traffic and a crap load of extremely confused drivers (and fish, since the car eventually ended up being dropped into the water by the cops).
Shit, you'd think those kids had been doing this for 20 years -- and in fact, they had. Students at the University of British Columbia have been dangling VWs from bridges since the early '80s as a way to show off their mad engineering skillz. Also, to brag about the fact that Canadian bridges are so sturdy that you can pull this sort of shit on them and they usually won't collapse.
The E isn't for "engineering"; it's for "Eh?"
In the case of the infamous 2008 class, however, the only thing they got to show off was how to botch a prank, drop a car, and get arrested. After that embarrassing incident, they stayed quiet for a few years until the tradition returned in 2014 ... with a small twist. This time, they traded the bridges for a clock tower, where at least they won't be disrupting any traffic.
Just trying to flash back to 1985.
Justin is writing a free horror novel set in the Chesapeake Bay here. Read more from him at his site Business Handshakes.
For more ballsy jokes, check out The 5 Most Misguided April Fools' Pranks of All Time and The 7 Ballsiest Pranks You Won't Believe Actually Worked.
Are you on reddit? Check it: We are too! Click on over to our best of Cracked subreddit.