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26Steve Jobs

In 2008, during the CNN's experiment in citizen journalism, a 4chan user made a fake news report stating that Steve Jobs “died of a heart attack.” After the prank went viral on social media, Apple’s stock dropped by about $5 billion.

27. On the British version of "Who Wants To Be a Millionaire", a man named Charles Ingram managed to cheat the game and win £1,000,000 through a simple system of coughs.

28. Liam Neeson once prank-called Maggie Grace's (played his daughter in Taken) Ex-Boyfriend as his character in Taken.

29. In 1988, as a prank, 11 students rotated the 2,000 pound statue of the university’s founder William Marsh Rice 180 degrees. Only one student was caught and he never snitched.

30. As part of the famous travelling gnome prank, people have stolen these lawn ornaments and then sent its owners picture of the gnome in front of famous landmarks, as a practical joke, before returning it.


In 2006, OJ Simpson hosted a pay-per-view prank show called Juiced. In one of the skits, he worked as a used car salesman selling a White Bronco with bullet holes in which he promoted the car’s “escapability.”

32. Stephen Hawking's son named Tim Hawking once added swear words to his dad's voice synthesizer as a prank.

33. There is an orangutan named FU-Manchu who is an honorary member of the lock picking union because he has successfully escaped from his cage using home made keys multiple times. Many primatologists believe he has successfully demonstrated human level deception.

34. Mirrors are placed near elevators as a psychological trick to make the wait seem more tolerable. People like to look at themselves.

35. In 2006, David Copperfield used slight of hand to trick armed robbers into believing he had nothing even though he was carrying his passport, wallet, and cellphone.

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36Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus

The ‘Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus’ was a hoax designed by the University of Connecticut to test 7th graders’ ability to decipher fake news on the internet presented as real. They all failed. Some even maintained that it was real even after confronted with the hoax, a phenomenon called belief perseverance.

37. The infamous antigaming website, MAVAV (Mothers Against Videogame Addiction and Violence) was a hoax created to show how information can be propagated on the internet.

38. In 1998, Sean Penn was taken hostage in a police department holding cell and dragged outside at gunpoint, only to learn that the whole thing was an elaborate prank orchestrated by Woody Harrelson.

39. There is a fictitious member in the German parliament named Jakob Maria Mierscheid. He has his own official bio page, and even a bridge named after him. This hoax has been going since the 1970s.

40. Napoleon Bonaparte was so obsessed with winning that he would cheat at cards, but felt morally obligated to return any money he won as a result of said cheating.

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41Well to Hell hoax

The “Well to Hell” was popular hoax in Russia. According to it, there were reports that a group of Russian engineers (while drilling into the ground) broke into Hell, and screams of the damned could be heard. The Trinity Broadcasting Network ran with the story and claimed it proved the existence of Hell.

42. The U.S. Army had a tactical deception unit nicknamed "The Ghost Army", which used inflatable tanks, loudspeakers and radio to fool German soldiers.

43. After a photo of Keanu Reeves looking sad and eating a sandwich alone on a bench went viral, he responded by writing a book of sad poems entitled "An Ode to Happiness" as a joke.

44. While filming Indiana Jones, the crew played a practical joke on Harrison Ford. While he was chained to a large stone as part of filming, Barbra Streisand appeared in a dominatrix outfit. She proceeded to whip him before Carrie Fisher threw herself in front of Ford to protect him. This entire sequence was filmed.

45. The famous legend that America spent millions on the development of a 'space pen' that writes upside down, while the Russians used a pencil is a hoax.

46Jasper Maskelyne

A magician named Jasper Maskelyne used “magic” to help the Allied forces against the Nazis during World War 2. He used illusions to help the Allied troops hide tools and maps in everyday objects to fool the Nazis.

47. In 1967, the Berkeley Barb, a counterculture newspaper published a fake story about extracting hallucinogenic chemicals from bananas to raise moral questions about banning drugs. People didn't realize it was a hoax and began smoking banana peels to try to get high.

48. American film director M. Night Shyamalan created a hoax trying to convince people that his obsession with the supernatural came from a near death experience during his childhood. He went as far as getting a Sci-Fi Channel documentary crew to sign non-disclosure agreements.

49. There exists a formally recognized type of deception where true statements are used to create a false impression, called "paltering."

50. A Canadian company, as a joke, started selling canned fresh air (Vanity Air), but the product became a hit when marketed in China. They package compressed air from the Rocky Mountains into aluminum cans that sell for $10-$20 each.


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