Picture from BBC Spaghetti Hoax Still One of Greatest Pranks
BBC pulled off a now famous hoax about spaghetti trees in 1957. Image ©dollar Photo Club/al62

BBC Spaghetti Hoax Still One of Greatest Pranks

Are you one of those pranksters who can’t wait for April Fool’s Day? Do your friends, family and co-workers dread what you might do today? Pulling off the perfect practical joke is a big deal for some people. Already the Internet is buzzing with today’s best and worst efforts. But individuals aren’t the only ones who attempt to pull a fast one. In fact, sometimes it is hard to know who to trust.

On April 1 in 1957 the BBC current affairs program Panorama ran a three-minute story on the Ticino spaghetti trees. The story showed a family in southern Switzerland harvesting a bumper crop of noodles from their spaghetti trees.

At the time most Britons were unfamiliar with spaghetti and didn’t realize the pasta was actually made from flour and water. Years later CNN called it the “biggest hoax that any reputable news establishment every pulled.”