Love a good prank? Ever had a prank go wrong? From funny viral pranks to one that terrified thousands of residents, these Alabama based April Fool's Day pranks all got way out of hand!
This Prank Was Off The Rails...
This 2019 April Fool's Day prank met all the criteria for a prank gone horribly wrong and frightened thousands of residents in Walker and Jefferson County before officials could shut it down. The mayhem all began when a local woman thought it would be funny to prank her friends on Facebook with this status:
“A train carrying some sort of toxic waste just derailed! They are evacuating everyone in Quinton and some of West Jefferson for at least two days!!!!”
Although Quinton itself is a small unincorporated town, it's only minutes from downtown Birmingham and other heavily populated areas...so it's no surprise that the post spread like wildfire. Hundreds of calls began coming in to 911 and Emergency Services Agencies as local officials scrambled to figure out what was going on. The post was tracked down and removed as quickly as possible...but not before several local agencies put hazmat teams on standby and assembled disaster teams. Oh, and the governor had to be notified, too. As for the prankster? "The woman says she was sorry," reporters said later. Really, lady? That's it? Officials reminded the public later that these kinds of pranks are illegal and this prankster is probably lucky she didn't go to jail! To see the WBRC-6 news coverage about the incident that was aired later that day, click here.
A Monster Sized Prank Kenny Walker lives in the small town of Wilmer, Alabama near Mobile. On April 1, 2022, Kenny and his friend, Taylor, had plans to make an elaborate Tik Tok video as a prank. When that didn't pan out, he did what any red blooded Alabamian would do: he moved on to plan B and swore he'd seen a bigfoot. Kenny grabbed some random bigfoot images online and put together a convincing narrative: "A Wilmer man is happy to be safe at home after a scary incident while turkey hunting near Tanner Williams rd. The person who wishes to remain anonymous spotted a Bigfoot in the woods on the waters edge, and took these amazing photographs of the beast." To give the story more credibility, Kenny took the liberty of adding an endorsement by the Mobile County Sheriff's Office: "UPDATE: Mobile County Sheriff's Office just validated the photos, and the Finding Bigfoot Team has been deployed to Big Creek lake in Wilmer, Alabama. I will update as information comes in." According to Kenny, the post took on a life of it's own. It was even featured on several national news outlets! In keeping with the fun of April Fool's Day, the Mobile Sheriff's office even shared the post...but added a short disclaimer: "Kenny, put the pipe down, dude." As I was researching for this article, I found several places online where Kenny's post was recently shared as an actual bigfoot sighting. Kenny, dude, you created a monster
Football is a big deal in Alabama. For Roll Tide fans especially, football is a way of life with a lot of tradition. This April 1st announcement has become a tradition in it's own right. This prank has been played on Alabama fans every April Fool's Day for almost a decade and usually goes something like this:
"Nick Saban has abruptly retired from his position as head coach at the University of Alabama. He plans to pursue recruiting full time."
Granted, Saban has been discussing his retirement for quite a while...the sudden prank announcement still takes a lot of fans by surprise and it seems there's a new bunch to fool every year. Here's one (below) going all the way back to 2016 on the "Roll Tide Sporting News Blog" and another from 2018 from the Alabama Crimson Tide On3 Facebook page. There are dozens more all over the internet. I wonder if anyone will believe it when Saban really does retire!
Alabama Pi Factory
This infamous April Fools Day prank goes all the way back to 1998. It caused such a stir, however, that it may go down in history as the biggest prank involving Alabama, ever. It all started when Los Alamos National Laboratory physicist Mark Boslough wrote a satirical article that was posted to a newsgroup forum (this was back in the day prior to social media's big boom). At the time, the debate of creationism vs. evolution being taught in public school was a hot topic of debate. In Boslough's state of New Mexico, that debate had been raging in the state legislature. Boslough took some of the arguments of his lawmakers and wrote the article - only he changed the state to Alabama, changed the names of the lawmakers, and made it sound as if Alabama had decided to change the mathematical value of Pi from 3.14 to 3 "to make it less uncertain and line up with biblical values." It was all satirical, of course, but as the article was copied and shared virally across the web, the part about "satire" was completely lost. People across the country were outraged that the Alabama legislature would possibly think the value of Pi could be changed (as it's a mathematical constant). Lawmakers were inundated with calls, emails and letters for quite a while. Thanks to the internet, the great Alabama Pi hoax went down in history...but the value of Pi in Alabama is safe....so far.
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