Top 5 April Fool's jokes in Switzerland
Despite being better known for its calm and methodical nature, Switzerland has created more than its fair share of memorable April Fool's jokes, including being the setting of one of the most famous of all time. Here are five of our favourite April Fool's jokes from (and about) Switzerland.
1. CERN researchers in Geneva discover the force
On April 1, 2015, CERN - the 27-kilometre hadron collider in Geneva - said it had confirmed the existence of "the Force." In a statement on the CERN website, researchers wrote, “Physicists at the European Laboratory for Particle Physics announced today that an invisible Force permeates the universe, binding the galaxy together.”
They said that they have unequivocal evidence that the Force exists, with a “diminutive green spokesperson for the laboratory” concluding “very impressive, this result is.” CERN said that university students and workers have already been harnessing this newly discovered power to send long-distance communications, influence minds and lift heavy things out of swamps.
Along with the assistance of CERN theorist Ben Kenobi - author of the seminal paper “May the Force be with EU” - CERN said that they celebrate all the men, women and droids that made the discovery possible. However, according to their statement, a certain Dave Vader is not overly enthusiastic, and hopes to research dark matter and red lasers in a new research station he is developing in the coming years.
2. Swiss public transport pranks
Being a public transport-mad country, this list wouldn’t be complete without a few joke stories about trams, trains and buses in Switzerland. For example, as part of a new schedule change in 2015, it was announced that PostBus would be offering a first-class ticket and premium compartment on every bus they operate.
Called “Yellow Class”, the scheme would enable passengers to access their own private area and door at the front of the bus. While the company did not go into much detail about the other benefits of Yellow Class, it was speculated that priority boarding, catering and maybe even a private bus transfer to and from the bus may be offered.
Among some other transport-related stories in the same year, the bus operator for Lake Zurich and the Oberland announced that they were due to instal toilets on some of their local buses, much to the dismay of those sitting opposite. At the same time, Swiss Federal Railways said that instead of “classist” tickets, it would be dividing its trains by singles, “lovers”, married couples and those who are “open for whatever.”
3. The Swiss spaghetti harvest
What list of Swiss April Fool's jokes would be complete without the most famous one? On April 1, 1957, the BBC broadcast a three-minute video about a Swiss family harvesting their fresh crop of spaghetti. With things like this, it's best to just show you:
Video: MySwitzerland / YouTube
8 million people sat down to watch the harvest on TV, with the BBC reporting that hundreds of people phoned in to ask how to grow spaghetti in their back gardens. Unfazed, the BBC replied to these people by phone and post, telling them to “place a sprig of spaghetti into a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best.”
4. Drone wine deliveries in Switzerland
There is nothing better than an April Fool's joke with just a kernel of truth to it. This was the case in 2017, when Swiss Post legitimately announced that it would start using drones to carry essential lab tests between hospitals. Barring several incidents where the drones have crashed, the national post office now actually delivers lab samples like urine tests to different locations in Ticino and other cantons by drone to ensure a quick test result.
In response, a winemaking community in Canton Valais said that it hoped to mimic the real system, but instead of samples, it would send wine. The announcement of an aerial wine delivery system caused the cooperative’s website to crash, with 4.000 visits in the space of two hours. 100 people also visited their office, enquiring as to when the wine flights would start.
5. Konstanz to be annexed by Switzerland
In 2015, there was bad news for people who like to shop in Germany, as Radio SRF reported that the city of Konstanz was being annexed into Thurgau. The German city would be merged with its neighbour Kreuzlingen and form the capital of the greater Canton of Thurgau, much to Frauenfeld's dismay.
According to Radio SRF, a ceremonial border relocation event was planned for noon on April 1, with a German brass band practising the Swiss national anthem for the occasion. Sausages from St. Gallen were also set to be served.
The Mayor of Kreuzlingen, Andreas Netzle, said that he was happy that the two cities, separated since 1815, were now back together. Uli Burchhardt, Lord Mayor of Konstanz, said that he was happy to incorporate the land into what would be the sixth-largest city in Switzerland, telling reporters, "We Konstanzers are almost half Swiss."