Every year on April 1, journalists have artistic freedom to publish fake stories. Many of the headlines barely produce a "So what?" in the readers' minds, but others make it past the gatekeepers and they go viral.
Here is our round up of April Fools' jokes from Switzerland. Many of them are from this year, but some legendary hoaxes like the spaghetti harvest or the mountain cleaners were obvious contenders for this list, too!
swissnex in San Francisco announces: "Bye bye people. Hello Robots."
Apparently, a new fleet of workers is taking over some simple tasks at the S.F. outpost of swissnex: Robots with artificial intelligence! For one, they will be greeting visitors.
But we wonder: Can these RoboSwiss speak Swiss German, too?
Swiss postal buses to add 1st class compartments.
— PostAuto Schweiz AG (@PostAuto) April 1, 2015
And the Swiss rail network is going to replace 1st and 2nd class compartments with sections for singles, lovers, married couples...
Yes, love prevails on rails! As part of their lovely #unterwegsverliebt campaign, Swiss Rail is going to rid all trains of elitist "economy" and "first" class compartments.
Instead, they will be marking coaches for singles, lovers, married couples or those "open for whatever":
Another innovation from public transportation: Verkehrsbetriebe Zürichsee und Oberland are going to install toilets in some of their buses.
Yuck! Thanks, but no thanks! They have even published a picture of a bus toilet in the Zürcher Oberländer:
On the dark side: The first airplane powered by lunar power was just announced.
Remember Solar Impulse, the first airplane to fly around the world using only solar power? If this were not enough, there will now be a Lunar Impulse, the first airplane solely powered by "lunar energy"...
CERN researchers confirm the existence of "The Force".
We knew it! Finally some brainy scientists have confirmed the existence of "The Force". This cannot possibly be a hoax and is probably the energy source for Lunar Impulse...
Bad news for Swiss bargain shoppers: Konstanz is being annexed by Switzerland!
According to the Swiss National Radio, the city of Konstanz is going to be annexed by the canton of Thurgau. To top if off, Konstanz might even become the new capital of Thurgau as nobody can ever remember the current capital of Thurgau.
New policies make it illegal for pedestrians to use smartphones in Bern and Zürich.
According to NZZ and Berner Zeitung, accidents involving pedestrians due to smartphone use have escalated. Therefore, the cities of Bern and Zürich are going to make it illegal to walk and look at a smartphone.
While Zürich is still debating whether selfies fall under the same rule, Bern is considering special sidewalks for (often slower moving) smartphone users.
Chur to build a hotel that tops the tallest building in Europe proposed for Vals.
At a meager 400 meters height, this building project is going to surpass anything ever seen in Switzerland - or Europe, that is. According to the local architect, the top floor is supposed to be publicly accessible. There will be a tropical garden featuring butterflies from Namibia, and a bar featuring beer from the local Calandia brewery.
Puffins were blown all the way to Lake Greifensee with this stormy April weather..
This picture is the only proof.
And a mystical creature, the Dahu, was first exhibited in a Swiss museum on April 1, 1995.
Conveniently equipped with two shorter legs , the dahu animal is able to easily walk alongside Swiss mountains. Or so the few scientists say who have taken this "shady" picture:
Appenzell Tourism is casting the best six packs of Switzerland for their new gift card holders.
All you need to do is stop by the Appenzell Tourism office and show your six pack to the friendly receptionist (or so we think)...
We've been playing Pac-Man in Zürich's streets all day - on Google Maps!
Google pulled off a good one! Pac-Man has invaded Google Maps, and so the streets of Zürich turned into a virtual game. Here is a screenshot of my browser during lunchtime on April Fool's:
A few years ago, Switzerland Tourism has actually recruited mountain cleaners...
Keeping Swiss mountains spotless is a tough job. In a video clip, Switzerland Tourism introduced the heroes who are out there every day, making sure that all those cliffs are sparkling clean for all the tourists. They really did a great job as the video went viral.
It isn't a hoax, or is it? The Zurich University Hospital is looking for cocaine addicts for a study on happiness.
Participants must supply their own drugs and undergo MRI's. On the upside, each participant is getting a 100 francs cash reward. It seems legit.
An oldie (but a goodie): The Ticino spaghetti harvest of 1957!
So, which one is your favorite hoax?
(Love train picture copyright by SBB CFF FFS, giftcard holder visualisation/feature picture copyright by Appenzell Tourism, CERN Large Hadron Collider photograph copyright by Max Brice and Daniel Dominguez/CERN; VZO bus toilet picture copyright by Mano Reichling, Chur tower visualisation copyright by suedostschweiz.ch, Dahu pictures by Wikipedia/Zoocryptologie)
Dimitri loves discovering new trends and covers architecture, design, start-ups and tourism.
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