Thursday, September 16, 2010

Spaghetti Trees: Greatest April Fool’s Day Hoax Ever?

Despite of a number of TV news shows debunking it as a very elaborate April Fool’s Day hoax, why do some people still believe in the existence of spaghetti trees?

By: Ringo Bones

I first saw the topic being discussed first hand in a 1980s era Ripley’s Believe it or Not when it was still hosted by Jack Palance, what fascinates me about spaghetti trees is that despite of a number of TV shows explaining to the public that they are just a product of an elaborate April Fool’s Day joke / hoax – there are some folks who still believe that spaghetti trees are for real. Given that the exact origin of spaghetti can’t be easily traced because it is inextricably intertwined during the Silk-Road era trading between Arab merchants and China, this confusion might be, in-part, fuelling the legend of the spaghetti tree.

Historically, the origin of the spaghetti tree was traced back to an April Fool’s broadcast by a rather still-reputable till this day news show by the BBC called Panorama back in 1957. The first of April “parody” news broadcast – probably the equivalent of the Daily Show with Jon Stewart or the Colbert Report of its day – have aired footage of Swiss farmers pulling spaghetti strands from trees on the BBC news show Panorama. Given that BBC’s Panorama is still a very reputable news program till this day, viewers immediately called the station demanding to know how they could grow their own spaghetti trees.

With sympathy to the victims of the hoax, the spaghetti tree hoax eventually gained “notoriety” as one of the top five best April Fool’s Day hoaxes / jokes of all time. Surprisingly, there has been no word yet on the existence of macaroni, fettuccini, or even of corkscrew pasta. Given that the spaghetti tree was supposedly said to originate from Switzerland, chocolate-sapped trees would have been more apt.

1 comment:

  1. Those who turned High School during the 1980s are probably the last generation who remembered first-hand the spaghetti tree April Fool's hoax. Given that until this day, BBC's Panorama has a worldwide reputation of being a serious and factual in-depth news program, no wonder millions probably too the April Fool's prank seriously.