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Can You Tell Which Of These Bizarre Science Headlines Was Actually An April Fools' Joke?

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Jonathan O'Callaghan

Senior Staff Writer

clockApr 1 2016, 20:19 UTC
757 Can You Tell Which Of These Bizarre Science Headlines Was Actually An April Fools' Joke?
Foonia/Shutterstock

When it comes to April Fools' day, navigating the Internet can become a chore. Endless stories designed to catch you out, or just make you laugh, by blending fact and fiction.

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But this hallowed day can also be a headache for people with somewhat more outlandish research to publish. After all, if you have serious evidence that seems out of this world, who is going to believe you?

So, to help you out, we’ve picked out some of the scientific stories from this week that might seem absurd, but are very much a reality.

1. We could use a laser cloaking device to hide from aliens

Scientists have proposed using high-powered lasers to hide Earth from searches from advanced extraterrestrial races. Some scientists, including Stephen Hawking, have previously suggested we should be wary of hostile aliens finding our planet.

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2. Cats may have regional accents

A researcher from Lund University is trying to work out if cats from different regions have varying “meows,” similar to how people have regional dialects.

3. Gibbons have been recorded “juggling” in the wild

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Scientists have observed endangered male Hainan gibbons throwing sticks and catching them repeatedly, termed as “juggling” behaviour.

4. Researchers have created “transparent wood” to use in windows

By removing the lignin from wood and using “nanoscale tailoring,” Swedish researchers say they can create see-through wood that could be used instead of glass.

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5. Fisherman have caught a weird “pink” shark

Known as a swell shark, this strange creature appears to have leucism, which is a slightly lesser version of albinism.

6. A programmer almost brought down the Internet by deleting 11 lines of code

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Seriously.

7. Being a “grammar nazi” could mean you’re an introvert

If you’re one of those people who just can’t let an incorrect use of grammar lie, then you might be someone who takes more pleasure in solitude than others, according to a study.

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8. The U.K. has scrapped plans to ban all psychoactive substances because it doesn’t know what they are

After disagreements broke out on what exactly constitutes a psychoactive substance, the U.K. government has decided to drop the controversial Psychoactive Substances Act.

 

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So which one was an April Fools' joke? Actually ... none of them. Every single one of these was a genuine science story. The real world is stranger than fiction!


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