Taken for a short ride in Virgin's glass-bottom jet

PUBLISHED : Monday, 01 April, 2013, 9:28pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 02 April, 2013, 3:05am

A glass-bottomed plane by Virgin Atlantic, a new Google search that allowed you to search and sniff smells and a plan to milk the feral cows of Sai Kung, were just some of the pranks floating around on April Fools' Day yesterday.

In the true spirit of April 1, people all over Hong Kong were made fools of ... at least for a few seconds with a variety of jokes which were mostly aimed at internet users.

Google excelled by claiming to have launched Google Nose: a new addition to the search engine which allowed users to search its "Aromabase" of 15 million Scentibytes for smells.

The prank invited the gullible to edge close to their screens and take a sniff of beer, wet dog, locker room and garlic breath.

Google Earth also announced it had added a new treasure hunt mode, inviting people to help them solve a mystery contained in recently discovered treasure maps belonging to the legendary pirate Captain Kidd.

Google-owned YouTube was ahead of the game, releasing a three-minute video clip on Sunday saying the site would close down at midnight for a decade and that its aim over the last eight years had been to find the world's greatest video.

Twitter itself announced it was losing its vowels and would become Twttr, adding that tweeters would have to pay if they chose to use any of the vowels.

Virgin Atlantic's prank was literally one which most people saw through: a glass-bottomed plane that allowed passengers flying between Heathrow and Aberdeen, Scotland, to see the landscape as it passed by thousands of feet below them.

Virgin boss Richard Branson tweeted the spoof announcement accompanied by a picture of the aircraft saying: "Incredibly proud of yet another aviation breakthrough which has been years in the making."

Locally, Friends of Sai Kung did their bit to keep their tradition going by announcing in an e-mail it had received a grant from Kadoorie Farm to set up a dairy company which would involve milking cows that roam wild in Sai Kung Country Park.

Chairman Guy Shirra said he had some response to the prank.

An official of the group, who is also one of the founders of Sai Kung Buffalo Watch, "got quite hot under the collar over the cow [e-mail] and asked what the hell is this", Shirra said.