This year's best April Fools' Day gags

Fake news!

This year's best April Fools' Day gags

Image: Google Maps

It's that day of the year again, when companies and news outlets around the world indulge their inner pranksters.

Yes, it's April Fools' Day, and true to tradition there's plenty of unusual stories floating around today. 

So what are the best - or worst, depending on your opinion - gags of the day?

The team behind Google Maps have proven to go above and beyond for their annual gags - even managing to inspire the creation of Pokemon Go with their 2014 addition of Pokemon to the map.

This year they've revisiting one of their previous jokes by offering fully functional Ms Pac-Man that runs within the mapping programme (they already offered standard Pac-Man in 2015). 

You can play it by 'inserting coin' here, but be prepared to lose hours.

It's not the only Google gag, of course. Elsewhere, the company has poured generous budgets into producing some other videos for non-existent products - like Google Wind, Google Gnome, and a Google bubble wrap keyboard.

Netflix introduced - and promptly cancelled - 'Netflix Live', which was effectively Arrested Development star Will Arnett talking about various appliances.

Over at Reddit, meanwhile, users are allowed post a single pixel on a giant canvas every few minutes. It has, predictably, resulted in paintings of a whole lot of internet memes as users work together to create some modern digital art.

Elsewhere, Amazon teases a (non-existent) expansion to its popular Echo home help hardware in which pets can start enjoying all the benefits of voice recognition.

It's amazing what you can make with a paper bag, as proven by a Facebook video shared by Primark:

Duolingo has become an invaluable app for many language learners. But now they've finally offered the most requested language of all - Emoji. 

Domino's Pizza, meanwhile, have mocked up a revolution on the humble letter box.

Fake products and fake news

There's a few other entirely fictional products out there today - from a DIY watch to a mood-sensitive chair.

Coca-Cola really elevated itself from the competition with its pun filled statement about Coca-Cola Helium

Kate Miller - the actual marketing manager for Coca-Cola UK - said of the non-existent product: “We’re delighted to be launching Coca-Cola Helium this year – it really inflates our range of drinks and lifts our fans spirits. Popularity of Coca-Cola continues to balloon and this new variant is set to be a flyaway success.” 

What about the newspapers?

The appointment of British MP George Osborne as editor of the London Evening Standard raised eyebrows earlier this month - a controversy The Guardian had a bit of fun with for their gag.

Closer to home, a few Irish outlets have been getting in on the fooling action.

The Irish Times has published a curious story about a certain US president investing in some high-profile Dublin real estate. A few amusing details here - such as each of the planned 32 floors being named.

In the Irish Independent, a story about an unfortunate Luas error leading to a major shake-up of Dublin's third-level institutions (GUCCI Ireland!) should be read with the requisite pinches of salt.

And with that, we thankfully don't need to worry about April Fools' Day again for another 364 days or so. Although you should probably watch out for that whole 'fake news' business for the rest of the year too...