The article, written by physicist Mark Boslough, went viral after being forwarded by e-mail around the world. It was only when lawmakers began getting hundreds of calls from people objecting to the move, did anyone realize it was an April Fools' joke.
Boslough would later explain his spoof was intended to be a parody of legislative attempts to "circumscribe the teaching of evolution," Boese says.
The San Serriffe Islands
In 1977 the British paper the Guardian published a seven-page supplement on the exotic island nation of San Serriffe including descriptions of it's two main islands, Upper Caisse and Lower Caisse, and its leader, General Pica. Boese writes that the "Guardian's phones rang all day as readers sought more information about the idyllic holiday spot." But the islands were a hoax, Boese writes on his Web site. "Only a few noticed that everything about the island was named after printer's terminology."
The spoof was wildly successful Boese writes and is "widely credited with launching the enthusiasm for April Foolery that gripped the British tabloids in subsequent decades."