Five Stories That Sound Like April Fools But Are Real

It's April Fools' Day and that traditionally means playing jokes on friends and family. It's also often an opportunity for news outlets to trick their readers with plausible but untrue stories.

However, sometimes there are unusual and humorous news items that look like April Fools' jokes but are in fact true. Two subreddits devoted to strange but true stories are r/nottheonion and r/offbeat.

To celebrate the day, Newsweek has compiled some of the most interesting news stories that seem like jokes but aren't. See if you can fool your friends with these strange but true double bluffs.

Alaska Ravens Have "System" for Stealing from Costco

A group of ravens have been "wreaking havoc" at a Costco in South Anchorage, according to a New York Daily News report. The birds, known for their intelligence, have been stealing customers' groceries

The ravens have snapped up filet mignon and ribs—in one case an entire pack of short ribs—and a pair of the black plumaged birds have attempted to steal melons from one unlucky shopper.

"They know what they're doing," Matt Lewallen told Anchorage Daily News. He lost a rib—pork, not his own—to the ravens. "They're very fat so I think they've got a whole system there."

Alligator and Shark Go For a Swim Together in Florida

It's not unusual to spot an alligator in the Sunshine State, but Gray Vinson of Vero Beach, Florida, was surprised when he captured footage of a gator swimming alongside what seemed to be a shark.

The small shark appeared to be keeping pace with the alligator in a waterway that's part of Indian River Lagoon. Local media noted that the gator's swimming buddy was not officially confirmed to be a shark but the lagoon is a habitat for bull sharks.

Australian Private School Bans Mullets

A private boys' school in the city of Perth, Western Australia has banned the mullet hairstyle. Trinity College, an elite school, has forbidden the retro haircut, citing the college's commitment to a "high standard for personal presentation."

"The current trend of growing the hair at the back of the head and/or closely cropping the sides of the head to accentuate the 'mullet' style are untidy, non-conventional and not acceptable at Trinity College. As is the trend of long hair and fringes," the school said.

Speaking out against the "business at the front, party at the back" look, Trinity College advised students to stick with hairstyles "of a conservative nature."

Russian Cows Wear VR Goggles to Reduce Anxiety

A farm in Russia gave its dairy cows Virtual Reality (VR) goggles in an effort to ease their anxiety, according to a 2019 BBC report. Special VR systems were created for the "structural features of cow heads."

The bovines were shown a "unique summer field simulation program" and the experience reportedly boosted "the overall emotional mood of the herd."

Filipino Man Didn't Know Knife Was Lodged in Body for 14 Months

A man in The Philippines had a knife lodged in his body for more than a year without realizing it.

The four-inch knife entered Kent Ryan Tomao's body as a result of a stabbing incident, but as he wasn't given an x-ray when by the hospital he attended, the blade went undetected.

Tomao said he felt occasional pain from the knife, which was in his ribcage, but was waiting for it to pass. The weapon was found when Tomao had to undergo a medical test for a new job in mining.

The knife was just inches away from piercing his lung and had not been removed at the time of the 7 News report. He said he wouldn't sue the hospital that left the weapon inside him but would return there to have it taken out.

There are many more true but unusual stories collected by Reddit users—just don't fall the April Fools' jokes.

Cows Listens to Her Owners in Uruguay
A cow listens to their owners feed call in a field in Cerro Pelado, Lavalleja Department, 160 km northeast of Montevideo, Uruguay, on March 17, 2021. Cows in Russia were fitted with VR goggles to reduce their anxiety. PABLO PORCIUNCULA/AFP/Getty Images