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Media around the world regaled their audiences with stories of stretched French presidents and bisexual James Bonds on Tuesday, proving the tradition of April Fool's jokes was alive and kicking.
Britain's Daily Telegraph printed pictures of penguins apparently flying to the Amazon, while many papers ran a spoof story saying luxury carmaker BMW had invented a model that electrocuted dogs which tried to relieve themselves against its wheels.
Australian radio station 2UE marked April 1 by reporting that the pope would conduct a special mass for homosexuals during his visit Down Under in July.
The British press combined jokes with a little French-bashing -- light-heartedly ignoring pleas for closer cross-Channel cooperation from President Nicolas Sarkozy during his state visit last week.
There were also plans to encourage British parents "to serve small volumes of red wine with meals to children as young as seven or eight," it said, in a piece bylined Avril de Poisson -- a play on the French for April Fool.
But the British weekly New Scientist took a new tack on the tradition by publishing stories on its website that seemed so bizarre that they could only be April Fools, but were in fact genuine.
One was a study by pair of Italian physicists who came up with a quantum explanation for poltergeists -- the ghostly phenomenon whereby objects fly around the room, apparently of their own accord. Another was about how surgery could transform your arms into wings.
"They are April Fools that aren't," the magazine told AFP, as comments piled up on its website from baffled and occasionally irritated readers.