The Most LEGENDARY College Pranks (PHOTOS)
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Some graduating college students feel it's a rite of passage to leave some kind of mark on campus before venturing off into the real world. This can mean anything from installing cars on top of campus landmarks to stealing a sacred cod. Here's a list of the most famous and outrageous pranks ever concocted.
Lady Liberty On Lake Mendota, University Of Wisconsin-Madison
In 1979, the student body government of University of Wisconsin was led by the infamous <a href="http://www.stubaker.com/madison/pailandshovel/index.html" target="_hplink">Pail & Shovel Party.</a> Their platform? Use the the school's budget for art projects and wacky pranks. Their masterpiece was putting a fake Statue of Liberty in the nearby (and, at the time, frozen) Lake Mendota, placing half of Lady Liberty's head and torch on top of it.
The Great Dome, Massachusettes Institute Of Technology
One of the most famous college prank schools, the Massachusetts school is famous for its history of jokes involving the MIT Dome. The most legendary case was back in 1994 when students installed an MIT campus police car on top of the dome -- which is 15 stories high. The clever pranksters built the frame of the car in pieces on top of the dome. It's now a tradition for copycats follow up the trick by putting all kinds of strange objects on top of it, like a <a href="http://hacks.mit.edu/Hacks/by_year/2006/firetruck/" target="_hplink">firetruck</a> and a <a href="http://hacks.mit.edu/Hacks/by_year/1996/dome_piano/" target="_hplink">piano</a>.
VW Bug And The Golden Gate Bridge, University Of British Columbia
In 2001, a gang of Canadian engineering students tied nylon cables to a red Volkswagen bug and pushed the bug off the eastern side of the Golden Gate bridge, <a href="http://articles.sfgate.com/2001-02-05/news/17584547_1_golden-gate-bridge-british-columbia-engineering-students" target="_hplink">leaving the car hanging 100 feet above water</a> for more than four hours, halting both car and ship traffic. Police cut the cables before the car plunged into the bay and sank.
Pink Flamingos On Bascom Hill, University Of Wisconsin-Madison
The Pail & Shovel party struck again in 1979 by putting 1,008 fake plastic pink flamingos on the front lawn of campus landmark Bascom Hill. By afternoon, students had plucked most of the flamingos from the lawn for their own keeping. Flaming-planting soon <a href="http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/museum/artifacts/archives/001660.asp" target="_hplink">became a tradition</a> on campus.
Theft Of The Sacred Cod, Harvard University
In 1933, staffers from the Harvard <em>Lampoon</em> managed to steal the Sacred Cod, a five-foot long wooden fish that hangs from the ceiling of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. As the <a href="http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/Hoaxipedia/Theft_of_the_Sacred_Cod/" target="_hplink">Museum of Hoaxes</a> reports, the theft of the cod of was quite simple: "Three Lampoon staffers walked into the state house armed with a pair of clippers and a flower box. They waited until a discreet moment when no tourists were around. Then they quickly clipped the wires holding up the fish, tucked it away in their flower box, and disappeared." To prevent the cod from being stolen again, authorities raised the it six inches higher.
The Hugo N. Frye Hoax, Cornell University
In 1930, two student editors at Cornell's newspaper, the <em>Cornell Daily Sun</em>, wrote letters to Republican leaders around the country to get them to honor Cornell's famed Republican hero, Hugo N. Frye, a "little-known patriot" who had been "deprived of the fame that should have been his for his part in the Republican Party in New York State. One catch: Frye didn't exist. The prank was designed to fool visiting politicians and quite a few took the bait, including Charles Curtis, vice president under Herbert Hoover. Curtis responded to the students saying he couldn't show up to the remembrance ceremony, but wrote "I congratulate the Republicans on paying respect to the memory of Hugo N. Frye, and I wish you a most successful occasion." Oops!
Great Rose Bowl Hoax, California Institute Of Technology
In 1961, 100,000 football fans converged on Pasadena, CA for the Rose Bowl match between the University of Washington Huskies and the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers. Things got interesting at halftime, when a group of Cal Tech students crashed the occasion by altering the University of Washington's crowd flip-cards. As a result of an elaborate prank (read the full rundown <a href="http://today.caltech.edu/today/story-display.tcl?story_id=11423" target="_hplink">here</a>) Washington fans unknowingly displayed cards that read "CAL TECH" during the routine. To this day, this prank is widely considered <a href="http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1839579_1839578_1839525,00.html" target="_hplink">one of the most famous in college sports</a>.
Nuclear Reactor Scavenger Hunt, University of Chicago
Every year the University of Chicago has school-wide scavenger hunt, and in 1999, things got a little radioactive. One of the items on the list that year was "a breeder reactor built in a shed." So two physics majors built a sketchy plutonium reactor using scraps of aluminum, carbon sheets and Thorium vacuum parts, which turned into trace amounts of dangerous uranium. Despite creating a half-baked nuclear weapon, the students only got second place.
Harvard Crimson Steals The Harvard Lampoon's Ibis, Harvard University
In 1954, the <a href="http://harvardmagazine.com/2004/03/the-pranksters-secret.html" target="_hplink">rivalry</a> between Harvard publications the <em>Crimson</em> and the <em>Lampoon</em> intensified when the <em>Crimson</em> stole a copper weather vane shaped like an ibis (a pelican-like bird) from the <em>Lampoon</em> and gifting it to deputy Russian Ambassador Semyon Tsarapkin. Tsarapkin took the gift happily and sent it to Moscow, only to return it when he found out its origin. (File photo from the event courtesy of the <em><a href="http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2004/6/7/lampoon-crimson-face-off-in-intra-collegiate/" target="_hplink">Crimson</a></em>.)
Dueling Banjos Clock Tower, Lousiana Tech University
In a simple but novel prank, some students rigged the centennial clock tower at Louisiana Tech University to play "Dueling Banjos," famously known from the 1972 movie <em>Deliverance</em>, over the loudspeaker at every hour.