As a general rule of thumb, it's always a good idea to take most of what you read online with a grain of salt. On April 1, that grain of salt should be upgraded to a full shaker.

That extra level of caution goes double for San Francisco residents. With the region's close physical proximity to both irony and the internet, pretty much everything one reads online about the Bay Area on Monday could be part of an elaborate practical joke.

At the same time, given how ridiculous life in Northern California is normally, it's hard to tell exactly who's pulling your leg and who legitimately thinks you'll have a fun time at their internet cat video film festival.

As a helpful guide, we've put together a slideshow of some of the best April Fools Day pranks from Bay Area companies and media outlets:

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  • San Francisco To Become World's Biggest Nudist Colony

    <a href="" target="_blank">In your face Scott Wiener</a>.

  • Artisanal Air

    The Bold Italic goes in-depth about San Francisco's hottest new locally manufactured product: <a href="" target="_blank">artisanal air</a>. Because regular air is so 2006.

  • Zynga's Clowns

    Fast Company reports that employees of San Francisco's controversial online gaming giant were less than enthused when CEO Mark Pincus <a href="" target="_blank">hired a cadre of supposedly morale-boosting clowns</a> to wander the office: "They were making noises; they were getting into everyone's faces; they were disrupting meetings...It really pissed everyone off." <em>Full disclosure: Clowns are scary. </em>

  • UC Berkeley Only Admits One Student For Class Of 2017

    <a href="" target="_blank">Officials blame budget cuts</a>.

  • Google Nose

    Our Mountain View-based internet overlords unveil a <a href="" target="_blank">search engine for smells</a>.

  • Ridiculously Specific Netflix Categories

    We don't know about you, but we'd watch every movie in the <a href="" target="_blank">Los Gatos-based company's new categories</a> like "Movies Featuring An Epic Nicolas Cage Meltdown" or "Surreal Ballets Based On A William Shatner Album."

  • St. Stupid's Day Parade

    At noon every April Fool's Day, hundreds of revelers dress up in their silliest outfits for <a href="" target="_blank">St. Stupid's Day Parade</a> through downtown--a joyous celebration of complete and utter nonsense. <em>Note: This one's real!</em>

  • Twitter Makes You Buy A Vowel

    Twitter wants to start <a href="" target="_blank">charging users by the vowel</a>. We doubt many of the San Francisco micro-blogging service's millions of users will really miss them.

  • Morrissey To Play Month-Long SF Residency To Make Up For String Of Cancelled Shows

    Dammit SF Weekly. <a href="" target="_blank">We actually got excited about this one</a>.

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