Six Clever Aquarium-Related April Fools’ Day Jokes From Past Years

It’s almost April, and you know what that means – April Fools’ Day! With just a week until the start of next month, we’ve taken a look back at half a dozen (plus a few extras!) of our favourite fish tank-focused and aquarium-related April Fools’ Day jokes, gags, and pranks from recent years.

From an aquarium snorkelling experience for cats to audiobooks and podcasts for pet fish, it’s a list that starts with the U.S.-based Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk’s proposed great white shark petting area from 2014.

April 1st 2014: Great White Shark Petting Area

Almost a decade back now, the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk in Connecticut in the U.S. announced a slew of new exhibits on April Fools’ Day 2014. Among the new exhibits were a humpback whale display, a great white shark petting area, and the option to enjoy a 10-hour loop of The Narwhal Song in its IMAX theatre.

Plenty of people fell for the joke announcement before others quickly pointed out that they’d been tricked by the Connecticut-based attraction’s April 1st announcement.

April 1st 2015: Kitty Snorkel Experience

In 2015, Australia’s Sea Life Sydney Aquarium revealed details of what it called a Kitty Snorkel Experience. The aquarium’s staff pointed out that cats, as we all know, love watching fish. So, where better for them to visit than a public aquarium? As such, it announced that, from April 1st 2015, cats were welcome to visit Sea Life Sydney Aquarium.

At the same time, the aquarium’s team also invited brave cats to partake in their dedicated Kitty Snorkel Experience. The Kitty Snorkel Experience—suggested to take place in a specially designed cat tank—promised to be the top cat experience for Australia’s felines in 2015.

Unfortunately, it was a promise that it would never fulfil, as the invitation for cats to visit the aquarium and the Kitty Snorkel Experience itself were both part of an April Fools’ Day prank.

In fact, 2015 was a bumper year for fish tank-focused and aquarium-related April Fools’ Day gags. That was as brands and businesses including Neptune Systems, Bulk Reef Supply, and Marine Depot all jumped on the April 1st prank bandwagon.

QED by Neptune Systems

Neptune Systems’ QED noise-cancelling headphones promised to exclusively omit noise from aquarium pumps, skimmers, fans, and more. Music to the ears of those with noisy reef tanks in particular, many fell for the initial announcement, before spotting the launch date of the Apex-integrated headphones – April 1st 2015.

Bulk Reef Supply Coral Seeds

Elsewhere, U.S. online retailer Bulk Reef Supply teased an all-new alternative to coral fragging: coral seeds. Simply plant the seeds in your reef tank, the company said, and wait for them to grow into beautiful coral colonies! Available (or not) in acan, acropora, and zoanthid varieties, this is one product we would love to be a reality – but sadly not!

Deknarp Biogenics Pisces Minimus

Also on April 1st 2015, Marine Depot, another U.S. retailer, shared details of its Deknarp Biogenics Pisces Minimus aquarium supplement.

Proposing the ability to prevent large species of marine fish from growing huge (music to the ears of the so-called tang police!), it would’ve opened up endless, normally tank-busting possibilities to saltwater fishkeepers… if only, of course, it wasn’t an April Fools’ Day gag.

April 1st 2018: Water Desks for Aquarium Staff

Five years ago, and following up on 2015’s kitty snorkelling gag, Sea Life Sydney Aquarium announced that it would begin providing its office staff with what it called water desks as a part of an all-new April Fools’ Day joke. Effective April 1, 2018, the Sydney-based aquarium said that a new program would see administrative and other staff donning their wetsuits and working from within its tanks.

It was proposed that Sea Life Sydney Aquarium’s new underwater desks would diversify its work arrangements and increase productivity. Sea Life Sydney Aquarium said its staff had given the new office set-up a thumbs-up, before later revealing that the initiative was merely a fun prank to mark the annual custom of practical jokes and hoaxes on April 1st.

April 1st 2019: Audible for Fish

Back in 2019, online audiobook and podcast service Audible revealed details of a new service for customers aquarium-dwelling pets: Audible for Fish. Details first came to light on the 1st of April and promised a positive change in the behaviour of Audible subscribers’ pet fish. The more eagle-eyed among us quickly caught on that it was, in fact, an April Fools’ Day joke.

At the same time, many were tricked, with Audible adding credibility by even offering a number of testimonials from its subscribers and Audible for Fish beta testers. “I’ve been struggling to find ways of helping Mr Bubbles unwind at the end of a long day. Thank you, Audible for Fish!” said one.

Meanwhile, another praised the fictitious Audible for Fish service for proving an alternative to Baby Shark. “There’s only so much Baby Shark anyone can listen to on loop in one day!” they said. “I was running out of options for entertaining my beloved Pearl. Thanks, Audible for Fish, for making it so I never have to listen to that song ever, ever again!”

…And the Return of the Extinct Woolly Sunfish

At the same time, the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California also took the opportunity to announce that it had successfully reproduced the extinct woolly sunfish, Woola woola, on April 1st of the same year. That was before quickly owning up at the end of the announcement that the news was, much to our disappointment, a clever April Fools’ Day joke.

April 1st 2021: Underwater Dining in Melbourne

For April Fools’ Day 2021, Sea Life Melbourne followed in the footsteps of their colleagues in Sydney in previous years and announced a supposed new world first: underwater dining. Numerous Sea Life venues around the world already offer legitimate private dining experiences, where visitors can enjoy a regular meal surrounded by aquariums.

However, underwater dining promised to take these private experiences to, quite literally, brand-new depths. With that, Sea Life Melbourne opened up the (pretend) opportunity to enjoy a restaurant-quality meal while submerged in its 2.2 million-litre centrepiece Oceanarium for what it suggested was the ultimate multi-sensory experience.

No doubt plenty of people considered jumping at the opportunity, before realising how tricky it would be to eat a meal in a scuba mask… at which point, we imagine, the penny quickly dropped. Happy April Fools’ Day!

April 1st 2022: Electric Eel Encounter

The first day of April last year saw the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium in Salt Lake and Utah counties in the U.S. state of Utah offer something truly shocking – electric eel encounters! Loveland Living Planet Aquarium announced that visitors could reserve a spot for its new electric eel encounter when it launched on April 31, 2022. “We’re ec-STATIC about the new Electric Eel Encounter,” said an announcement from the aquarium on April 1st.

“We promise it will never let you down!” they went on, before directing interested parties to a reservation page, wherein they were promptly Rickrolled. Rickrolling is an internet meme and a type of bait and switch using a disguised link to send people the music video for the song “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley.

Well played, Loveland Living Planet Aquarium, well played.

It remains to be seen what, if any, April Fools’ Day jokes surface surrounding fishkeeping and aquariums this year. We’ll be keeping our eyes peeled, though, that’s for sure. Seen something yourself? Send us a message and let us know!