BBC News Magazine

Page last updated at 10:13 GMT, Thursday, 1 April 2010 11:13 UK

10 stories that could be April Fools... but aren't

It's a day when the news itself comes with a health warning - beware of stories which turn out not to be true. But not every weird report is an April Fool. Here is a round-up of some of the day's seemingly hoax news stories which are actually true.

Fried breakfast
Better for you than a bowl of muesli, apparently

1.Coastguards in Falmouth, Cornwall, picked up a distress signal call from a ship named the MV Titanic in the Caribbean. Three people were on the ship which was taking on water and suffering from electrical failure.

2. Chilli grower Woody Woods, from Grantham, Lincolnshire, is laying claim to the world's hottest variety of pepper. Tests carried out by Warwick University rate the Infinity chilli at 1,067,286 on the Scoville Scale, which is used to measure the heat of peppers - hotter than the Bhut Jolokia variety which is used for crowd control by the Indian Army.

3. Tucking into a fried breakfast of sausages, eggs, bacon, beans, mushrooms, black pudding and tomatoes is a healthier way to start the day than a bowl of cereal, according to a study in the International Journal of Obesity.

4. The UK's first sustainable cat food will go on sale later this year, allowing owners to feed felines their favourite fish with a clear conscience. People are becoming increasingly concerned about sustainability and the provenance of the fish they feed their pets, says Mars Petcare, manufacturers of the new food.

5. A couple from Devon staged a Flintstone-themed wedding that saw the groom dressed as Fred Flintsone, the bride as Wilma, the best man as Barney Rubble and... you can guess the rest. They sealed their vows with the promise "Yabba dabba, I do".

Mallard duck
Grille-ed duck - big on survival instinct

6. A British van driver who hit two ducks while driving home through Belgium discovered one of them alive, wedged under the bonnet, when he stopped to inspect the damage at a motorway service station on the M1. He took the duck to a rescue centre which said it had a broken wing, but should make a good recovery.

7. A 300-page book of Gordon Brown's best speeches, called The Change We Choose; Speeches 2007-2009, has been published by "popular demand".

8. Cabin crew who say they are owed up to nine months' wages by a Spanish airline have posed nude for a calendar to highlight their plight.

9. Etiquette arbiter Debretts is publishing a guide to polite motoring which includes tips such as avoid spraying perfume while in a car and keep conversation light in order to avoid in-car arguments.

10. Rumours - and so, perhaps, April Fools jokes - spread as rapidly as flu, thanks to a test carried out on the internet. Researchers from Rome's La Sapienza University posted a message on Twitter only to see it appear in a newspaper 17 hours later.

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