Archive Gallery: Popular Science Plays Pranks

Practical jokes from invisible ink to dangling a car off a bridge

When scientists take a break from studying, researching or inventing to devise a practical joke, the stakes are sky-high, sometimes literally. Who else can dangle a car off a bridge, or pull out a monster mask on a space station? A look into our archives finds an abundance of wild prankery.

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Of course for some, like inventor Sam Adams, pranking is serious business. He’s the man who invented such classic pranking tools as palm buzzers and the dribble glass. And Mother Nature’s been known to be tricky sometimes herself.

Feel free to peruse our gallery for inspiration for your next prank war; just maybe don’t dangle any cars off of anything without supervision.