Introduction: Mysterious Chemical X Grows Plants Curiously Fast - Prank!

About: See some of my work here and as always accepting orders for custom design and fabrication as featured on Discovery Channel, Wired Magazine, Gizmodo, Engadget, Geekologie, PCWorld, CNet and many more - Pinteres…

Please vote for  me in the April fool's day contest!

To set up this prank, a little advance planning is in order.  Just like in all the good con-artist movies, This prank is all about subtly, misdirection and letting your mark convince themselves.  This prank is best played on children, due to their more trusting nature and ability to believe in things like "Chemical X".  All though with enough back story this could work on anyone slightly gullible.  I chose my daughter Zoe as she brought up April fool's day last week.  I told her she could prank someone as long as it wasn't hurtful.  A little trickery is fine as long as everyone has a good laugh in the end.

Concept - The basic idea for the prank is to plant seeds with your mark in a seed tray.  Together you then douse the plants with the Mysteriouschemical X.  When they go to sleep that night, swap the tray for one you have prepared that looks like its has miniature growing vegetables in it.  In the morning wake them up early, its best if they are a little sleepy.  Let them discover the plants and the veggies that have grown.  Watch for the bugged out eyes and delighted smiles.  Pluck one out, and take a bite.  If you don't think they will freak out too much, pretend to gag a little and then say "April Fool's".

Advance Set-up - The set-up works best if you let them over hear a day or two in advance a conversation about the chemical with an accomplice.  Mention things like "Remember when the army came out with that "chemical X stuff" in the 60's, and how it grew vegetables over night.  But, then it was banned because the run-off was killing fish in near by streams and lakes.  Try to be casual about it, but make sure to drop the bomb that it turns out it can be made with house hold chemicals."  Wait for the questions to ensue, and have some good answers ready.

Follow through - A day or two later, plant your seeds with your mark.  Wait for them to bring up the chemical X, if they don't you will have to.  It works so much better if they bring it up, as you can suddenly whip out your prepared bottle of chemical X and say something witty like, "its funny you should bring that up!"  Either way, they will be intrigued.  Have them apply the chemicals to the planted seeds, give them safety glasses and gloves for authenticity.

April Fool's - Be excited in the morning when your mark discovers the veggies.  Act astonished, claiming you didn't think it would really work, play it dead-pan and they won't even see it coming when you say, "April Fool's".  Later that night for dinner, you can even cook up your miniature veggies for dinner, awesome!

The next few pages go into detail, with lots of pictures, and video of the prep, the prank, and reaction videos of the April fool's day reveal, enjoy.

Step 1: What You Need,

For this Prank you will need the following.
  • 2 identical Green house type growing trays or flower pots perhaps
  • Various seeds
  • Seedling growing medium - aka dirt
  • An assortment of plant clippings that look like young shoots
  • Miniature type vegetables
  • A small glass bottle
  • Food coloring
  • Spray bottle
  • A small Spoon and a chop stick type item
IMPORTANT - Make sure to hide one of the seedling trays, your clippings, miniature vegetables, the food coloring and the bottle from your mark until your ready to reveal them.  Other wise, the slightly more suspicious and/or clever ones may be on to you.  Children are deceptively intelligent and intuitive.

Step 2: Chemical X

  1. Find a glass bottle with a lid. 
  2. Remove the label if you haven't all ready.
  3. Fill it 1/2 way or so with water, and add a couple drops of food coloring for effect.
  4. Hide it away for easy retrieval for later.

Step 3: Plant Some Seeds

  1. Have your mark open up the seed tray and begin to fill it with dirt.  You can spoon it in or just as easy dump some on top and spread it around.
  2. Tamp it down lightly and choose which seeds to start with.

Step 4: In They Go!

  1. Your mark should then read the instructions on the seed packet if old enough and follow the instructions for how deep the seeds should go.  "some seeds you drop on the surface as they need light to germinate".
  2. Make holes with a chopstick, pinkie finger or "pokie" device and drop a seed in.
  3. Cover up the seeds with a little dirt.

Step 5: Administer the "Chemical X"

Now's the time if you haven't all ready to bring out the chemical X.
  1. Bring out the bottle and explain that you found the ingredient list on the internet.  Talk about how it is technically illegal except for scientific purposes.  This will amp up the "ooooh forbidden" factor. 
  2. Give them some safety glasses to wear for show, maybe even some gloves. 
  3. We simply dipped a chop stick in the chemical X and dripped it onto each planted seed.  An eye dropper would have been so much better, but... couldn't find one.  Oh well...
  4. Give the tray a good water spritzing with the spray bottle, put the lid on and place in a warm bright location.  After have them write up a couple signs to say what the seeds are, have them put it on the corresponding seeds, later these will become part of the trick.
  5. Send you mark off too bed if late enough, we did this at around 11:00 pm so...yeah

Step 6: Time to Get Busy

Ones your mark is fully passed out bring out your hidden items
  • Your duplicate tray
  • Your plant clippings
  • Your miniature veggies of choice, I used baby pan squash.
  1. Repeat step 3 except don't tamp down the soil.
  2. Using a chop stick make holes and insert your clippings.
  3. For the vegetables, make larger holes.  I add some leafy looking clippings to these too.
  4. Trim and leaves that look old, and spritz the tray down water.  Its a good idea to spritz the clear cover tray as well.
  5. If your mark made signs for the what they planted, transfer these from there tray to the new prank tray.
  6. Replace the first tray with the new tray.  Hide the first tray though, the seeds that were planted for real will grow just fine.
  7. Get some sleep, and make sure your up before your mark is.

Step 7: Wakey Wakey, Eggs & Bakey, & 8 Hour Grown Monster Vegetables?

  1. Drag your reluctant mark out of bed, you don't want them too on the ball.
  2. Explain how since you planted them together, you should inspect them together too.  For incentive add on the fact you couldn't help notice little green things poking up when you walked bye.
  3. When there jaws stop dropping reach into the tray and pretend to separate the leafy clippings from one of the vegetables and take a bite. 
  4. Pretend to choke a little then mumble something like, "Oh-No, the chemical  X".  Don't leave them hanging too long or it could actually be frightening.  Then say April Fool's!
Note - It actually took a while to explain that this was an April fool's day prank, she couldn't shake the fact the chemical X was make believe.  When she put 2 and 2 together she laughed for quite a while, although she did promise revenge.  Awesome.  As a bonus, you now have some yummy veggies to saute for dinner.

April Fools Day Project: Prank Contest

Finalist in the
April Fools Day Project: Prank Contest