Is it a joke?

Some attempts at humor and satire are so spot-on that people mistake them for the truth. A good example is The Onion, a satirical news site whose stories are intermittently mistaken for the real thing. By the way, did you know that dolphins have developed opposable thumbs?

Be particularly careful regarding humorous and satirical stories on and around April 1st. Even the Virginia Institute of Marine Science—a normally reputable source of science news—has been known to post questionable stories on this date.

Blue Marlin VIMS fisheries professor lands world-class marlin
E. Hemingway | April 1, 2019

Dr. John Graves hooks a blue marlin weighing an estimated 1,800 pounds, but officials refuse to certify the catch as a world record due to its poor condition.

Crew members seize control of research vessel
W. Bligh | April 1, 2018

Weeks of complaints regarding harsh conditions onboard precede takeover.

Researchers circumnavigate ocean via ship and sub
J. Verne | April 1, 2017

Dr. Donglai Gong returns from a circumnavigation that reveals a startling discovery following a mid-voyage ramming incident.

<VIMS researchers spot albino whale in York River
H. Melville | April 1, 2016

Sighting of rare cetacean is first glimpse of any whale in local waters since a dead humpback washed ashore on a Goodwin Island sandbar in 2009.

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