Don’t read this. No, DON’T. SERIOUSLY.

Hello internets! Today I would like to codify, for posterity, the best April Fool’s tweet I’ve ever heard:

RT @CERN OH FUCK RUN   (link) 

The brilliance of this tweet may not be apparent at first glance. Let me break it down for you.

I wonder if they send messages to each other in little tubes.  I mean, let's make this thing earn the ~6 billion dollars it cost to build, right?

Very Large Hadron Collider. Words Capitalized For Proper Effect. Photo by Peter McCready

First of all, who is @CERN ? Why, none other than the The European Organization for Nuclear Research , who are currently in the process of running the Large Hadron Collider , or LHC. The LHC is a 100 meter particle accelerator which spans the border of France and Sweden, and which is right now smashing million and billions and trillions of atoms in an effort to gain a better understanding of the universe. They started its ‘operation phase’ a few days ago, amid (partly) joking worries  that these experiments would create a black hole that would engulf the earth. Ok. So, big huge ass particle accelerator.  Ramping up to create antimatter and black holes and Maximilian  will jump out of it and eat you. The buzz on Twitter was pretty amusing, with people mostly faking panic. Mostly.

Next, the tweet itself. “OH FUCK RUN” is pretty simple, but if you know who CERN is, and what they’ve been up to recently, combined with the muted concern around the world that …well, something VERY VERY BAD could maybe possibly happen when you start fucking with the universe and physics in a whole new way and who are these crazy physicists and what the hell do they think they’re doing, right? Despite the fact that these experiments are recreating occurences that happen all the time in the universe. They’ve just never happened on our planet, underneath the earth, in a controlled experiment by fallible humans. So, armed with all that, it’s clear that perhaps the folks at CERN are playing, quite unintentionally I’m sure, on the not-so-scientific community’s fears.

But then comes the true genius of the tweet. Because CERN tweeted no such thing. It was in fact first tweeted by a guy named @mikeysan . I suppose that CERN might be somewhat to blame. I mean, they did time all this activity at the LHC daaaaangerously close to April Fool’s Day. I mean, I do believe April Fools’ day is a well known day in Europe, considering it was first mentioned in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (which I am very fond of, incidentally!  What, you can’t speak Olde Englysh?)  Maybe next time they could postpone it a week or two.  You know, after April Fool’s day, when everyone has forgotten about pranks and practical jokes as a national pastime for 24 hours.

In conclusion, I’d like to just say one thing:  My hat is off to you, @mikeysan.  Well done.  Well, well done. 

Note: I admittedly did very light checking of facts for this article, as I’m on a shitty wireless connection in a hotel in Baltimore.  If I got any of the facts about CERN or the LHC wrong, please feel free to comment below and correct.  Thanks!


  1. Eric D. says:

    This is Laugh Out Loud fantastic, thanks for sharing.