HigherEdMorning.comCan your students do this? MIT’s long list of pranks

Can your students do this? MIT’s long list of pranks

March 12, 2012 by Jacob Hawley
Posted in: In this week's e-newsletter, Latest News & Views, Student Life

Check out the school’s 147-year history of convoluted goof-offs. 

Since the university opened in 1865, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has been famous not just for its brainy alumni, but for its reputation as a prankster’s haven. Examples of these “hacks” stretch back to the school’s early days.

Here are some of the more notable shenanigans (don’t try these yourself, any students reading this), from the school’s Hack Gallery:

  • Students sprinkled iodide of nitrogen over the grounds of a military drill – causing explosions under classmates’ boots, back in the 1870s.
  • To commemorate a visit by William Shatner, a model of the USS Enterprise showed up in Lobby 7, hanging beneath the skylight (1989)
  • A fire hydrant was modified into a drinking fountain, following former MIT president Jerome Weisner’s description that “Getting an education from MIT is like taking a drink from a fire hose”
  • During a speech to the 1994 freshman class, a 12-foot balloon painted like a soccer ball inflated behind the speaker
  • Harvard Yard was hacked to display a banner showing the Harvard crest followed by the words “Cause everyone can’t get into MIT,” and
  • Students carefully assembled what appeared to be a campus police cruiser on top of Building 10’s Great Dome – complete with flashing lights.

You can find more cleverness at the Interesting Hacks to Fascinate People online hack gallery, and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.

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