The 1st of April, 2012, brought with it a host of media driven April Fool’s Day hoaxes and pranks, an annual tradition aimed at exposing the world’s gullible people – or “fools” – through the use of trickery by typically credible sources. Here are some of the most notable from this year.

CHARLIZE THERON PHONE HACK – LOL dedicated video library, Funny Or Die, rebrands as “Hacked or DIE” with claims the site hacked the phone of Charlize Theron. Highlights of the faux-hacking footage includes this “Charlize Theron’s Kinky Sex Tape” which you can watch here:

GOOGLE’S “REALLY ADVANCED” SEARCH – Out of the numerous April Fool’s pranks staged by Google, my favourite is the “Really Advanced” Search option it introduced, allowing users to “narrow your results by…” variables such as “embarrassing grammatical faux pas”.

VIRGIN VOLCANIC – Richard Branson launches the next phase of his pioneering exploratory extreme travel options by offering “journeys to the centre of the Earth through Virgin Volcanic“, complete with a semi-convincing media release, high profile fake advocates including Seth Green (“Ever since filming Austin Powers, I’ve had this obsession with underground layers. I’ve waited patiently for Sir Richard to make the dream of traveling to the Earth’s core a reality.”), and diagrams.

CONAN O’BRIEN BUYS MASHABLE – The talk show host announced via the Mashable YouTube channel that he has purchased the social media news website for $3,500 and taken over as CEO: “I go to Mashable, I see the atrocious job they’re doing so I decided it’s time for me to take it over.” He announces his resignation shortly after the start of his reign, during which he poorly attempts a manual Twitter revolution.

A SEQUEL TO ‘TWINS’ IS IN THE WORKS – The Hollywood Reporter announced a sequel to the 1988 comedy Twins is in the works, with original cast members Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito back on board. The new twist is that the sequel, allegedly called Triplets will introduce a third brother to be played by Eddie Murphy. LOL!

But you know what the funniest part about this April Fool is? Like the news that Ashton Kutcher’s been cast as Steve Jobs, THIS IS ACTUALLY TRUE.