Bring out your pranks!

Campus 13

This is a call for accounts of the best student pranks ever seen. The only two golden rules of the student prank are that they should cause no lasting damage or distress, and that they should surprise and preferably delight those who encounter them. If you have heard of a prank that deserves a wider audience - still better, if you were involved in any - please write to us. The best pranks may be published on this page. Here are a few noteworthy pranks of the past ...

The Rubber Duck

Members of the Cambridge University Breaking and Entering Society (or Cubes) vied with one another to gain entry to the locked places of the university without detection. They prided themselves on never causing damage or committing any crime. They would simply break in, leave a note to the effect that the owner of the safe or room concerned had been Cubed, and depart, locking the door behind them.

One of Cubes's achievements was securing entry to the locked dining-hall of a supposedly well-secured college in the dead of night. For reasons best known to themselves, they decided that a rubber duck would be an appropriate calling card. When the principal and an assortment of dons entered for breakfast, the duck was gazing down at them from the ceiling, wedged between the most inaccessible beams of the wooden vaulted roof. It took contractors a very long time to engineer its safe removal - and not before the principal had been driven half-mad by inquiries from tourists and college visitors concerning the duck's historical significance.

The Upside Down

A tutor who lived in college was in the habit of inviting seminar groups back to his rooms so that they could continue discussing the tantalising issues not fully covered in his seminar. They tended to accept (his sitting- room was comfortably furnished and they were provided with sherry). After half an hour the tutor would lever himself out of his fireside chair and leave to dine at high table, leaving them to continue the discussion. "Don't forget to put the latch across when you go out," he would remind them, and - each week without fail - "don't turn the place upside-down". On the last week of summer term the students decided that the tutor should be cured of such cliches. Returning from his dinner he found every table, book, lamp and picture in the room upside-down. Only the cat and the sink remained the right way up.

The Eighth Floor

A student who lived high on the eighth floor of a monolithic hall of residence at a modern university was "helped back to his room" after a hard night in the bar. But he was so drunk he didn't realise that he was being left to sleep in an unused room on the ground floor.

He began to snore loudly as soon as he hit the bed, and his friends dashed up to the eighth floor to empty his real room of all his belongings. These were brought downstairs and positioned faithfully, down to the last toothbrush and poster, in the ground-floor room as the victim slept on.

At 9am the next day, the door burst open and the hung-over victim was surprised and somewhat pained to see his excited friends dancing around his room yelling. Before he had a chance to ask why they have climbed 16 flights of stairs to wake him, his acquaintances lifted him from the bed. His attitude changed to raw fear as they carried him to the window and bundled him out ...

The Milk Bottle

An ancient college with turrets and crenellations sent the entire undergraduate population a written warning that they should stop using window sills as cold storage areas for their milk bottles, as it detracted from the beauty of the buildings. The authorities woke next morning to find that every level surface on the college's fancy stonework - of which there were several hundred - had a milk bottle standing on it.

The Bridge

Prank aficionados will recall the Newcastle students who used their abseiling skills to avoid the entry charge at a floating nightclub on the Tyne. The nightclub owners hadn't anticipated any drawbacks to being located beneath the bridge made famous on a billion brown ale bottles. The bouncers thought they only had to look out for gatecrashers coming along the gangplank, and very occasionally attempting to board from other boats. But the students proved otherwise as, clad only in black, they descended from the bridge on to the top deck of the boat. A friend on the bridge retracted the ropes while the students hastily removed their harnesses and mingled with the crowd.

The Letterbox

The red letter boxes which are now so familiar seemed garishly unattractive to many people when they were first introduced. One on the pavement outside a university building had not been there for two weeks before, one morning, it had become blue. The GPO sent a man round who made it red again. Within a few days, it was purple. Many generations of students passed through the university as the box alternated between red and all of the other colours distinguishable to the human eye.

Perhaps somewhere in the UK there is a letter box made fat by hundreds of layers of paint. It would be good to find it. It would better still if some of those unsung pranksters whose minds hatched such schemes would write in and tell us. You know who you are...

Thanks to Dr Graham Nelson, Jon Palmer, Paul Tyrrell and Ollie Stone- Lee.

Please forward prank admissions to Ben Summers, Campus, 'The Independent', 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL. Or e-mail

Stephanie first after her public appearance as a woman at Rad Fest 2014

Arts and Entertainment
Banksy's 'The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' in Bristol
art'Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' followed hoax reports artist had been arrested and unveiled
Oscar Pistorius is led out of court in Pretoria. Pistorius received a five-year prison sentence for culpable homicide by judge Thokozile Masipais for the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp
voicesThokozile Masipa simply had no choice but to jail the athlete
Life and Style

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Russell Brand at an anti-austerity march in June
peopleActor and comedian says 'there's no point doing it if you're not'
Arts and Entertainment
Sister Cristina Scuccia sings 'Like a Virgin' in Venice

Like Madonna, Sister Cristina Scuccia's video is also set in Venice

Arts and Entertainment
James Blunt's debut album Back to Bedlam shot him to fame in 2004

Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'

Life and Style
The Tinder app has around 10 million users worldwide

techThe original free dating app will remain the same, developers say


Endangered species spotted in a creek in the Qinling mountains

Bryan Cranston as Walter White, in the acclaimed series 'Breaking Bad'
peopleJust weeks after he created dress for Alamuddin-Clooney wedding
Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Life and Style

Some experiencing postnatal depression don't realise there is a problem. What can be done?

Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
Latest stories from i100
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

ICT Teacher for Maternity cover

£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Preston: The Job * This is a new post...


£60 - £70 per day: Randstad Education Preston: The Job:* The Tutor will prepar...

KS1 & KS2 Primary Teacher Jobs in Blackpool

Negotiable: Randstad Education Preston: KS1 & KS2 Primary Teacher Jobs in ...

Primary Teacher Jobs in Blackpool

Negotiable: Randstad Education Preston: Primary Teacher Jobs in BlackpoolWe ar...

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album