Toronto's iconic CN Tower looks to be losing its sky-high reputation.
And not because it's being eclipsed by another ambitious development on the world scene.
Over the last decade, researchers at Umbrella Corporation have been taking careful measurements of the CN Tower. And while it has remained a daunting 553 metres in height, the tower appears to be digging ever-deeper into the earth.
The problem, says study co-author Marjorie Tallgrass, may be that the tower's foundation is too narrow.
"Look at it like a nail," she explains. "Every time someone stomps up those stairs, they drive that nail a little further down into the ground. It may not seem like much, but all those tiny thumps over the years add up."
The CN Tower draws some 2 million visitors annually. Many of them insist on taking the stairs -- a habit Tallgrass chalks up to "misguided fitness trends and just plain dumbness."
Once considered the world's tallest freestanding structure, the CN Tower held down the fifth-place spot for a few years, before sinking into the 22nd position.
Today, more than a third of the tower is below ground -- a development that engineers have so far been able to disguise by raising the outdoor elevator's lowest point, and reducing the height of neighbouring buildings.
"For tourists, it's probably OK," explains an engineer working on the project. "But people in Toronto are probably going to start to notice."
Possible solutions -- such as pumping the restaurant at the top of the tower with helium or tethering its tip to the International Space Station -- have been rejected as too costly, and potentially disastrous.
In any event, Tallgrass notes, "if anyone's got an idea, now would be the time. I don't think it's out of the question that in our lifetimes, we'll see a CN Tower that doesn't reach your knees."
Adding to the venerable tower's woes, is the fact that it has, over the years, borne the brunt of numerous April Fools' jokes.
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In the run-up to the annual prank-a-thon, debate has been swirling -- or should we say, swishing -- as to whether <a href="http://scopemouthwash.com/bacon/" target="_hplink">Scope's announcement of bacon mouthwash is real or a ruse</a>. A representative for <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/28/scope-bacon-mouthwash_n_2971904.html" target="_hplink">Scope's parent company, P&G, was non-committal to The Huffington Post</a>, while <a href="http://www.cnbc.com/id/100601129" target="_hplink">CNBC writes that it's pretty certain the whole thing's a lark</a>. Should it prove to be just a porky prank, Scope certainly wouldn't be the first corporation to have a little fun on April 1st.
Google's 8-Bit Google Maps
Google took it old school for April Fools in 2012, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/31/google-maps-quest-google-8-bit_n_1393739.html" target="_blank">releasing its first ever product for the original Nintendo</a>: Google Maps 8-Bit for NES.
Conan Buys Mashable
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=xxUAK5LeA5U" target="_blank">Conan O'Brien claimed he bought Mashable for "3,500 smackeroos" in 2012</a>. Why "3,500" and why "smackeroos" will forever be an April Fools' Day acquisition mystery.
How many DVDs would it take to hold <a href="http://www.youtube.com/TheYouTubeCollection" target="_blank">YouTube's entire online video collection</a>? According to the company's 2012 April Fools' Day prank, a hilariously impossible amount.
In 2012, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/31/richard-branson-virgin-volcanic_n_1393061.html" target="_blank">Virgin announced its volcano exploration project</a>. We can only wonder why little has been heard of the project since.
Sony Viao Q
Sony went Zoolander-style with the release of the Sony Viao Q, the <a href="http://discover.store.sony.com/q/sony_content.html" target="_blank">smallest laptop ever at just the size of a quarter</a>. The fact that it requires a monocle to use was a probably a good indication it's not actually real. Yet.
Hulu Goes Back To 1996
Hulu transported users back in time on April Fools day in 2011, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/01/hulu-april-fools-2011_n_843507.html" target="_blank">pretending like it was 1996 and featuring the top TV hits from that year</a>.
Starbucks Plenta And Micra
Starbucks was self-aware enough in 2010 to riff on its own pretentiously named drink sizes, issuing the impossibly <a href="http://www.sbuxdrama.com/2010/04/starbucks-april-fools-plenta-micra.html" target="_blank">small Micra and the outrageously large Plenta</a>. Ironically, it was no joke when the company released the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/17/starbucks-new-size-trenta-graphic_n_810083.html" target="_blank">giant-sized Trenta the following year</a>.
BMW Pick-Up Truck
BMW showed off its German engineered sense of humor in 2011 when <a href="http://cars.uk.msn.com/features/the-best-april-fools-pranks-by-car-companies#image=2" target="_blank">it claimed to be making its first ever pick-up truck</a>, MSNBC reports.
Burger King Left-Handed Whopper
Back in 1998, Burger King published a press release in the U.K. claiming the chain would soon come out with a new <a href="http://www.prnewswire.co.uk/news-releases/burger-king-introduces-left-handed-whoppers-156098735.html" target="_blank">Whopper sandwich designed specifically for left-handed</a> burger lovers.
It was pretty obvious telecommunications giant Qualcomm was horsing around last year when the company claimed it was going to use <a href="http://www.ohgizmo.com/2009/04/01/qualcomm-develops-wolfpigeon-wireless-base-stations-controls-them-with-sharkfalcons/" target="_blank">Wolfpidgeons to expand its wireless network.</a>
Taco Bell Buys Liberty Bell
Taco Bell might have had patriots a little concerned in 1996 when the fast-food chain claimed it bought the <a href="http://www.businesspundit.com/the-10-best-april-fool%E2%80%99s-pranks-by-companies/" target="_blank">Liberty Bell and renamed it Taco Liberty Bell.</a>
Lego Volvo SUV
Legoland California manager Peter Rochetti was in for a surprise when fellow employees swapped out his <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/22/legoland-prank-swaps-volv_n_882656.html" target="_blank">Volvo SUV for a Lego replica as an April Fools prank in 2011</a>.
Tesco's Whistling Carrots
<a href="http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/af_database/permalink/whistling_carrots/" target="_blank">Tesco</a>, a U.K.-based grocery company, claimed to have revolutionized vegetable cooking in 2002 when it advertised carrots with holes in them. Called whistling carrots, the ad claimed they'd start whistling when fully cooked, according to the Museum of Hoaxes.
Hyundai said it was releasing a Popemobile in 2009 as a result of the global financial crisis to allow <a href="http://cars.uk.msn.com/features/the-best-april-fools-pranks-by-car-companies#image=6" target="_blank">"political and faith leaders to adopt less ostentatious lifestyles,"</a> MSNBC reports.