Thu, Jun 09, 2011 - Page 5 News List

New Zealand school red-faced over rude prank on Internet

AFP, WELLINGTON

New Zealand students have put their school on the map by etching giant phallic symbols onto its playing fields with weedkiller, in a prank immortalized on Internet satellite service Google Earth.

While the stunt took place more than two years ago, its effects coincided with satellites taking photographs of Hamilton for Google Earth, meaning Web users cop an eyeful whenever they view Fairfield College.

Local resident David McQuoid told the Waikato Times he was online searching for a property when he came across the crude etchings, some almost 15m long.

“At first I thought it was a large piece of art work,” he told the newspaper.

The school’s acting principal Gerhard van Dyk was less convinced of the symbols’ artistic merit, telling the Times he had been unable to catch the pranksters, who burned the phalluses into the grass on a weekend in May 2009.

By the time he arrived at the school the next Monday, the grass was already dying and giant penises were emerging all over the property.

A total of six became apparent in subsequent days, as school authorities scrambled to cover them up.

“There’s not really much we could do about it,” he said. “The caretaker took some more weedkiller and tried to camouflage it a bit.”

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