This Florida man played one of the greatest pranks of all time: He fooled the town into thinking he was a giant bird monster

In 1948, a mischievous fellow named Tony Signorini made a pair of 30-pound, three-toed, lead shoes and stomped up and down a Florida beach, leaving giant bird-shaped footprints in the sand.

He would row out in the middle of the night with his friend Al Williams, get out of the boat to walk around, and then get back in leaving only the bird footprints behind. 

Over the 10-year span that Signorini played this prank, he fooled a good number of people into thinking that some kind of giant bird monster from the sea was creeping around the beach at night.

The footprints measured 14 inches long and across. He stomped around in a way that made it look like the giant creature came out of the sea, wandered around for a few miles, and then hopped back into the water. He even fooled a famous zoologist named Ivan T. Sanderson, who came to the conclusion that there was some kind of beast roaming around the sand. Sanderson confidently said that the prints were "definitely not a hoax." In 1988,  the legendary Signorini announced that he was the person behind this epic prank.

Read an article in the Tampa Bay Times about the prank.