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Australia Relieved as Theft of 33-Foot Mango Turns Out to Be a Marketing Stunt


There's something about roadside advertising, from Hasslehoff cutouts to giant headphones, that turns drunk morons into thieves. But every now and again, someone pulls off a heist that's so fantastic, it can only be a hoax.

Thus was the case with the stolen giant mango at the center of Australia's "MangoGate."

The 33-foot-tall mango was built 12 years ago at a cost of $90,000 to celebrate the city of Bowen's self-designation as the mango capital of Australia. When it mysteriously went missing a few weeks ago, a number of suspicious people immediately assumed it was a publicity stunt. The sudden appearance of a Facebook page seemed to justify their cynicism.

Journalists, however, covered the case breathlessly.

Then, last week, chicken restaurant chain Nando's just came out and admitted it had "borrowed" the mango, but refused to say why. (The chain also said Bowen Tourism was involved in the caper.) Well, this week it revealed the reason—it was all to plug a new mango-and-lime chicken menu item.

The video below shows the filched fruit sitting next to a big lime in Melbourne. Nando's later returned the mango to its hallowed roadside spot to tangle with drunk morons another day.

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