The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Hoax Museum Blog
Hoaxes, mischief, and misinformation throughout history
Digital Glitch Furniture
Posted by The Curator on Fri Oct 04, 2013
This image has been circulating since March of this year. Many sites (including dornob.com) report that it shows "an actual piece of carefully carved furniture, not a photo file gone wrong." The oak furniture was supposedly created by furniture designer Ferruccio Laviani using CNC processes (computer-aided machine tools) in order to make it appear as if it had been deformed by a "digital glitch". (Yes, that should be an "analog glitch," but "digital glitch" is the phrase that's caught on to describe it.) There is some truth to this. Laviani did create "glitch" furniture for a 2013 Furniture Exhibition in Italy. His aim, according to
Categories: Photos/Videos Comments (0)
Burger King becomes Fries King
Posted by The Curator on Thu Oct 03, 2013
In order to show how excited they are about their new french fries, Burger King recently announced on their Facebook page that they were changing their name to Fries King. They even posted photos of some of their restaurants sporting the new name. The name change is a joke. Although time.com notes that not all of Burger King's facebook followers realized this: "Some are genuinely confused about whether or not the name change is real and have written passionate posts decrying Burger King’s decision to turn its back on 'a well known family name.'" It's actually not the first…
Categories: Advertising Comments (0)
The man inside the cube
Posted by The Curator on Thu Oct 03, 2013
A video recently uploaded to YouTube claims to document the living arrangements of "Dave," an artist who supposedly lives inside the Astor Place Cube in New York City. It doesn't take a lot of critical thinking skills to realize this is a joke. (The cube, in reality, is welded shut.) But it's an amusing concept. The video is a viral marketing stunt for a site called Whil.com, which is mentioned at the end of the video. Honestly, I'm not sure what whil.com does. They claim to be "a brand about nothing" and encourage meditation. Whil was created by the guy who founded the Lululemon clothes company. So maybe it's all a roundabout way of promoting…
Categories: Videos Comments (0)
Dove Debate
Posted by The Curator on Wed Oct 02, 2013
As Bishop Bhekibandla was receiving an Honorary Doctorate Certificate at Moses Bible College of South Africa, a dove appeared out of nowhere inside the assembly hall and started flying around his head. Some people in the audience — most of whom were members of the Jericho Church — started crying, weeping hysterically, shouting amen, and calling out that it was a sign from God showing them who their rightful leader was. Not so, says rival Bishop Khanyakwezwe, who insists that the sudden appearance of the dove was some kind of cheesy "propaganda stunt." He elaborates, "The dove came with some of Bhekibandla followers just to deceive the Jerichos that he is the rightful Jericho leader which is…
Categories: Religion Comments (0)
Too Much Hot Air
Posted by The Curator on Tue Oct 01, 2013
With the government shutting down today, I was reminded of this 1933 April 1st article in the Madison Capitol-Times about their state capitol building exploding because of a buildup of "large quantities of gas, generated through many weeks of verbose debate in the senate and assembly chambers" I don't think any newspaper would publish a joke like this today, in the post-9/11 era, but it still seems appropriate.
Categories: Politics Comments (0)
Milky Edwards & The Chamberlings
Posted by The Curator on Sun Sep 29, 2013
In the 1970s did a gospel soul band called Milky Edwards & The Chamberlings record an album of cover versions of all the songs on David Bowie's Starman? Apparently not. However, on YouTube you can find three videos of someone playing songs from this non-existent album on a record player. The videos were uploaded over a year and a half ago (and there's an accompanying, minimalist website — milkyedwards.com), but they've only started to attract attention recently. And now people are wondering who created these videos and why? Because whoever…
Categories: Music Comments (8)
Dr. Phil’s Personality Test
Posted by The Curator on Thu Sep 26, 2013
A brief personality profile test has been circulating online, where it's identified as having been authored by "Dr. Phil" (Dr. Phillip McGraw). However, Dr. Phil has disavowed any connection with the test. So the question is, where does this test come from? Sleuths on the Snopes message boards tracked down a version of it that was posted on USENET back in 1994, at which time it was attributed to a Dr. Charles Vine. With that info, it was relatively simple to do a google search and find a version of the test that was included in a 1987 book titled Great Ideas: Listening and speaking…
Categories: Psychology Comments (0)
The Diepholz Mummy
Posted by The Curator on Thu Sep 26, 2013
Last month a 10-year-old German boy found what appeared to be an ancient Egyptian mummy in the attic of his grandmother, who lives in Diepholz. His parents excitedly speculated that it must have belonged to his grandfather, who had traveled throughout North Africa during the 1950s. There were some artifacts along with the mummy that were quickly dismissed as fakes, and the mummy cloth appeared to be 20th-century fabric. But when the mummy was x-rayed, the head was found to be an actual human skull, which raised hopes that it was perhaps a real mummy. However, closer examination (unwrapping the mummy) has revealed that the rest of the skeleton is made of…
Categories: History Comments (0)
Mirror Trick
Posted by The Curator on Thu Sep 26, 2013
Categories: Photos/Videos Comments (1)
The Log Ness Monster
Posted by The Curator on Wed Sep 25, 2013
While walking his dog, Patrick Cramer snapped a photo of something monster-like floating down the River Clwyd in North Wales. He concedes that it's probably just "a strangely-shaped log." But adds, "it could be the famed Rhuddlan River Monster." The Daily Post has a video of the thing floating downstream.
Categories: Nessie Comments (1)
Guardrail Speed Cameras
Posted by The Curator on Wed Sep 25, 2013
The Louisiana State Police want everyone to know that they don't have speed cameras installed in guardrails along the highways. They say that a picture circulating online showing a speed camera disguised inside a guardrail is the "latest and greatest urban legend." The thing is, it's not quite an urban legend, because these evil guardrail speed cameras do exist. Or rather, there are existing traffic-monitoring systems that include speed detectors in guardrails, while a camera further down the road takes a picture of the car. But so far, these systems have only shown up on European roads, not American ones. Here's a link to a PDF about the…
Categories: Technology Comments (0)
Blood-Drizzler Moles Detected
Posted by The Curator on Tue Sep 24, 2013
News dispatch from Crazyland: the Nairobi Mall massacre is all a hoax! Sure, you may see images of blood-soaked people in the news, but that's all the work of "blood-drizzler moles" squirting each other with fake blood. Oh, and the whole thing is a Zionist plot. That goes without saying. Nairobi Hoax Blood-Drizzler Moles Detected Alternative News Network The eyes do not fail those with discerning vision. Let there be no doubt about it, like Sandy Hook and the Boston smoke bombing hoax, the Nairobi Mall Massacre, as the Israelis would like this to be known, too, is a Zionist hoax. Regardless, how is this man a true gunshot victim? How…
Categories: Conspiracy Theories Comments (2)
iPhones are not waterproof.
Posted by The Curator on Tue Sep 24, 2013
Apple released the iOS 7 update for iPhones last week, and pranksters (allegedly from 4chan) set to work creating a series of spoof ads claiming the update made iPhones waterproof. Update to iOS 7 and become waterproof. In an emergency, a smart-switch will shut off the phone's power supply and corresponding components to prevent any damage to your iPhone's delicate circuitry. Needless to say, the iOS 7 update does not make the iPhone waterproof. It's not clear if anyone fell for the joke and tried dunking their iPhone in water. But a few people have been tweeting angry remarks about the…
Categories: Technology Comments (0)
Hermeneutic Hoax
Posted by The Curator on Tue Sep 24, 2013
The most recent issue of the Romanian journal Metalurgia International contains an unusual article titled "Evaluation of Transformative Hermeneutic Heuristics for Processing Random Data." If that title doesn't make much sense to you, neither will the rest of the article. But that's intentional on the part of the authors, who submitted a nonsense article to the journal, which obligingly published it — apparently without bothering to read it first. The intent of the hoaxers (three professors at the University of Belgrade) was to "draw attention to the hyperproduction of quasi-scientific works by Serbian professors that are published in the magazines of dubious quality" as the website In Serbia puts it. The…
Categories: Education, Science Comments (1)
Hoax Caller Imitates Sonia Gandhi
Posted by The Curator on Tue Sep 24, 2013
Indian papers are reporting that the attorney general of India, Goolam Vahanvati, recently received a series of calls from someone claiming to be Sonia Gandhi (President of the Congress), urging him to resign. But it wasn't actually Gandhi on the phone. It was a woman imitating her voice. Usually it's radio stations that are behind this kind of prank. But in this case, a senior member of the Indian congress is suspected to be the mastermind behind it. Hoax caller imitates Sonia Gandhi, government in a tizzy Times of India A hoax call from a PSU woman officer who convincingly sounded like Sonia Gandhi, an agitated attorney…
Categories: Politics Comments (0)
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