The Museum of Hoaxes
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Van Gogh's ear exhibited, 1935
The most sacred relic: the Holy Foreskin, circa 800 AD
Mencken's fake history of the bathtub, 1917
Stotham, Massachusetts: the town that didn't exist, 1920
The Cradle of the Deep, a literary hoax, 1929
Boy floats away in balloon, 2009
The damp spot that hoaxed a city, 1912
Vilcabamba, the town of very old people, 1978
The Society for Indecency to Naked Animals, 1959
The Great New York Zoo Escape Hoax, 1874
Dutch Elm Disease Infects Redheads -- April Fool's Day, 1973
BBC Radio broadcast an interview with an elderly academic, Dr. Clothier, who discoursed on the government's efforts to stop the spread of Dutch Elm Disease, which had been infecting many of England's trees. Dr. Clothier described some startling recent discoveries about the tree disease. For instance, he referred to the research of Dr. Emily Lang of the London School of Pathological and Environmental Medicine who had found that exposure to Dutch Elm Disease immunized people to the common cold.

Unfortunately, there was a side effect. Exposure to the disease also caused red hair to turn yellow. This was attributed to a similarity between the blood count of redheads and the soil conditions in which affected trees grew. Therefore, redheads were advised to stay away from forests for the foreseeable future. Dr. Clothier was actually the comedian Spike Milligan disguising his voice.

April Fool Categories: Botany, Medical, Radio, United Kingdom, 1973, BBC.
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All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.