The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Stone-Age Tasaday Hoax, 1971
Bonsai Kittens, 2000
war of the worlds
The night Martians invaded New Jersey, 1938
Jean Gauntt, the Immortal Baby, 1939
The damp spot that hoaxed a city, 1912
Jernegan's Gold Accumulator Scam, 1898
Did Paul McCartney die on Nov. 9, 1966?
The Lovely Feejee Mermaid, 1842
Pierre Brassau, Monkey Artist, 1964
The Great New York Zoo Escape Hoax, 1874
Giant Penguin in Berlin -- April Fool's Day, 1931


A German newspaper ran a "news photo" of a giant five-foot-high penguin affectionately kissing a man with its long beak. The accompanying story explained that the Gargantuan penguin had recently been brought to Berlin and was being kept in a private zoo. Eventually, the plan was to take it on a tour of the world as part of an attraction in a circus.

The story created a minor sensation in Berlin. Pet store owners, animal trainers, and naturalists all received numerous calls from people wishing to see the giant penguin.

Several days later the newspaper admitted that not only the picture a composite, but that the bird shown was a stuffed member of its species. [Milwaukee Sentinel - May 17, 1931]

April Fool Categories: Birds, Germany, 1931, Photo Hoaxes.
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All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.