The Museum of Hoaxes
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The damp spot that hoaxed a city, 1912
Cat that walked 3000 miles to find its owners, 1951
Monkeys pick cotton, a 19th-century urban legend
The Nobody For President Campaign, 1940 to Present
Iceberg floats into Sydney Harbor, 1978
Burger King's Left-Handed Whopper Hoax, 1998
The Society for Indecency to Naked Animals, 1959
war of the worlds
The night Martians invaded New Jersey, 1938
'Solar Armor' freezes man in Nevada Desert, 1874
The most sacred relic: the Holy Foreskin, circa 800 AD
Internet Spring Cleaning -- April Fool's Day, 1997
An email message circulated warning that the internet would be shut down for cleaning for 24 hours from March 31st until April 2nd. This cleaning was said to be necessary to clear out the "electronic flotsam and jetsam" that had accumulated in the network. Dead e-mail and inactive ftp, www, and gopher sites would be purged. The cleaning would be done by "five very powerful Japanese-built multi-lingual Internet-crawling robots (Toshiba ML-2274) situated around the world." During this period, users were warned to disconnect all devices from the internet. The message supposedly originated from the "Interconnected Network Maintenance Staff, Main Branch, Massachusetts Institute of Technology."

The joke was an updated version of an old one that used to be told about the phone system. For many years, gullible phone customers had been warned that the phone systems would be cleaned on April Fool's Day. They were cautioned to place plastic bags over the ends of the phone to catch the dust that might be blown out of the phone lines during this period.

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All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.