The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Gallery of Fake Viral Images
Vilcabamba, the town of very old people, 1978
Life discovered on the moon, 1835
Lord Gordon-Gordon, robber of the robber barons, 1871
Samsung invents the on/off switch
Old-Time Photo Fakery, 1900 to 1919
September Morn, the painting that shocked the censor, 1913
Cat that walked 3000 miles to find its owners, 1951
The Nobody For President Campaign, 1940 to Present
Iceberg floats into Sydney Harbor, 1978
Migrant Mother Makeover -- April Fool's Day, 2005
Popular Photography Magazine ran a special feature on how to touch up photos in which subjects have unsightly wrinkles or unattractive expressions. "Can these photos be saved?" the article asked. One of the examples used was Dorothea Lange's famous Depression-era photo of a "Migrant Mother" huddling with her children in a roadside camp outside Nipomo, California.

Under the masterful touch of Popular Photography editors, the Migrant Mother was transformed from an iconic symbol of the struggle for survival into a smooth-faced suburban soccer mom. Her wrinkles were erased, her gaze softened, and the poverty-stricken kids removed. Readers were appalled. The editors later noted that the article "generated more responses than anything we've done in years… Most of our readers got the joke. But many didn't. We received hundreds—yes, HUNDREDS—of rants, hate letters, and excommunication threats."

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