The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Stone-Age Tasaday Hoax, 1971
Sober Sue, the woman who never smiled, 1907
Use your left ear to detect lies
The Diaphote, a television hoax, 1880
The Great Wall of China Hoax, 1899
Vilcabamba, the town of very old people, 1978
'Solar Armor' freezes man in Nevada Desert, 1874
Bonsai Kittens, 2000
war of the worlds
The night Martians invaded New Jersey, 1938
Dog wins art contest, 1974
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.