The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Nazi Air Marker Hoax, 1942
Bizarre pictographs of Emmanuel Domenech, 1860
Cursed by Allah
The Gallery of Fake Viral Images
The Cradle of the Deep, a literary hoax, 1929
Mule elected G.O.P. committeeman, 1938
The Cottingley Fairies, 1917
Use your left ear to detect lies
Actress who claimed she was kidnapped by puritans, 1950
Dog wins art contest, 1974
Phony Gold Nugget -- April Fool's Day, 1988
In late March, Australian fruit grower Bob Boyce revealed that he had unearthed a 10-pound gold nugget while planting a citrus tree. He told the media, "I've dug hundreds of holes for trees on my property and I've never found anything apart from a few river stones." After having the nugget assayed, he named it "Mortgage Buster," because it was found to be worth around $70,000, enough to pay off his mortgage. The story was picked up by the international media, with Reuters reporting that the Australian government had confirmed the worth of the nugget.

But on April 1, Boyce confessed that the gold nugget was phony. He explained, "I didn't plan the joke for personal publicity. I just wanted to bring a smile to people on April Fools' Day."

April Fool Categories: Freelance Pranksters, Australia, 1988.
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All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.