The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Cottingley Fairies, 1917
The Man-Eating Tree of Madagascar Hoax, 1874
Swiss peasants harvest spaghetti from trees, 1957
Did Poe say 'The best things in life make you sweaty'?
The Nazi Air Marker Hoax, 1942
war of the worlds
The night Martians invaded New Jersey, 1938
The Sandpaper Test, 1960
Snowball the Monster Cat, 2000
Jean Gauntt, the Immortal Baby, 1939
Bonsai Kittens, 2000
Bush Voters have lower IQs, 2004
A chart that circulated online during the first months of 2004 purported to show that American states whose populations possess higher average incomes and higher average IQs voted for Gore in the 2000 Presidential elections. Their poorer, lower-IQ counterparts voted for Bush. The implication was that smart people vote Democratic, and stupid people vote Republican.

The source of this chart was said to be an academic book, IQ and the Wealth of Nations, by Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen. However, IQ and the Wealth of Nations was not the source. The real source was a person using the screen name 'Robert Calvert' who had posted the data to a Mensa newsgroup in 2002. Apparently this person made it all up.

The phony chart lingered in newsgroup obscurity for two years until rediscovered around April, 2004. At which point it circulated widely. Major newspapers and magazines, including the St. Petersburg Times and the Economist, printed it before it was exposed as a hoax.
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All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.