The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Nazi Air Marker Hoax, 1942
Boy floats away in balloon, 2009
Bizarre pictographs of Emmanuel Domenech, 1860
The Sandpaper Test, 1960
Fake Fish Photos
Adolf Hitler Baby Photo Hoax, 1933
September Morn, the painting that shocked the censor, 1913
The Case of the Vanishing Belly Button, 1964
Dog wins art contest, 1974
Actress who claimed she was kidnapped by puritans, 1950
Lucina Sine Concubitu, 1750
In 1750 the British Royal Society received a curious report titled Lucina Sine Concubita, which translated means "Pregnancy without Intercourse".

In the letter the writer argued that women could become pregnant without having engaged in any sexual activity, due to the presence of microscopic "floating animalcula" present in the air. The author claimed to have isolated some of these animalcula using "a wonderful, cylindrical, catoptrical, rotundo-concavo-convex machine." When he examined these animalcula under a microscope he found them to be shaped like miniature men and women. This discovery, he suggested, would go a long way toward restoring the honor of women who could not otherwise explain their pregnancies. An engraving accompanying the letter showed a "floating animalcula" approaching a sleeping woman.

The author concluded by proposing that, for the purpose of experimentation, a royal edict should ban copulation for one year.

The letter was signed by Abraham Johnson, but this was a pseudonym of Sir John Hill. His intent was apparently to satirize the "spermist" theory, which held that sperm were actually little men (homunculi) that, when placed inside women, grew into children.

The letter proved very popular and was printed and distributed widely throughout Europe.

It is also said that Hill wrote the letter to revenge himself for having been denied membership to the Royal Society. (Needs confirmation)

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