The Museum of Hoaxes
hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive
Bonsai Kittens, 2000
BMW's April Fool's Day Hoaxes
The Cottingley Fairies, 1917
Actress who claimed she was kidnapped by puritans, 1950
Snowball the Monster Cat, 2000
'Solar Armor' freezes man in Nevada Desert, 1874
Van Gogh's ear exhibited, 1935
The Hitler Diary Hoax, 1983
The Gallery of Fake Viral Images
Prof. Wingard's Death Ray Hoax, 1876
Russia Sells Lenin’s Body, 1991
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989, the Russian government struggled to mend its ailing economy, but the nation's financial situation remained dire. In November 1991, Forbes FYI, an American business magazine, revealed just how hopeless the Russian economic situation had become. It reported that the Russian government, desperate for foreign currency, had decided to sell the embalmed body of Vladimir Lenin to the highest bidder. The body had been on public display in a Red Square mausoleum for decades. The bidding would start at $15 million.

ABC News and USA Today both repeated the story. Subsequently the editor of Forbes FYI revealed that it was a hoax. Russian Interior Minister Viktor Barrannikov denounced the joke as "an impudent lie."

Links and References
  • "True capitalism: Lenin for sale?" USA Today (November 6, 1991).
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All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.