The Museum of Hoaxes
hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive
 
Old-Time Photo Fakery, 1900 to 1919
Eccentric's last prank, 66 years after his death, 1900
Boy floats away in balloon, 2009
The most sacred relic: the Holy Foreskin, circa 800 AD
Tube of liquor hidden in prohibition-era boot, 1920s
Jennifer Love Hewitt's Disappearing Breasts
The damp spot that hoaxed a city, 1912
Taco Bells buys the Liberty Bell, 1996
Did Poe say 'The best things in life make you sweaty'?
Vilcabamba, the town of very old people, 1978
The NASA Satellite Photo
Soon after 9/11 an email began to circulate urging people to light a candle and stand outside their home with it at a specified date and time (the date varied between versions of the email). Supposedly a NASA satellite would then take a photograph of the entire nation illuminated by candlelight in order to demonstrate the solidarity of the American people in the face of terrorist aggression. The photo would appear on NASA's website the following day.

NASA never planned to take such a photograph. The light of even 200 million candles spread out over the entire nation would be invisible from space. Therefore, a photo of the nation illuminated by candlelight would be dark. Nevertheless, at the specified time numerous people dutifully stepped outside their homes and held a candle up to the sky.

It is not known who started this email hoax. It might have been started by someone who thought it would be a good idea if NASA would take such a photo, not realizing that such a photo would show nothing.
Commenting is no longer available for this post.


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