The Museum of Hoaxes
hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive
 
The Society for Indecency to Naked Animals, 1959
'Solar Armor' freezes man in Nevada Desert, 1874
The Hoaxing Hitchhiker, 1941
The Lovely Feejee Mermaid, 1842
Prof. Wingard's Death Ray Hoax, 1876
The Great Electric Sugar Swindle, 1884
Vilcabamba, the town of very old people, 1978
Dead Body of Loch Ness Monster Found, 1972
Princess Caraboo, servant girl who became a princess, 1817
Boy floats away in balloon, 2009
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.
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All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.