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July 2004
image I found this photo over at J-Walk Blog. J-Walk can't tell if it's real or fake, and the people who have posted comments over there seem split also. I think the image itself has to be real, in the sense of not being digitally manipulated... simply because the image quality is too high. Typically photoshopped images tend to be low-quality, to hide any mistakes. One person claimed that the guy falling off his bike is actually a statue, which could be, though I haven't been able to find any verification of this. If it is a photo of a statue, that would put it in the same genre as the Splat photo (i.e. photos of life-like, bizarre statues). I'm not sure where the image is taken. Is that the Vienna Opera House?
Categories: Photos/Videos
Posted by Alex on Mon Jul 26, 2004
Comments (14)
image Norma Khouri's bestseller Honor Lost (published in Australia where Khouri now lives as Forbidden Love) tells the story of a Jordanian 'honor killing.' Dalia, a young woman, falls in love with a Christian man and is murdered for this transgression by her father in order to defend the 'honor' of the family. It's a shocking story, and Khouri has always insisted that it's entirely true. She claims that she lived in Jordan for many years and personally knew Dalia. But the Sydney Morning Herald has done a lot of investigative work into Khouri's background and is now alleging that Khouri's story is far more fiction than fact. They put it more bluntly: "Norma Khouri is a fake, and so is Forbidden Love." Among their accusations: the Dalia character never existed, and Khouri herself grew up outside of Chicago (contradicting her claims that she grew up in Jordan). Khouri completely denies all these claims, but the editors of the Sydney Morning Herald seem pretty confident that she's a fake, predicting that "Khouri's hoax will take its place in a long Australian tradition of literary fraud, from Ern Malley to Helen Darville-Demidenko."
Categories: Literature/Language
Posted by Alex on Sat Jul 24, 2004
Comments (4)
Reality TV shows just keep getting weirder and weirder. The latest one being developed in Britain (unless it's all a hoax, like Lapdance Island or Quarantine) is Sperm Race TV, in which a group of guys get to compete for the prize of fathering a child. Two finalists are chosen, one chosen by the mother on the basis of romantic attraction, the other chosen by the show's producers on the basis of 'genetic compatibility' with the mother. The two guys will then compete in a sperm race, filmed with special fiber-optic cameras, to see whose sperm can inseminate the mother's egg first. To me this sounds hoaxy on a number of different levels. First of all, what do they mean by 'genetic compatibility'? I can understand you might want to screen to make sure two partners aren't harboring deadly recessive genes, but beyond that what exactly makes two people genetically compatible? Second, how exactly will they stage this 'sperm race'? I assume they'd have to introduce the two sperm samples at the exact same time into the woman to make it a fair race, but then how will they know which sperm belongs to which father? And finally, are they seriously contemplating getting the woman pregnant? Or will they abort the child? Either way, they're going to outrage a lot of people.
Categories: Birth/Babies, Entertainment, Sex/Romance
Posted by Alex on Sat Jul 24, 2004
Comments (12)
image Why bother with having a tree in your backyard that grows just oranges, or just lemons, when you can have one tree that simultaneously grows peaches, apricots, plums, and nectarines or oranges, mandarins, lemons, limes, tangellos, grapefruit, and pomellos? What you need is a Fruit Salad Tree from the Fruit Salad Tree Company. My wife insists these have to be a joke, arguing that everyone would already have a fruit salad tree if they were really possible to buy. I, on the other hand, think they're real... maybe because I don't know much about botany. But I figure they're just grafting different types of trees together. (via About.com's urban legends forum)
Categories: Food
Posted by Alex on Fri Jul 23, 2004
Comments (34)
image Bruce Simpson is advertising that for a very modest sum he'll show you how to build your very own cruise missile. As he says on his website: "Whether you're a very small nation looking to extend its military capabilities while perhaps creating a highly profitable export industry, or an entrepreneur seeking to enter the massive market low-cost UAVs, RPVs and other pilotless vehicles, or whether you just want a single missile to mount on your SUV as a roof ornament -- I'm your man."

Is he joking? Is this just a hoax? Well, I suspect (hope) he's bluffing, but it is true that he could show someone how to build a cruise missile, if he wanted to. About a year ago he was quite widely covered in the news after he built a cruise missile in his garage for under $5000. He got a lot of the parts for it on eBay. He also appeared on the British tv show Scrapheap Challenge, where he built a pulse-jet out of trash in ten hours. But ever since then he's been harassed by the New Zealand Inland Revenue Service for unpaid taxes. So as payback he now claims that he's offering his rocket-building skills to the highest bidder. I just hope he doesn't next figure out how to build an ICBM in his garage.
Categories: Military
Posted by Alex on Fri Jul 23, 2004
Comments (0)
A lot of people have the OnStar system in their car that lets them connect to an operator to get 24-hour roadside assistance. BlondeStar is the same thing, just designed specifically for blondes. More of a blonde joke (or spoof advertisement) than a hoax, but amusing anyway, unless you're incredibly offended by blonde jokes. (links to an mp3 file... click the download button)
Categories: Advertising
Posted by Alex on Thu Jul 22, 2004
Comments (1)
Perhaps the worst possible pick-up line has to be 'I've got AIDS!' Especially if you don't actually have AIDS. Yet apparently many young men in Malawi are boasting that they have the disease, even though they're uninfected. They think having AIDS is a sign of sexual prowess. Kind of sad, really. I was especially interested in this story because my sister has been living in Malawi for the past year, helping design an AIDS education program there. I'm planning to visit her there next year, if I can scrape together the money for the outrageously expensive airfare. This year I chose Loch Ness over Malawi (I'll be searching for Nessie in September).
Categories: Health/Medicine
Posted by Alex on Thu Jul 22, 2004
Comments (4)
image I've said it before and I'll say it again: supernatural possession is the ultimate way to add value to anything you want to sell on eBay. Just claim that it's haunted, then sit back and watch the bids roll in. The latest spirit-plagued item up for sale is a haunted rubber ducky. It supposedly attacked the seller's son in the bathtub. The price is already up to $41.50, and there's only one day left to become the new owner of this spooky curiosity... if you dare.
Categories: eBay, Paranormal
Posted by Alex on Wed Jul 21, 2004
Comments (13)
The Swedish anti-smoking activist group A Non Smoking Generation has plastered posters all over Stockholm that make claims such as 'smoking stunts penis growth,' 'cigarette filters are filled with mouse excrement,' and 'second-hand smoke kills birds.' The problem is that none of these claims are acually true. But the group figures that the outrageousness of the claims might entice a few people to visit their website to learn the real facts. This once again demonstrates one of the central principles upon which the advertising industry was founded: if you can't get their attention by telling the truth, then get it by telling a lie.
Categories: Advertising
Posted by Alex on Tue Jul 20, 2004
Comments (6)
All true conspiracy wackos know that there's an international Jewish conspiracy to control the world, but they may not have realized that this conspiracy has its own website, appropriately called InternationalJewishConspiracy.com. The site offers the lowdown on all aspects of the Jewish conspiracy, such as a refresher on secret Jewish signs as well as a list of some of the lesser known protocols of the Elders of Zion. Obviously the site is a spoof, and pretty funny. But still, I'm not sure how comfortable I'd be wearing one of the 'International Jewish Conspiracy' t-shirts they sell. I'd worry that people wouldn't recognize it as a joke. (Thanks to Jim Terr for the submission)
Categories: Conspiracy Theories, Websites
Posted by Alex on Tue Jul 20, 2004
Comments (2)
Jim Terr submitted this hoax website of his own creation: willingchicks.com. It offers "world-class companionship — If you can afford it!" It belongs in the genre of sites with misleading URLs, in the same vein as nice-tits.org and supermodelswithseethroughtops.com (all very safe for work). Misleading URLs are similar to Unfortunate URLs, the difference being that the former are intentional whereas the latter aren't.
Categories: Sex/Romance, Websites
Posted by Alex on Tue Jul 20, 2004
Comments (0)
image Dr. Clive Boddicker is a plastic surgeon who's discovered the secret of true happiness. Happiness is looking like one of the Baldwin brothers. And his Baldwinization procedure makes this possible. It "results in the patient's perfect resemblance of the Baldwin brother of their choice." For top dollar you can get 'The Alec.' But if you're on a tight budget you might have to settle for 'The Daniel.' Both men and women can undergo the Baldwinization procedure. (via New Yorkish)
Categories: Body Manipulation, Websites
Posted by Alex on Tue Jul 20, 2004
Comments (2)
image I like Halle Berry, but I don't have any plans to see Catwoman (it just doesn't look that interesting). And anyway, turns out it isn't even Halle in that costume. It's some guy called Nito Larioza wearing red lipstick. Maybe Nito is also Mr. Six! You never know.
Categories: Entertainment, Identity/Imposters
Posted by Alex on Tue Jul 20, 2004
Comments (1)
MosNews reports that researchers at the Voronezh State Technological Academy have perfected "a method for processing blood and turning it into food products such as milk, yogurt, chocolate, and coffee." Yum. Nothing like a cup of fresh-brewed blood coffee to start the morning right. You know it's just a matter of time now before we're all living on freeze-dried packets of this stuff while Charlton Heston runs around screaming 'Soylent Green is People!'
Categories: Food
Posted by Alex on Tue Jul 20, 2004
Comments (2)
Here's a new penis-melting-zionist-robot-comb-type rumor that's spreading through Africa. Agence France Presse is reporting that many mobile-phone users in Nigeria are terrified that if they receive a phone call from one of two numbers, either 0802 311 1999 or 0802 222 5999, it will cause them instant death. A spokesman for the Nigerian mobile-phone company is trying to squash the rumor by assuring people that, "from an engineering point of view, it is absolutely impracticable, and there is no such record whatsoever anywhere in the world, that anyone has died or can die from merely receiving or making a phone call." The AFP reporter braved death and actually called both numbers but was unable to get through to anyone. Personally I think these Nigerians simply don't have the full story. They should know that the phone calls will only kill you if you receive them directly after watching a videotape of a creepy-looking long-haired girl crawling out of a well.

Update: Gizmodo has a copy of a top-secret internal memo from Nokia in which the company admits that it's phones really can cause instant death when calls from certain numbers are received. (yeah, I know it's a joke).
Categories: Mass Delusion, Technology
Posted by Alex on Tue Jul 20, 2004
Comments (5)
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