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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
November 2005
Magneurol-S6: The ESP Pill
Posted by The Curator on Tue Nov 22, 2005
Status: Snake Oil The makers of MagneurolS·6 promise that this little pill has some remarkable properties. It will give you "the ability to plug into Earths complex magnetic fields" thereby enhancing your extra-sensory perception and psychic abilities. Of course, never mind that its ingredients are nothing that you can't find in any vitamin supplement costing far less than $49 a bottle. You won't care about such trivial matters once your sixth sense (S·6) has been awakened. One potential danger, however. When taking Magneurol, some users report that "they can 'feel' the radiation, or something like it, emanating from the [cell]phone where they could not…
Categories: Health/Medicine Comments (63)
Banner of Heaven
Posted by The Curator on Tue Nov 22, 2005
Status: Hoax website Banner of Heaven is (or rather was) a weblog run by a group of mormons who wrote about their experiences trying to balance the pressures of daily life with the demands of their religion. The cast included: Jenn: "a perky, 20-something Mormon, seeking an eternal mate in the Big Apple" Mari: "the shyest character, got her neighbor's package by mistake and was afraid to deliver it to him in case he got mad" Miranda: "the feminist who is disappointed in her husband's ambitions." Septimus: "a divorced returned missionary with social anxiety and sweaty hands" Aaron: "a wannabe prophet who sees God's hand in everything" and…
Categories: Religion, Websites Comments (9)
Alibi Network
Posted by The Curator on Tue Nov 22, 2005
Status: Real In June 2004 the New York Times published an article about alibi networks, which are informal networks of people who will provide excuses for each other: Cellphone-based alibi clubs, which have sprung up in the United States, Europe and Asia, allow people to send out mass text messages to thousands of potential collaborators asking for help. When a willing helper responds, the sender and the helper devise a lie, and the helper then calls the victim with the excuse -- not unlike having a friend forge a doctor's note for a teacher in the pre-digital age. …
Hippo Eats Dwarf Sighting
Posted by The Curator on Tue Nov 22, 2005
Status: Dwarf-eating hippo sighting Peter Mount sent along a sighting of the Hippo Eats Dwarf story. (Not my book, the story itself.) It's turned up in a new book titled The World's Stupidest Deaths. I haven't seen the book, but this Australian review of it lists the tale as being among the stupid deaths it describes: Other "stupid deaths" include: AUSTRIAN dwarf and circus acrobat Franz Dasch, who was killed when he bounced on a trampoline into the yawning mouth of a nearby hippopotamus. DAVID Grundman, of Arizona, who in 1991 fired two shotgun barrels at a giant cactus, causing it to crash down on him. etc.
Categories: Death Comments (8)
Breath Capture
Posted by The Curator on Mon Nov 21, 2005
Status: Real (but possibly a publicity stunt) Breath Capture is a company that's selling air. Or more specifically, they're selling tubes. The customers themselves are supposed to provide the air by breathing into the tubes. They promote these tubes as a way to "Capture the breath of a loved one or friend and keep them close. Forever." So it's a gimmick, kind of like pet rocks, or buying land on the Moon. But what gets me is this claim the company makes on it site: Breath Capture is a patent-pending method and apparatus for collecting human breath as a keepsake…
Date Bait
Posted by The Curator on Mon Nov 21, 2005
Status: Dating service scamMatch.com, an online dating service, has been accused of sending some of its members bogus romantic emails in an effort to get them to renew their subscriptions. But even stranger, it's also been accused of sending Match.com employees out on phony dates with subscribers: The Match lawsuit was filed earlier this month in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles by plaintiff Matthew Evans, who contends he went out with a woman he met through the site who turned out to be nothing more than "date bait" working for the company. The relationship went nowhere, according to his suit. Evans says Match set up the date for him because it wanted…
Categories: Sex/Romance Comments (13)
Why did the gnomes cross the road?
Posted by The Curator on Fri Nov 18, 2005
Status: Prank Eighteen garden gnomes were found lined up in the Australian town of Warrnambool, waiting to cross a road. The police stated: "Right on the crossing, there was some on one side and some on the other side patiently waiting for the traffic to stop," he said. "At this stage we believe it's just a school prank but obviously the owners of the garden gnomes wouldn't appreciate their property being stolen from their gardens. They're just gn-one (gone)." The gnomes were taken to the police station where they were given a cup of tea. However, the police were unable to fingerprint them. (One of these days I really need to…
Categories: Gnomes, Pranks Comments (10)
Glowing Pork Chops
Posted by The Curator on Fri Nov 18, 2005
Status: Real A few Australian consumers have apparently opened their refrigerator and discovered that their pork chops are glowing. This has caused concerns about radioactive contamination. To allay these fears, the New South Wales food authority issued a statement assuring everyone that the glowing is caused by a harmless bacteria called Pseudomonas fluorescens: "The Food Authority understands that many people would be alarmed to discover their food glowing in the fridge, but we can assure NSW consumers that the bacteria responsible is totally harmless if consumed," Mr Davey said. "Pseudomonas fluorescens is normally present on meat and seafood at low levels and proper cooking kills it. "And while most of us would…
Categories: Food Comments (26)
Thalidomide: the Musical
Posted by The Curator on Thu Nov 17, 2005
Status: Real I've been compiling a list of odd (but real) musicals. So far I have: Fight Club, the Musical An opera based on the Strunk & White style guide Men are from Mars, Woman are from Venus (the musical) Jerry Springer, the Opera A musical based on the Labour Party's 1997 election manifesto (unconfirmed) To this short list I can now add Thalidomide: the Musical. It's described as "A PC-free musical with a short-armed punch. Set against the 60s thalidomide drug scandal this is a love story with show tunes, love songs and monster baby Tangos."…
Categories: Entertainment Comments (19)
Fake Body Parts
Posted by The Curator on Thu Nov 17, 2005
Status: Real pictures, but of what? An Alex from Colombia sent me these pictures and the following note: I came across these images and sincerely speaking I have no idea what they are. Is there any logical explanation for such thing? I suppose that they are either stage props or someone with a very disturbed mind and undoubtedly very good skills in clay or meat modeling made them, staged them and took the pictures. Unfortunately I can't identify what's going on in these pictures any better than Alex from Colombia can. It looks to me like body parts being produced in a Hollywood special effects shop. But that's just a guess. At least they're obviously…
Categories: Body Manipulation, Gross Comments (21)
Space Cadets
Posted by The Curator on Thu Nov 17, 2005
Status: Reality TV Show The premise of a new UK reality TV show, Space Cadets, will be to fool a group of contestants into believing they've been blasted into space. To achieve this goal the show's producers have outfitted an old airbase in the UK to look like a Russian base. As for simulating the space flight itself: Their shuttle will be a Hollywood creation, made originally for the film Space Cowboys. A giant custom-built screen positioned just outside the shuttle will, it is hoped, provide the illusion of a view of Earth from space including a hurricane over Mexico and a glimpse of the UK on one day when cloud cover parts... The…
Categories: Entertainment Comments (26)
Black League Basketball
Posted by The Curator on Wed Nov 16, 2005
Status: Never Existed Remember the Black Basketball League? Its teams (including favorites such as the Newark Eagles, Harlem Knights, Baltimore Crabs, West Philly Dancers and Cleveland Ebonies) competed from 1920-40, when they were shut out of the all-white league. Consumers can now honor the memory of this league by buying sportswear emblazoned with the team logos. Of course, if you don't remember this league, it might be because historians insist that it never existed. But Eric Williams, the guy who's selling the black league sportswear, isn't letting that minor fact bother him. He explains that: "These logos had to come…
Categories: History, Sports Comments (32)
15-Inch Waist
Posted by The Curator on Wed Nov 16, 2005
Status: Real The picture to the right has not been photoshopped (would that it had). That woman's waist really is that thin. She's Cathie Jung, who holds the title in the Guinness Book of World Records for the Smallest Waist on a Living Person: Cathie Jung's waist is about the same size as a regular jar of mayonnaise. She's been wearing a corset every day for the past 12 years, and she now wears one 24 hours a day. "I probably have around 100 of them," says the corset queen. The pictures of Cathie remind me of the…
Categories: Body Manipulation Comments (71)
Fake Smile Test
Posted by The Curator on Wed Nov 16, 2005
Status: Psychology test I've linked to a fake smile test before, but this one hosted by the BBC (and designed by Professor Paul Ekman, from the University of California) is more elaborate since it allows you to see actual video clips of people smiling. I did quite badly at differentiating the real from the fake, scoring only 9 out of 20. The blurb at the conclusion of the test notes that "Most people are surprisingly bad at spotting fake smiles. One possible explanation for this is that it may be easier for people to get along if they don't always know what…
Categories: Psychology Comments (37)
Salmon-Flavored Soda
Posted by The Curator on Tue Nov 15, 2005
Status: Real Just in time for Thanksgiving, Jones Soda is debuting salmon-flavored soda. It's a publicity stunt, but it's real. They boast that "When you smell it, it's got that smoked salmon aroma." Yum. Just what I want my soda to smell like. They've also got other thanksgiving-themed sodas that come together in a holiday pack: Brussels Sprout with Prosciutto, Cranberry Sauce, Turkey & Gravy, Wild Herb Stuffing, Pumpkin Pie, Broccoli Casserole, Corn on the Cob, and Pecan Pie. You won't have to eat dinner at all. Just sample sodas all night. (Thanks to Big Gary for the link.)
Categories: Food Comments (14)
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