The Museum of Hoaxes
hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive
HOME   |   ABOUT   |   FORUM   |   CONTACT   |   FACEBOOK   |   RSS
The Top 100
April Fool Hoaxes
Of All Time
April Fool Archive
April fools throughout history
Hoax Photo
Archive

Weblog Archive
July 2008
Once again, it's time to play spot the blurry face resembling the iconic image of Jesus (or the Virgin Mary, or whatever).

Cat Fur Jesus
The Johnson family of Indiana recently adopted a kitten. To their surprise, they discovered that the fur on its side contains a pattern that looks like the face of Jesus. They admit that people who don't see it "might think we are weird crazy or something," but they're fine with that. I'd say they haven't quite reached the weird crazy stage yet. Maybe just a bit weird cuckoo.

Cheesus
Kelly Ramey of High Ridge, Missouri found Jesus in a bag of Cheetos. "I looked at that and I thought, 'Oh my that looks like Jesus on the cross.' It was just like wow," she says." Wow is right! Her friend, however, thinks it looks like a horse's head.

Virgin Mary in Sink
Found by a plumber working in a Salinas, California restaurant. "The new owner of the restaurant says the building has housed several different businesses and he sees the image as a blessing of hope for the new restaurant." I don't know about blessings, but they definitely need some bleach cleanser.

An Angelic Image
Recently an "angelic image" (left) was spotted in the window of a Color Tile store in Porterville, California. Huge crowds started turning out to see it, but within a few days the image was gone. Luckily, someone else spotted an image of Christ on the cross in a nearby palm tree (right). "To have two sightings in the same place — it confirms that the image on the window was not fake," said one onlooker. You can't argue with logic like that.

Allah Meat
A diner at a restaurant in northern Nigeria was about to sink his teeth into a piece of gristle, when he noticed the Arabic word for God in the meat. The restaurant then found three more pieces of gristle that also bore the name of Allah. The owner of the restaurant says, "When the writings were discovered there were some Islamic scholars who come and eat here and they all commented that it was a sign to show that Islam is the only true religion for mankind."
Categories: Pareidolia, Religion
Posted by Alex on Thu Jul 31, 2008
Comments (12)
The story so far:

A bizarre creature washed up on Ditch Plains beach near Montauk, New York on July 12.

Local resident Jenna Hewitt took some photos of it. However, the body is now gone. Some guy (unidentified) supposedly has it in his backyard.

In the absence of any evidence except for the photo, there are many theories about what it might be: a sea turtle, a dog, a raccoon missing an upper jaw, a creature from the government's animal-disease lab on Plum Island, or a hoax.

We'll have to wait and see what transpires. Links: Newsday, Gawker.
Categories: Cryptozoology
Posted by Alex on Thu Jul 31, 2008
Comments (34)
The Authority for Universe Ownership offers you the chance to buy your own parallel universe. They explain:

Quantum physics dictates that reality is created by observation. There are an infinite number of possible realities, which can be actualised only through observation - an unlimited variety of parallel universes exist in what is known as quantum flux.
In some of these universes the deeds purchased from Buy Your Own Universe will be recognised as legally binding, meaning that you really are the rightful owner of your Universe! Any day a scientific breakthrough in quantum physics may occur that allows you to travel to your universe, through a wormhole for example. This is not fantasy but accepted science.

The price is a bit steep at $9999. But they also offer a free option.

Of course, if they're right about the existence of an infinite number of parallel universes in which all possibilities, however improbable, are manifested, then the theory of Quantum Immortality is true. Meaning that in some existence you're likely to become an eternal, all-powerful being who already owns the universe without needing to go through the Authority for Universe Ownership. (via A Welsh View)
Categories: Future/Time, Websites
Posted by Alex on Wed Jul 30, 2008
Comments (6)
Back in July 1953 three pranksters left the hairless/tailless body of a monkey lying in the middle of a Georgia highway. When a policeman came along, they told him it was the body of an extraterrestrial that they had accidentally run over. Its friends had escaped moments before in a spacecraft. The prank managed to make national headlines. (I describe it in greater detail in the Hoaxipedia.)

MSNBC has an article (with picture) about the Great Monkey Hoax. The occasion for it is a visit by an AP reporter to the museum of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, where the body of the monkey is still preserved.

Seven years ago, when I was writing the book version of The Museum of Hoaxes, I spent some time on the phone trying to track down this monkey. I had heard that the GBI still had it, but I wanted to confirm the info.

I eventually reached a woman who worked in the archives of the GBI and asked her if they still had the hairless monkey. I explained the history of the prank to her, but she had no clue what I was going on about. From her tone of voice she evidently thought I was playing a prank on her. She swore to me that the GBI had no such monkey. Looks like she was wrong. They do still have it!
Categories: Extraterrestrial Life, Pranks
Posted by Alex on Wed Jul 30, 2008
Comments (5)
Posted recently by Tobester in the Hoax Forum:



I couldn't resist doing some research on this. Here's what I found.

a) It's definitely an urban legend.

b) I can't find any record of it ever appearing in the New York Times.

c) The earliest mention of it I can find in print dates back to July 10, 2000, when it was discussed in the Sydney Morning Herald. Apparently, in a version circulating back then, they were identified as the source of the tale. They denied this, pointed out the tale was an urban legend, and noted that in earlier versions of the story American Airlines was referred to as the carrier.

d) Despite being an urban legend, it has occasionally been reported in papers as real news. For instance, the Belfast News Letter reported it on April 19, 2003. The Scotsman reported it on February 2, 2001. And The Gleaner reported it on March 13, 2004.
Categories: Exploration/Travel, Literature/Language, Urban Legends
Posted by Alex on Tue Jul 29, 2008
Comments (6)
To save money, a Taiwanese army base decided to use dummies in place of real soldiers to guard a base. Locals eventually noticed that the soldiers never moved, and as word spread the fake soldiers became a tourist attraction. (via Weird Asia News)

It's actually not as odd as it sounds. Ever since World War II armies have made extensive use of decoys, including fake tanks, aircraft, ships, and individual soldiers. A classic story about this phenomenon is that during WWII the Germans created an entire decoy airfield in North Africa. In response, the British sent out a single bomber who dropped a wooden bomb on it.

Categories: Military
Posted by Alex on Tue Jul 29, 2008
Comments (9)
The Baines School in Lancashire has decided to ban fake tans. From The Telegraph:

"The current trend for fake/spray tans does little to enhance the appearance of our young ladies," [Carol Robinson, head of the school] wrote. "We ask for your support in ensuring girls do not come to school looking varying shades of orange."
She claimed that fake tan went against the principles of the school, where staff strived to "promote natural beauty and contentment with one's own looks".
Her remarks have been met with cautious support with some of her more pale-skinned pupils at the school, which educates 1,070 children aged between 11 and 18.

Sounds sensible to me, and this seems like an appropriate place to post the pictures of the "Oompa Loompa Tan Lady" whose pictures have recently been circulating around the web. I don't know who the woman is, but as far as I can tell, the photos are real. Someone should have told her to go easy with the fake tan spray.

Categories: Body Manipulation
Posted by Alex on Tue Jul 29, 2008
Comments (8)
That's the latest rumor. The Telegraph reports:

Lieutenant Colonel Cynthia Ryan of the US Civil Air Patrol has said Fossett, whose body or plane was never found, could still be alive.
She said: "I've been doing this search and rescue for 14 years. Fossett should have been found.
"It's not like we didn't have our eyes open. We found six other planes while we were looking for him. We're pretty good at what we do."

Some anomalies about his disappearance:
  • Only one person saw him take off.
  • He took no emergency equipment.
  • He flew a plane that was easy to dismantle.
Related: The hoax forum thread from Sept. 2007 about his disappearance.
Categories: Death
Posted by Alex on Mon Jul 28, 2008
Comments (12)
Surf around the web enough and you'll notice a lot of sites that have announced they're the recipients of a "Brillante Weblog Premio" award. (Google "Brillante Weblog" and you'll see what I mean.)

Just to clue in anyone who might be confused -- this is not a real award. It's a viral nuisance. The gimmick is that you receive this award from a friend. Accompanying the award are these rules:

1. The winner can put the logo on his/her blog.
2. Link to the person you received your award from.
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
4. Put links to those blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message on the blogs of the people you have nominated.

In this way, the award keeps circulating endlessly.

There are real "Brillante Awards for Excellence" awarded by the National Society of Hispanic MBAs, but they're not related in any way to the "Brillante Weblog Premio" award. (via Heart and Hands)
Categories: Websites
Posted by Alex on Thu Jul 24, 2008
Comments (6)
Not to be outdone by Christian fundamentalists, Islamic fundamentalists have come out with their own anti-evolution treatises. Among the most prominent of these is the Atlas of Creation by Harun Yahya. It's a long work (and more is on the way) consisting primarily of page after page of examples showing that modern-day species can be found in the fossil record. This is supposed to demonstrate that evolution hasn't occurred.

Volume 1 contains the example of the Caddis Fly. The illustration in the book shows the modern-day fly in the foreground. Circled in red in the background is the fossil analogue, preserved in amber. (No, they don't look similar to me either).



But look again at the modern fly. Skeptics noticed it had a steel hook coming out the bottom of it. In fact, it's not a Caddis fly at all. It's a fishing lure created by Graham Owen. Harun Yahya lifted the image (right) from Owen's site, apparently not realizing it wasn't a living creature, and pasted it into his book. Other fishing lures by Owen are scattered throughout the Atlas of Creation.

You can download the entire text of the Atlas of Creation, free of charge, from Yahya's site. So I did, but I couldn't find the Caddis fly in there. (It's supposed to be in Vol 1, p 244). I'm assuming Yahya must have removed it. However, I did notice that in Part 2 of the pdf (page 282 of the text) the Mayfly has a steel hook coming out of its belly. (Thanks, Jona!)
Categories: Animals, Photos/Videos, Religion, Science
Posted by Alex on Thu Jul 24, 2008
Comments (6)
Here's an oldie but a goodie (Thanks, Nettie!). This video from 1996 shows Hasnah Mohamed, a 12-year-old Lebanese girl who "baffled medical experts by producing crystals from her eyes."

Girl Has Crystals Coming Out Of Eyes


Fake? Of course. Hasnah's crystal tears were debunked by Joe Nickell in a 1997 Skeptical Inquirer article:

Hasnah, who claims to produce up to seven crystals a day, showed a collection of the allegedly apported rocks. From their rhomboidal shape and other properties, I recognized them as the natural quartz crystals generally known as "Herkimer diamonds." With the television crew being expected to arrive here the following day, I hastily made some phone calls and soon had acquired a handful of the gemstones.
Although such stones are indeed sharp - and I could see a dark red spot inside the girl's eyelid that probably represented a wound from one of them - I decided to duplicate the effect. All that was necessary was to pull out the lower eyelid to form a pouch and drop in a small crystal so that it rested, only a bit uncomfortably, out of sight. A tug on the lower lid causes the stone to come into view and then pop out of the eye. This I demonstrated at an appropriate time for the television camera, allowing their reporter to actually do the extraction himself. The effect was indistinguishable from the Lebanese "miracle."
Categories: Body Manipulation, Paranormal
Posted by Alex on Wed Jul 23, 2008
Comments (44)
Product placement has reached the TV news. On the desk in front of the anchors of Las Vegas's Fox 5 TV news sit two cups of McDonald's iced coffee. McDonald's is paying for the coffee to be there. But the best part: it's not real coffee. It's just a plastic simulation of iced coffee. From the Las Vegas Sun:

The anchors aren’t even supposed to acknowledge them, McDonald’s reps explain. That’s part of their genius, my little lambs! They get into your mind without you knowing it. So they just sit there, two logo-emblazoned plastic cups, percolating into the psyche. Made-to-scale models that weigh something like seven pounds each — refreshing, and bottom-line boosting!

The Las Vegas news isn't alone in doing this. Lots of news shows are joining in. I think I've seen similar cups on the San Diego news. I'd like to see one of the anchors forced to drink the cup down. (Thanks, Bob!)
Categories: Advertising, Food
Posted by Alex on Wed Jul 23, 2008
Comments (10)
Suicide has become such a problem in South Korea that many companies, including Samsung and Hyundai, are sending their employees on "well-dying" courses, which involve writing out your will and faking your own funeral. Somehow this is supposed to prevent suicide. From the Financial Times:

Before they are "buried", participants are asked to pose for their funeral portrait.
Participants enter a "death experience room" where they choose a coffin and put on a "death robe".
Course members get into their coffins and a flower is laid on each person's chest.
Funeral attendants place a lid on the coffin and dirt is thrown on the casket.
Participants are left in the closed casket for five minutes and some start to cry in the darkness.

Samsung has even built its own fake funeral center. Creepy.
(via Business Pundit)
Categories: Death
Posted by Alex on Tue Jul 22, 2008
Comments (7)
Found on eBay: "Dark Knight Joker (Heath Ledger) - Face in My Toilet!" The seller writes:

Plain and simple, you are bidding on my toilet. This toilet was installed in my home in 1971. Recently, I realized that the mineral buildup in the toilet had a strong resemblance to the Joker character in The Dark Knight. Click through the pictures below and see for yourself. Resemblance? You decide. For the winning bidder, we will have a plumber professionally remove the toilet, then have it shipped directly to you. Shipping is $200.


Coincidentally, I'm in the process of remodeling the hallway bathroom in my house and am in the market for a new toilet. But I definitely won't be bidding on this thing.

But at least it's not a Jesus face in a toilet. (Thanks, Heidi)
Categories: eBay, Pareidolia
Posted by Alex on Tue Jul 22, 2008
Comments (11)
He's African Con-Cheater:

His talent as a Con-Man makes him luring people into a "business-partnership" with him that will allow him to withdraw all money you have deposited into "His" account.

If you help bring him to justice, you will receive 50% of the recovered money. Too bad he's probably already spent it all!

Sent in by Norbert Harms, to whom lovemeadow.com is registered.
Categories: Con Artists
Posted by Alex on Tue Jul 22, 2008
Comments (5)
Page 1 of 3 pages  1 2 3 >