The Museum of Hoaxes
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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
March 2013
Bacon Mouthwash
Posted by The Curator on Sun Mar 31, 2013
Slightly in advance of April 1st, Scope is introducing Bacon Mouthwash. From their product info page: Scope Bacon is the newest addition to our line of products. It tastes like bacon, while still killing 99.9% of bad breath germs. And, it keeps your breath minty fresh 5 times longer than brushing alone. Does Scope Bacon make my breath smell like bacon? No. Scope Bacon just tastes like bacon while you swish, but leaves your breath smelling minty fresh 5 times longer than brushing alone. Is Scope Bacon a sufficient replacement for my breakfast? No. Scope Bacon contains zero nutritional value and does not serve as…
Categories: April Fools Day, Food Comments (2)
The Roosterfish
Posted by The Curator on Sun Mar 31, 2013
Fred Freer sent in the following press release. I'll let everyone form their own conclusions about this "roosterfish." Fossil Find of the Century? Local artist and stonescaper, Fred Freer, discovers unique fossil in Chena Ridge hills. While teaching his sons the art and process of hand-splitting stone (for landscaping purposes), Freer Uncovered what seemed to be fossil remains of a birds head and beak. But upon further examination and cleaning the tail and fins of a fish also began to appear. Coined "roosterfish", and an amazing find it is, Freer states that "this is really gonna mess with the 'chicken and the egg hypothesis'". Unveiling of "the fossil" and artistic renderings of "the creature"…
Categories: Animals Comments (2)
How to make cotton cakes
Posted by The Curator on Fri Mar 29, 2013
Back in the 19th century, food pranks were very popular on April Fool's Day. And one of the most popular forms of trick food was the "cotton cake." Instructions for how to make this delicacy were reported by Jane Eddington in the Chicago Daily Tribune on Apr 1, 1929: One of the older American cooking jokes of the days was the cotton cakes. I heard a woman tell how to do this in an up to date way, imitating what her great grandmother did who made cotton cakes and sent them around to her neighbors on April Fool's day. This woman has had fame as a cook, and this is what she…
Categories: April Fools Day, Food Comments (0)
Museum Mail: April Fool Prank
Posted by The Curator on Fri Mar 29, 2013
Thanks to Joy for sharing this: After college, I took a job as a legal secretary at a law firm in Atlanta, GA. At the time, we all used Selectric III typewriters (PCs weren't around, and WANGs had just come on the market). We had a very nice, intelligent associate who had started about a month or so before April 1st, and although he was extremely smart at law, he was also a little too trusting and pretty naive. I clued the attorney I worked for into my plan, gave him some lines, and asked him to please call the associate and ask him to come to his office to receive a research assignment. The firm…
Categories: April Fools Day Comments (1)
Fake Chinese Walnuts
Posted by The Curator on Tue Mar 19, 2013
Chinese consumers are being warned to watch out for fake walnuts. Scam artists are apparently taking empty walnut shells, stuffing them with bits of concrete and paper, gluing the shells back together, and then selling them as real walnuts. [treehugger.com, ministryoftofu.com] It seems like a very labor-intensive way to make what can't be a lot of money. But I guess it's enough money to make it a profitable scam. This isn't the first fake food product we've seen from China. In the past we've heard about fake pig ears made out of gelatin, steamed dumplings stuffed with cardboard instead of pork, soy sauce made from human hair, and
Categories: Food Comments (3)
The Very Tall Bride
Posted by The Curator on Mon Mar 18, 2013
The above picture has been doing the rounds in recent months, often with the caption "Very Tall Bride." The bride in the photo is Allyssa DeHaan, a collegiate basketball player at Michigan State University from 2006 to 2010. In real life DeHaan is very tall — 6 ft 9in. So could this photo be real? Well, no. When I first saw it, I thought perhaps she was standing on a box, perhaps for a gag photo. But some more investigation revealed her height in the photo is a result of good, old-fashioned photoshopping. The manipulation was done by a DeviantArt member going by the username lowerrider, who enjoys…
Categories: Photos/Videos Comments (1)
The Girl Scout Cookie Order Hoax
Posted by The Curator on Mon Mar 18, 2013
This is all over the news. [oregonlive, csmonitor] Some girl scouts in Portland, Oregon thought they had landed a massive sale of cookies when they received an order via email for 6000 boxes — a $24,000 order. Whoever was handling the order (a scout's mother, I assume) exchanged some emails with the buyer, and everything seemed legitimate. The buyer was even an acquaintance of the troop. So the girl scouts went ahead and processed the order, committing themselves to receiving 6000 boxes. And then they discovered the mega-order was a fake. The buyer was actually a young girl using her mother's email address. The girl was apparently young enough…
Categories: Pranks Comments (1)
Ukrainian Attack Dolphins
Posted by The Curator on Fri Mar 15, 2013
Word got out this week that the Ukrainian military had lost three dolphins in the Black Sea after the dolphins swam away from their trainers, apparently to search for mates. The problem: these were trained attack dolphins "equipped with firearms." The source of the story was a document that appeared online that seemed to be a scan of a letter from the head of a Ukrainian military research institute to naval command warning of the dolphin escape. The story took off when it got picked up by RIA Novosti (the Russian International News Agency) and from there spread to the western media. However, Ukraine's Defense…
Categories: Animals, Military Comments (0)
Motor Trip Hoax, 1944
Posted by The Curator on Tue Mar 12, 2013
I found the following story posted in the March 3, 1944 issue of the Carteret Press (scanned and hosted by the Woodbridge, NJ Public Library): MOTOR TRIP HOAX Los Angeles — A new kind of hoax was pulled when four men answered an ad asking for passengers on a trip to Raleigh, N.C. The driver picked them up, collected $50 from each and then stopped at the post office. He went inside and that was the last the passengers saw of him. The car had been rented. But I'm having trouble understanding exactly how the scam would have been profitable. First, if the car was a rental, wouldn't it…
Categories: Scams Comments (4)
Aliens among us?
Posted by The Curator on Fri Mar 08, 2013
File this under Low Threshold of Belief. Several Southeast Asian news sites have recently published photos that supposedly document the presence of "extra terrestrial beings" here on Earth. For instance, the Visayan Daily Star ran a picture (below) of "Emily Santodelsis" posing with a small alien. Strangely, she insisted that she hadn't noticed the alien while the picture was being taken. She only spotted it later, when she looked at the photo. And back in January, the Bangkok Post ran a picture of an alien supposedly spotted on a beach in Thailand. The Open Minds UFO investigation site explains that the appearance of…
Fake Crystal Skulls
Posted by The Curator on Fri Mar 08, 2013
The latest issue of Chemical & Engineering News has an article that reviews the history of how the crystal "Aztec" skulls that began showing up in the mid-19th century were eventually found to be fake. The take home is that the following pieces of evidence led researchers to conclude the skulls were modern forgeries: The skulls didn't come from documented archaeological sites. The skulls' teeth were suspiciously linear and perfect, whereas the teeth in other Aztec art reflected the lack of Aztec dentistry. Microscopic analysis revealed that the crystal skulls had regular etch marks, such as would be made by modern rotary wheels and hard abrasives, not ancient hand-held tools. Spectroscopic analysis showed that the rock crystal…
Categories: Art, History Comments (1)
Ralph Napierski, Fake Bishop
Posted by The Curator on Thu Mar 07, 2013
On Monday, a man calling himself "Basilius," wearing a cassock, black fedora and purple sash, tried to gain access to the pre-conclave meeting of cardinals at the Vatican. He made it through one level of security before being stopped by the Swiss Guard. Spiegel Online has a profile of the guy, whose real name is Ralph Napierski. Apparently Napierski has a history of posing as a Catholic bishop, though Spiegel isn't quite sure what to make of him, debating whether he's "a joker, a church critic or simply an eccentric with strong leanings toward esotericism." Napierski's history includes: Claiming to be the leader of the "Catholic Order Corpus Dei" (a non-existent order, but perhaps a play on…
A levitating computer mouse?
Posted by The Curator on Thu Mar 07, 2013
This levitating computer mouse (aka "The Bat") is listed as a product in the "testing period and research" phase on the site of Kibardin Design. But it's raising a few skeptical eyebrows. Not that it wouldn't be possible to build a levitating mouse, but io9 notes, "to us it looks a little like someone took a Microsoft Arc Mouse, fixed it to a plastic ring, and added a few aesthetic details with the help of some carefully applied modeling clay and a couple coats of Krylon." The Microsoft Arc Mouse Even if it is real, what would be the point of a levitating mouse? The Kibardin Design…
Categories: Technology Comments (1)
Bonsai Kitten—The Book
Posted by The Curator on Thu Mar 07, 2013
Remember Bonsai Kittens — the hoax about growing kittens in a jar? It seems that they've finally made their way from the internet into print, serving as the title for Lakshmi Narayan's new novel. I would have expected that a novel titled "Bonsai Kitten" would be a work of gross-out fiction aimed at young men. But not so! Narayan was inspired by the idea of a Bonsai Kitten to write a work of serious literary fiction about the struggles of young brides in Indian society. Here's the book description on Amazon: "I'm nothing but a bonsai kitten!" thought Divya despairingly. Bonsai kitten — a pervert's contention…
Categories: Books Comments (1)
Miniature Amityville Horror house
Posted by The Curator on Wed Mar 06, 2013
Artist Tracey Snelling has created an installation which she calls Last House on the Left. It consists of 4 miniature houses from horror films (The Birds, Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, and the Amityville Horror. It's the Amityville Horror Dutch Colonial that caught my eye. If I ever did have a brick-and-mortar hoax museum, it would make a great addition! Snelling's miniature houses feature sound effects as well as tiny LCDs that play clips from the films when you look through the windows. The installation is currently on exhibit at the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art. The Stark Insider blog has posted a video of the…
Categories: Art, Paranormal Comments (0)
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