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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Birth/Babies
The Woman Who Gave Birth to a Frog
Posted by The Curator on Sun Jun 27, 2004
The BBC is reporting that a woman in Iran has given birth to a frog. Doctors are speculating that a frog larva somehow got into her uterus while she was swimming, and then grew inside her to a full-sized frog. That seems very unlikely to me. What would a frog feed on inside a person's body? Wouldn't the frog suffocate? Actually, the brief article seems a bit ambiguous on whether it's definitely a frog that came out of her, or if it's a baby that looks rather frog-like. Either way, this case immediately reminded me of Mary Toft, the 18th-century English woman who gave birth to rabbits. Of course, Mary Toft didn't really give birth to…
Categories: Birth/Babies Comments (14)
Clueless Childless Couple Follow-Up
Posted by The Curator on Sat Jun 26, 2004
Back in May I posted an entry about a German couple who went to a fertility clinic to find out why they couldn't produce a child. The reason: they hadn't realized that you first have to have sex in order to get pregnant. Supposedly they both came from very religious backgrounds and had never been taught about the birds and the bees. The clinic was said to be planning to conduct a survey to find out if there were other similarly clueless couples out there. This story was widely reported in the news, even though it seemed a little far-fetched, to say the least. At the time I noted that a case kind of like this…
Categories: Birth/Babies, Sex/Romance Comments (0)
The Power of Prayer
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jun 11, 2004
Back in October 2001 the prestigious Journal of Reproductive Medicine published an article titled "Does Prayer Influence the Success of in Vitro Fertilization–Embryo Transfer?" (the journal appears to have removed this article from its server). The apparent answer to the question posed in the title was 'Yes!' In other words, empirical research appeared to demonstrate that praying could help infertile women conceive. So tough luck if you were an infertile atheist. But a recent article in The Observer reveals that this prayer study was nothing more than a sham. The author of the article, Daniel Wirth, is a serial con-artist, now living under house arrest in California, who possesses no scientific credentials whatsoever. It boggles the mind why…
Woman Performs C-Section, on herself
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jun 07, 2004
This story just seems wrong on so many levels... Four years ago a 40-year old Mexican woman, alone in the middle of Nowhere, is giving birth to a baby. Her husband is getting drunk at the local cantina. She's been in labor twelve hours, and the baby isn't coming out. So she reaches over, grabs a butcher knife, slices open her stomach, reaches inside her uterus and pulls out her baby boy. Miraculously both her and the baby survive. When I read this story, it triggered all kinds of hoax alarm bells in my mind. How could anyone possibly do that, I thought. Wouldn't she have passed out from the pain? What about infection? Isn't it a little…
Categories: Birth/Babies Comments (7)
Clueless Childless Couple
Posted by The Curator on Sun May 23, 2004
Last week the British Daily Mirror printed a story about a particularly clueless German couple. As the article put it: "Fertility doctors were baffled when a perfectly-healthy couple claimed they couldn't have children - until they confessed they had never made love. The husband, 36, and his 32-year-old wife thought that all they had to do to make a baby was to lie next to each other and let nature take its course." This story got picked up by wire services, and soon was being linked to all over the internet. But was there actually any truth to the story? The snopes website, skeptical of the story, pointed out that…
Categories: Birth/Babies, Sex/Romance Comments (1)
Angel Soft Baby With Gaping Wound
Posted by The Curator on Thu May 06, 2004
Here's your chance to bid on a rare collectible item: an unopened 24-pack of Angel Soft toilet paper that shows the baby sporting a gaping flesh wound. The seller suggests it's a manufacturer's misprint. Or maybe the toilet paper is cursed (the seller didn't suggest this, but he should have, since everyone knows that demonically possessed items sell like hotcakes on eBay) . It could be like those photographs in The Omen that foretold how people were going to die. Whatever it is, misprint or mark of the devil, the wound seems a little hoaxy to me, though I suppose…
Categories: Birth/Babies, eBay Comments (1)
Petition to Stop the Godsend Institute
Posted by The Curator on Sun Apr 18, 2004
I talked about the Godsend Institute (the website of a cloning lab that's really a promo for an upcoming movie of the same name) a few days ago. I said that I really didn't think the site was that convincing. But maybe others have been fooled by it because someone started an online petition to ban the Godsend Institute. Of course, I'm not above suspecting that the petition was started by the movie studio itself as a way to generate faux controversy. This was a favorite ploy of P.T. Barnum. Back in 1835 he was exhibiting Joice Heth, an elderly black woman whom he claimed was the 161-year-old former nurse of George Washington. When attendance at the…
Godsend Institute, and other movie sites
Posted by The Curator on Thu Apr 15, 2004
A few people have written to me about the Godsend Institute, which is supposedly a Massachusetts fertility clinic that offers human cloning as an option for its patients. Its website is quite slick and well produced, but the Godsend Institute is, of course, not real. The site is part of the advertising campaign for the upcoming movie Godsend starring Robert De Niro. Wired published an article about this yesterday. Ever since the Blair Witch Project succeeded in creating such a buzz five years ago with its companion website, movie studios have sought to repeat this trick by creating sites that try to convince websurfers that their fictional characters…
Fake pregnancy
Posted by The Curator on Mon Mar 29, 2004
Maya-Anne Mays was living the good life. She had a couple paying her rent, buying her meals, and giving her money. Why? Because the couple thought she was pregnant, and they were going to adopt her baby. But it turned out Mays wasn't pregnant... just overweight. She had managed to pass a pregnancy test by taking the test soon after having a miscarriage. The couple finally wised up and forced her to take another test, which she failed.
Categories: Birth/Babies Comments (1)
Mobile Phone Birth Control
Posted by The Curator on Thu Mar 18, 2004
This one had me going for a while before I figured out it was a joke. The EETimes reports on a small Belgian company called Prophy-Lectric that has developed a cellphone add-on, dubbed the Nippit 3000. This remarkable device "projects a high-intensity ultra-sonic electromagnetic 'sound cone' that is inaudible to the human ear but fatal to any sperm cell within a range of six meters, or about 18 feet." In other words, just place it next to the bed during moments of intimacy, and that's all the birth control you need. As an added benefit, the high-pitched sound also keeps the dog away. I've noticed that quite a few websites have linked to this story without any acknowledgment…
Clone Number Six
Posted by The Curator on Thu Feb 12, 2004
Clonaid now claims that it has created its sixth human clone, in the form of a baby boy born in Sydney last week. Once again, no evidence of any kind was provided to back up this claim. You're just supposed to take their word for it. And come on! They seem like an extremely credible bunch, don't they?
Categories: Birth/Babies Comments (5)
Eat Babies
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jan 28, 2004
Discover all kinds of recipes for cooking and eating babies at eatbabies.com. For instance, you might want to try baby soup or baby stir fry. The site is plastered with warnings announcing that it's all just a joke (I guess they must have got complaints), but I suppose it'll still attract criticism from people who think it might provide sick and twisted individuals with bad ideas. Personally, I think the site would have been funnier if it had provided recipes for eating the babies of poor people, thus playing off of Jonathan Swift's classic work, A Modest Proposal. (Thanks to Antonia for the link).
Categories: Birth/Babies, Gross, Websites Comments (5)
Raeling Cloning Hoax, One Year Later
Posted by The Curator on Thu Oct 16, 2003
Remember the Raelians and their claims that they've produced a number of human clones? Well, this reporter infiltrated their ranks and writes that the Raelians are now all chuckling about what a brilliant publicity stunt the cloning hoax was.
Categories: Birth/Babies Comments (0)
Male Lactation
Posted by The Curator on Tue Oct 14, 2003
Here's an odd website, forwarded to me by Mara. It's titled Milkmen: Fathers Who Breastfeed. Now, when I first saw this I figured it had to be a joke. It surely can't be possible for men to lactate and produce enough milk to feed an infant. But after reading through the site, and exploring some of the links it provides, I'm beginning to suspect it might not be a joke. One of their links goes to this article about a man from Sri Lanka who breastfed his child after his wife died. I guess men do have all the physical equipment necessary to produce milk. It's just a question of…
Categories: Birth/Babies Comments (13)
Black-Market Babies
Posted by The Curator on Sat Sep 20, 2003
Black Market Babies: Do you want a kid but don't want to deal with the stress of using an adoption agency? Let Black Market Babies steal a baby for you.
Categories: Birth/Babies, Websites Comments (0)
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