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Sex/Romance
A picture of a Wolverine toy with an unfortunately positioned blow-up valve has been doing the rounds. It's another case of satire mistaken as news. The picture originated on the satire site christwire.org, under the headline "Marvel Now Promotes Gay Agenda With Wolverine Toy."

But once the image got loose on the web, its satirical origin was lost. Thus, the confusion.

Categories: Photos/Videos, Sex/Romance
Posted by Alex on Fri Mar 20, 2009
Comments (11)
It's hard to tell how much of this story is genuine. Stuart Slann supposedly learned the hard way part of the truth of the old joke that on the internet the men are men, the women are men, and the children are FBI agents. In Stuart's case, Emma, the woman he thought he met on Facebook, was actually two guys playing an elaborate prank on him. Apparently they lured him into driving nine hours to meet Emma in Aberdeen, and then they revealed the truth to him.

And since this is the age of YouTube, the pranksters also created a video (now widely viewed) to celebrate the humiliation of their victim.
Categories: Pranks, Sex/Romance, Social Networking Sites
Posted by Alex on Tue Feb 17, 2009
Comments (6)
First there was Shoe Corner (the place in New Jersey where shoes kept mysteriously getting dumped); next there was Pantyhose Corner in Massachusetts. Now we have Dildo Boulevard. That's the name that's been given to the street in Darwin, Australia where 30 sex toys were inexplicably found lying in the road. Where did they come from? Nobody knows:

One theory is that it is an elaborate - and expensive - practical joke. Another school of thought is that they fell off the back of a delivery truck. Some said the sex toys could have been inside somebody's rubbish bin, and fell onto the street on Thursday night when the garbage was collected.
Categories: Places, Sex/Romance
Posted by Alex on Mon Feb 09, 2009
Comments (4)
A new study published in Psychological Science reveals that women are far more skilled at faking romantic interest than men. The experiment involved a speed-dating session. Observers were asked to guess how the men and women felt about each other. Turns out it was easy to guess how the men felt, but no one had a clue how the women felt. The researchers could have simply asked any average guy who would have told them that, most of the time, we have no clue what women are thinking. That's the feminine mystique. Link: Chicago Tribune.
Categories: Psychology, Science, Sex/Romance
Posted by Alex on Tue Feb 03, 2009
Comments (3)
The Curse of Oprah Winfrey has struck again. The Curse is that anyone who appears on her show to tell about their painful yet inspiring personal history, later is revealed to be completely full of BS. People who make multiple appearances on her show are even more likely to be struck by the curse.

The latest flap is that Herman Rosenblat and his wife, who claimed to have met when he was a child in the Buchenwald concentration camp and she was a town girl who would throw food over the fence for him, made up their tale of young romance. The truth is that they first met on a blind date in New York. Rosenblat's publisher has canceled his forthcoming book, The Angel at the Fence.

I think skeptics have questioned the Rosenblat's story for a while. After all, how could a young girl possibly get close enough to the fence of Buchenwald to throw food over it? Yeah, he was in a sub-camp. But even so, it doesn't make sense.

As my wife and I were watching this story on the evening news, she asked why people like the Rosenblats don't simply publish their stories as fiction. After all, no one is denying that they're good stories and might make a great book. The answer, I guess, is that if you call a story true it has a lot more emotional power than if you call it fiction. So the Rosenblats (and other fake memoirists) are basically using a cheap trick to manipulate the emotions of readers and attract more attention to their books.

Links: BBC News, Telegraph. (Thanks to everyone who emailed me about this.)
Categories: Literature/Language, Sex/Romance
Posted by Alex on Tue Dec 30, 2008
Comments (37)
Apparently in Las Vegas pretty much anyone can get a license to perform weddings -- Elvis impersonators, faux Liberaces, etc. -- except atheists. The rules are that in order to get a license you need to have ties to a congregation. The congregation can be as small as two people. But still, that's the rule. If you're not willing to lie and invent some kind of pseudo-religion that you're a member of, as atheist Michael Jacobson was unwilling to do, then you're barred from performing weddings.

Seems like a clear entanglement of church and state to me. Here in San Diego anyone is allowed to be registered to perform weddings for a day. No religious affiliation is required. So my sister was able to sign up as the "minister" and conduct the ceremony for me and my wife.

Link: Chicago Tribune
Categories: Sex/Romance
Posted by Alex on Mon Dec 15, 2008
Comments (19)
Here's the claim, with accompanying picture:



ASU Track Team Convinces George W. Bush to Give the Shocker. For those of you who don't know what The Shocker is, Wikipedia explains:

The shocker is a hand gesture with a sexual connotation. The ring finger and thumb are curled or bent down while the other fingers are extended. The index and middle fingers are kept together (touching) and the back of the hand faces outwards (away from the gesturer). The gesture refers to the act of inserting the index and middle fingers into a vagina and the little finger into the unwitting anus, hence the "shock". Because of its explicit sexual connotation, the shocker is sometimes considered vulgar. Occasionally, the thumb may be positioned so that it may stimulate the clitoris. Mnemonic rhymes are used in order to remember its meaning, including "two in the pink, one in the stink."

True? I don't think so. Yes, there is a hand gesture known as the Shocker. And yes, that's Bush with the ASU Track Team displaying a gesture that resembles the shocker. But everyone (well, almost everyone) in the picture has their index and middle finger spaced apart, which makes the gesture "the pitchfork," which is the sign of the ASU Sun Devils.

Categories: Pranks, Sex/Romance
Posted by Alex on Thu Nov 13, 2008
Comments (7)
Problem: the Cleveland Bay, the breed of horse used to pull the Queen's Royal carriage, was dying out. Solution: a fake horse dressed in PVC clothing which is being used to seduce the few stallions that remain. The fake horse is named "Doris."

"The scientists who designed and built Doris quickly discovered her partner - much like certain humans - performed better if she wore PVC." That's another factoid to add to my ever-growing fund of useless trivia.
Categories: Animals, Sex/Romance
Posted by Alex on Wed Sep 17, 2008
Comments (3)
Bidding ended today on eBay Australia for an "EMPTY CONDOM PACKET & A PHOTO OF 'THE TART'S' KNICKERS." The winning bid was US $303.00.

The story was that a woman was selling a picture of black lacy underwear she had found in her bed after catching her husband having an affair. From Reuters:

The woman says she returned from work after receiving a romantic text message from her husband of 22 years that was clearly misdirected to find him at home watching a DVD and discouraging her from entering their bedroom. In the room she found the empty condom wrapper under his pillow and "the Tart's knickers ... at the foot of the bed." The woman said this was not her last sale on eBay.
She says her husband's Harley motorcycle is "the next item that will probably be sold on eBay at a start price of 99c and, of course, with no reserve!"

Cranky Media Guy asks, "Why do I suspect that this woman's story is not entirely true?" And as I've noted before, "A good story, whether true or not, can sell anything."
Categories: eBay, Sex/Romance
Posted by Alex on Mon Aug 18, 2008
Comments (9)
The internet was already home to dogcondoms.com, which I posted about back in 2005. But for someone out there, one version of the joke was not enough, because there is now also doggycondoms.com (registered in May 2008).

It's the exact same joke, just more elaborately fleshed out.

It looks like it's the creation of the humor website DailyContempt.com, which is also responsible for a slew of other hoax sites including (but not limited to) puppybeef.com, puppyprofits.com, and childtrader.com (which I posted about a few months ago).
Categories: Animals, Sex/Romance, Websites
Posted by Alex on Fri Aug 08, 2008
Comments (1)
That's the claim recently made by the Italian paper La Stampa, as reported in The Telegraph:
According to yesterday's front page of La Stampa, an article entitled "The Lunch Time Swingers" suggests an estimated 500,000 Italian couples are swapping partners at private sex clubs. Thousands more are taking part in the activity in a more informal fashion, doing it in car parks, specially designated beaches, and even cemeteries. The article said wife swapping had increased everywhere "at a rate that makes you dizzy", primarily thanks to the internet... While 500,000 members meet in 200 private clubs across the country to swap, they believe that figure is only the start, and the real figure is closer to two million, a quarter of Italy's eight million sexually active citizens.

Their source for this information is "a Rome-based body called The International Federation for the Protection of Rights and Freedom, or Federsex, for short."

I can't find any information about this organization, nor about how it might have obtained these figures. My suspicion is that it pulled them out of thin air.

Sexual behavior lends itself to wild rumors. For instance, back in 2003 the British media worked itself into a lather over the idea that there was a "Dogging" craze sweeping the country, which involved people having sex in public places. And what about the 2006 report from the Japan Family Planning Association which claimed that 7.9% of Japanese men aged 40-45 were virgins?
Categories: Sex/Romance
Posted by Alex on Wed Aug 06, 2008
Comments (5)
Female fans of Lord Byron would often send him locks of their hair. In return he would send them a lock of his own. But a new book claims that what Byron often sent was a lock of fur from his pet newfoundland dog Boatswain. From Times Online:

John Murray VII, chairman of his family’s publishing house, which was founded in 1768 and worked with Byron, said the story had been passed down through the generations. Murray said the fans to whom Byron sent the hair would have been under the impression that it was his, “but it sometimes belonged to his beloved dog Boatswain. Byron was devoted to Boatswain and to send the women his hair was his little joke”.

Apparently many of these locks of Byron's hair still survive, but it doesn't sound as if anyone has tested them to determine what species they come from. (via Legends & Rumors)
Categories: Literature/Language, Sex/Romance
Posted by Alex on Sun Jun 22, 2008
Comments (5)
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