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 Category
Websites
Pie in Santa's Face
"A 22-year-old University of Montana student was charged with assault Friday for shoving a pumpkin pie into Santa Claus’ face at a shopping mall while a teen sat on his lap."

Save the Park
Four students in the UK created a hoax website as a social experiment to test the influence of the media. Their website, savethepark.co.uk, claimed there were plans to build a 220,000 tonne waste incineration plant in a South London park. Within a few weeks their site had received thousands of hits, and they had been contacted by a newspaper. They claim that their experiment, "showed how rumours can spread and how easy it is to get information out there that isn't true." But also that, "we are still a community and we can still stand together."

Venezuelan Toilet Paper Shortage
"Venezuelans have been buying large amounts of toilet paper on rumours it could be the next hard-to-find thing amid shortages of products like milk and meat."

Death by Cell Phone Report Disputed
It turns out that the death of a South Korean man was not due to an exploding cell phone, as many media outlets recently reported. Instead, police are attributing the death to a co-worker who backed into him with a drilling vehicle, and then tried to frame the cell phone. (Thanks, Joe)
Categories: Death, Pranks, Technology, Urban Legends, Websites
Posted by Alex on Mon Dec 03, 2007
Comments (4)
Back in 1994 Linda Katz created a website which she named the Prairie Tumbleweed Farm. At the time it was just a joke. She didn't really have a tumbleweed farm. She had dreamed it up as something to do while teaching herself web design. But it turned out that there really are people out there who want to order tumbleweeds. For instance, movie studios or people hosting wild-west parties. And they started to place orders for tumbleweeds with Linda. Now, according to Yahoo! News, Linda is earning over $40,000 a year selling tumblweeds. I find this quite inspirational, and I've been racking my brains trying to think of ways to duplicate her success. But the only idea I've been able to come up with so far is to start a San Diego Street Trash Farm. I don't think it would enjoy the same success. (Thanks to Cranky Media Guy for the link).
Categories: Business/Finance, Websites
Posted by Alex on Thu Nov 29, 2007
Comments (8)
Hungarian plastic surgeon Dr. Lajos Nagy offers all the usual services at his clinic. You can get a breast enlargement, a nose job, liposuction, etc. But he also offers a rather unusual service: music faun surgery. He'll make your ears pointed so that you look like a music faun. His website, modernplasztika.co.hu, states:
A newfangled extravagance is spreading amongst the music-lover youngsters of New York, which, after invading America, is sure to conquer the whole world. Ears becoming pointed as a result of plastic surgery not only enhance the attractiveness of the face, but also improve the experience of listening to music. A sign of the popularity of this operation is that in big cities so-called Faun-Clubs are founded one after another, where entrance is only allowed with pointed ears. The reverberating success of this new look is supported by more and more celebrities with pointed ears, amongst whom we can find not only musicians, but, for example, models, as well.

Here's the description of what the procedure involves:
The procedure itself means a very careful dissection of the structures at the upper pole of the earlobe. The required reshaping is achieved by modellation of a specially designed chondro-cutaneous flap (a flap containing the own cartilage and skin of the patient). The new shape is fixed by means of absorbable sutures, skin closure is made with unabsorbable uninterrupted sutures.

I think the post-operative pictures on Nagy's site look like people wearing fake ears, so my hunch is that music-faun surgery is a joke. However, I wouldn't be willing to state this definitively. After all, there definitely are people who get surgery to make their ears pointed.

However, Dr. Nagy's site is registered to smartworks.hu, a Hungarian graphics studio, which makes me feel pretty sure that neither Dr. Nagy, nor his music-faun surgery, are real. The site is probably some kind of art project.
Categories: Body Manipulation, Websites
Posted by Alex on Tue Oct 30, 2007
Comments (19)
Racelift.com is the online home of the Institute of Ethnological and Racial Modification. The staff at the institute claim to have developed powerful new "Racelift Technologies" that allow you to change your race. For instance, among their testimonials is that of Hohepa Mikhailov, who transformed from what looks like a Russian sailor into a New Zealand Maori. His testimonial reads:
When I was studying and living with the Native Maori culture of New Zealand, I found it hard to relate because I would always be an outsider to them. I got my RaceLift in order to gain an insiders perspective of the Maori culture. The IERM surgeons were even able to apply the traditional Maori tattoo's on my face at no extra charge! Thank you Dr. John!
The site is pretty obviously a joke. If the dodgy science doesn't give away the joke, then the numerous spelling and grammatical mistakes throughout the site should. (Thanks, Oz)
Categories: Body Manipulation, Websites
Posted by Alex on Thu Oct 11, 2007
Comments (7)
The website for Porthemmet Beach advertises that it is the best beach in Cornwall. It also claims that it's the only beach in the UK to allow topless sunbathing. So how does one find this beach? These are the directions on the website:
Porthemmet is very easy to get to from anywhere in Cornwall. Head north up the A30 until you see the signs. They are very clear, you can't miss it! It should be noted that there is a private joke in Cornwall whereby locals will pretend to not know where Porthemmet Beach is. Don't be fooled, every Cornish person knows about this beach, they are just having some fun. Tell them that you are an "emmet" (someone that loves Cornwall, see below) and that "there'll be ell-up" (nothing to do) if they don't tell you.
Apparently in recent months tourists have been trying to find this idyllic beach. But with no luck, because the beach doesn't exist. It's the tongue-in-cheek creation of Jonty Haywood, a teacher from Truro. According to the BBC, if people were actually to follow the directions to Porthemmet, they'd find themselves leaving the county. In an interview with The Independent, Haywood explained why he created the hoax website:

"Although I would like to claim there is an important underlying point being made here, there isn't. Sending tourists off to find an imaginary beach is funny."

(Thanks to Sarah Hartwell, messybeast.com)
Categories: Places, Websites
Posted by Alex on Thu Sep 27, 2007
Comments (17)
A website called Is My Baby Gay offers to inform you of your child's sexual preferences for a fee of only $19.99. They direct customers to print out a circle on a piece of paper. You're then supposed to apply the tongue of your baby to the center of the circle for 15 seconds. You mail this piece of paper to the "Is My Baby Gay" testing center, and they promise to get back to you with an answer within two weeks. If they turn out to be wrong, they promise that they'll refund 150% of your purchase price.

At first I thought this had to be a joke, but apparently they really will take your money. They've set up a paypal payment system to do so. Which transforms this from a joke into something more like a scam. [Note: I didn't actually try to pay them anything, so perhaps at the last minute they decline to take your money... but somehow I doubt it.]

On their front page they've included a phrase which is apparently their legal escape clause: "Results are intended for entertainment purposes only."

I'd like to think that no one would actually take this site seriously and mail in their baby's saliva sample. But there's probably someone out there dumb enough to think this might be for real.

Even dumber would be someone knowing there is no such thing as a saliva test for sexual preference, but paying $19.99 anyway just for the fun of getting some bogus results.
Categories: Birth/Babies, Sex/Romance, Websites
Posted by Alex on Tue Sep 18, 2007
Comments (17)
image Bullet Proof Baby is an online store that claims to sell "all sorts of light weight heavily tested military standard body armor for babys and toddlers." For instance, it offers bullet-proof strollers, bullet-proof cribs, infants 'my first' gas mask, baby bomb blankets, toddler tasers, baby riot helmets, and ultra light kiddie riot shields. Here's the description for the baby flak jacket.
Smart multi-role protection for your baby in a style that is duplicated throughout the world. Velcro adjustable shoulders and side closures which allow a smooth comfortable fit for babies of any age. Bullet proof baby armor will protect your child from Ballistics, Knife, Spike, Syringe & Slash as well as bomb blasts to 400 m/s.

It's all a thinly disguised promotional site for the new Clive Owen movie, Shoot 'Em Up, as evidenced by the numerous ads for the movie throughout the site. If you actually try to order anything, you discover that it's all out of stock.
Categories: Birth/Babies, Military, Websites
Posted by Alex on Thu Sep 06, 2007
Comments (3)
imageMarryOurDaughter.com claims to be "an introduction service assisting those following the Biblical tradition of arranging marriages for their Daughters."

If you're in the market for a young bride, you can choose from a wide variety of choices. For instance, there's 14-year-old Kyra who:
likes the outdoors, more the open air of the beach or the desert than the woods. She would love to live somewhere away from it all. She is bright and funny and full of life and while she has little direct experience with the opposite sex we have made sure she is aware of everything she needs to know to be a good wife and mother.

Is this legal? Of course. As the site points out, "Within the United States girls can marry as young as 13 years old with parental permission, and the Bride Price is a custom of long standing, mentioned many times in the Bible, and as such is a protected religious practice."

Is the site for real? Of course it isn't. Signs that it's a hoax (in addition to the general ridiculousness of it):

a) the google ads. It's always a sure sign of a hoax when a site claiming to be a legitimate business has to stick google ads on its page. Though in this case, the owner of the site isn't even earning any money from the ads because google is only serving up public service ads.

b) The creator of the site used an anonymous proxy service to register it.

The site is loading very slowly, so you may not be able to access it. (Thanks to Farx for the link)
Categories: Sex/Romance, Websites
Posted by Alex on Tue Sep 04, 2007
Comments (38)
Newsgroper is a parody site full of fake celebrity blogs. To make sure that no one confuses its content with real news, it posts the warning "Fake Parody Blogs, Political Humor, Celebrity Satire, Funny Commentary" in the title bar of every page.

Apparently, this warning wasn't enough for MSNBC's Alex Johnson. In a piece about Michael Vick, he quoted from Newsgroper's fake Al Sharpton blog, presenting the following quotation as if it were something Sharpton really had said:
"If the police caught Brett Favre (a white quarterback for the Green Bay Packers) running a dolphin-fighting ring out of his pool, where dolphins with spears attached to their foreheads fought each other, would they bust him? Of course not," Sharpton wrote Tuesday on his personal blog.

Caught in the blunder, MSNBC quickly removed the quotation from the article and posted this correction:

image

To me, the self-serving correction is worse than the original mistake. The fake Al Sharpton blog isn't a hoax. A hoax is a deliberate deception. Since the Al Sharpton blog announces right in the title bar that it's a parody blog, it hardly counts as a hoax.

MSNBC should retract their correction, and admit they're victims of sloppy reporting, not of a hoax. (Thanks to Cranky Media Guy for the link.)
Categories: Journalism, Sports, Websites
Posted by Alex on Mon Aug 27, 2007
Comments (7)
Posters for Camp Okutta have recently been appearing in various Canadian cities. Camp Okutta is described as an adventure camp for kids. But in addition to normal activities such as hiking and games, kids also get a summer of "throwing grenades, shooting AK-47 assault rifles, and receiving minefield training — all for children aged eight through 12."

Some people have been so outraged by the signs that they've ripped them down. Sarah Heywood is one of these people. She told CBC News that, "I immediately thought, wow, this is real, this is happening, people are now actually providing these kinds of services and opportunities for people who actually allow their children to go and experience something like that here in Canada."

Actually, the posters are a marketing hoax designed by War Child Canada. The intention is to raise awareness about camps around the world training child soldiers.

Below is a video ad, posted on YouTube, for Camp Okutta. Also check out Camp Okutta's website.

This reminds me of an earlier (and still ongoing) ad campaign in a similar vein: The Coalition to Promote the Use of Child Soldiers.

Categories: Military, Websites
Posted by Alex on Wed Aug 22, 2007
Comments (10)
Meet Angie from Chernobyl. She's the biggest cat in the world. She belongs to Dr. Maricek, who's a radiation scientist. Angie's missing a gene that controls her growth. As a result, she just keeps growing and growing (and growing!). She currently weighs about 800 lbs and eats 60 lbs of food a day. Despite her size, Angie behaves like a normal cat, though she is extremely shy with people.

Angie's very cute (and looks a bit like my cat Boo), but if she ever curled up on someone's lap, I think the result would be a very flat human.

Thanks to Sarah of messybeast.com for the link. Sarah says, "With some dodgy photo-editing. I can't work out how this hasn't yet ended up in a chain email. Eat your heart out Snowball!"

image image image
Categories: Animals, Folklore/Tall Tales, Websites
Posted by Alex on Wed Aug 22, 2007
Comments (8)
I was unaware of this, but apparently a bunch of what appears to be previously-undiscovered photos of the attack at Pearl Harbor has been found. The article I'm linking to here (and the article IT links to) makes the claim that they aren't new at all, but are merely photos that have been around since the time of the attack, some altered to look new.

So, if this is a hoax, what's the point? Why would someone go to this length?

"New" Pearl Harbor photos a hoax?
Categories: Conspiracy Theories, Military, Websites
Posted by Cranky Media Guy on Thu Jul 05, 2007
Comments (6)
Page 5 of 25 pages ‹ First  < 3 4 5 6 7 >  Last ›