The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Hoax Museum Blog
Hoaxes, mischief, and misinformation throughout history
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The Gallery of Fake Viral Images
The Cradle of the Deep, a literary hoax, 1929
Life discovered on the moon, 1835

Rare planetary alignment decreases gravity, 1976
The Hitler Diary Hoax, 1983
Princess Caraboo, servant girl who became a princess, 1817
The most sacred relic: the Holy Foreskin, circa 800 AD
The Stone-Age Tasaday Hoax, 1971
Burger King's Left-Handed Whopper Hoax, 1998
Taco Bells buys the Liberty Bell, 1996
The Log Ness Monster
Posted by The Curator on Wed Sep 25, 2013
While walking his dog, Patrick Cramer snapped a photo of something monster-like floating down the River Clwyd in North Wales. He concedes that it's probably just "a strangely-shaped log." But adds, "it could be the famed Rhuddlan River Monster." The Daily Post has a video of the thing floating downstream.
Categories: Nessie Comments (1)
Guardrail Speed Cameras
Posted by The Curator on Wed Sep 25, 2013
The Louisiana State Police want everyone to know that they don't have speed cameras installed in guardrails along the highways. They say that a picture circulating online showing a speed camera disguised inside a guardrail is the "latest and greatest urban legend." The thing is, it's not quite an urban legend, because these evil guardrail speed cameras do exist. Or rather, there are existing traffic-monitoring systems that include speed detectors in guardrails, while a camera further down the road takes a picture of the car. But so far, these systems have only shown up on European roads, not American ones. Here's a link to a PDF about the "Traffic-Observer Type...
Categories: Technology Comments (0)
Blood-Drizzler Moles Detected
Posted by The Curator on Tue Sep 24, 2013
News dispatch from Crazyland: the Nairobi Mall massacre is all a hoax! Sure, you may see images of blood-soaked people in the news, but that's all the work of "blood-drizzler moles" squirting each other with fake blood. Oh, and the whole thing is a Zionist plot. That goes without saying. Nairobi Hoax Blood-Drizzler Moles Detected Alternative News Network The eyes do not fail those with discerning vision. Let there be no doubt about it, like Sandy Hook and the Boston smoke bombing hoax, the Nairobi Mall Massacre, as the Israelis would like this to be known, too, is a Zionist hoax. Regardless, how is this man a true gunshot victim? How could he be bleeding to this degree and still be standing upright?...
Categories: Conspiracy Theories Comments (2)
iPhones are not waterproof.
Posted by The Curator on Tue Sep 24, 2013
Apple released the iOS 7 update for iPhones last week, and pranksters (allegedly from 4chan) set to work creating a series of spoof ads claiming the update made iPhones waterproof. Update to iOS 7 and become waterproof. In an emergency, a smart-switch will shut off the phone's power supply and corresponding components to prevent any damage to your iPhone's delicate circuitry. Needless to say, the iOS 7 update does not make the iPhone waterproof. It's not clear if anyone fell for the joke and tried dunking their iPhone in water. But a few people have been tweeting angry remarks about the hoax, such as, "Ok whoever said IOS7 is waterproof GO F*** YOURSELF". But it's hard to know if these tweeters are being serious, or just playing along with the joke. More info: ...
Categories: Technology Comments (0)
Hermeneutic Hoax
Posted by The Curator on Tue Sep 24, 2013
The most recent issue of the Romanian journal Metalurgia International contains an unusual article titled "Evaluation of Transformative Hermeneutic Heuristics for Processing Random Data." If that title doesn't make much sense to you, neither will the rest of the article. But that's intentional on the part of the authors, who submitted a nonsense article to the journal, which obligingly published it — apparently without bothering to read it first. The intent of the hoaxers (three professors at the University of Belgrade) was to "draw attention to the hyperproduction of quasi-scientific works by Serbian professors that are published in the magazines of dubious quality" as the website
Categories: Education, Science Comments (1)
Hoax Caller Imitates Sonia Gandhi
Posted by The Curator on Tue Sep 24, 2013
Indian papers are reporting that the attorney general of India, Goolam Vahanvati, recently received a series of calls from someone claiming to be Sonia Gandhi (President of the Congress), urging him to resign. But it wasn't actually Gandhi on the phone. It was a woman imitating her voice. Usually it's radio stations that are behind this kind of prank. But in this case, a senior member of the Indian congress is suspected to be the mastermind behind it. Hoax caller imitates Sonia Gandhi, government in a tizzy Times of India A hoax call from a PSU woman officer who convincingly sounded like Sonia Gandhi, an agitated attorney general of India who received that call and was convinced that a...
Categories: Politics Comments (0)
Snipe Hunting Kit
Posted by The Curator on Mon Sep 23, 2013
Star Bound magazine sells a Snipe Hunting Kit. For only $12.95 you get a Snipe Hunting Guide, a Snipe burlap bag, a Snipe permit (to be filled out by the catcher), and a flashlight for the catcher. It says that the guidebook includes a "harvest report." And, "If the harvest report is sent back to the Star Bound Magazine's office (called the Snipe Hunting Association in the guidebook) with the proper fee, we will send back a certificate that will certify the name on the report as having had their first Snipe hunt and was the one left holding the bag."
Categories: Animals Comments (0)
Cow Tipping Debunked Once Again
Posted by The Curator on Mon Sep 23, 2013
Cow tipping has been thoroughly debunked before, but Modern Farmer's recent article on the subject is interesting nevertheless. It emphasizes that cows are not easy animals to tip over because they've got a lot of mass, they're very stable on their feet, and they're difficult to sneak up on. To underscore how difficult it is to tip a cow, the author, Jake Swearingen, notes that farm vets often need to get a cow down on its side to perform a medical exam, and it's not easy to do. The process is called "cow casting." The vets use ropes and teams of highly-trained individuals, and often things still go badly wrong, as the video...
Categories: Animals, Pranks Comments (0)
Zimbabwe Witch Hoax
Posted by The Curator on Mon Sep 23, 2013
New Zimbabwe reports that two witches who crash-landed in a suburb of Harare — after flying around in their winnowing baskets, which is the preferred method of transportation of Zimbabwe witches — were not actually witches. It was all an "elaborate hoax." As part of their witch disguise, one of the women had an owl with her — apparently having an owl is a sure sign of being a witch in Zimbabwe — but this owl had been bought "from a man who captured it in a grinding mill building." The witch hoax was dreamed up by several "self-styled prophets" who talked the women into playing the part. The idea was that the prophets,...
Categories: Paranormal Comments (0)
Found on eBay: Genuine Leprechaun Hair
Posted by The Curator on Sat Sep 21, 2013
Said to have magical powers. Yours for $35.00. "This is 100% real hair."
Categories: eBay Comments (2)
Map of Bigfoot Sightings
Posted by The Curator on Fri Sep 20, 2013
Josh Stevens, a grad student at Pennsylvania State University, took 92 years of bigfoot sighting data, gathered by the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization, and put it on a map. That's 3313 sightings in all. It's an interesting visual, but even he's not sure what the map tells us, except that Bigfoot seems to be "thriving out west." It reminds me of a similar map that showed the "distribution of drop bears in Australia" that appeared in a Dec 2012 article in Australian Geographer. Is there a map of Elvis sightings? There is an Elvis Sighting Society, but no map that I'm aware of. Though in a post ...
Categories: Cryptozoology Comments (2)
The Bunny Ears Prank Revisited
Posted by The Curator on Fri Sep 20, 2013
Rugby player Manu Tuilagi recently apologized for making bunny ears behind David Cameron's head during a photo shoot outside of 10 Downing Street. Cameron replied, "No need to apologise, I know it was just a bit of fun." [espn scrum] This got me thinking again about the history of the Bunny Ears prank, a topic I last posted about back in 2006. How old is the Bunny Ears prank? Does it predate photography? Nobody knows. After a bit of searching online, the oldest example of making bunny ears that I could find is this 1944 World War II...
Categories: Pranks Comments (1)
It’s all about the magnets!
Posted by The Curator on Thu Sep 19, 2013
Sixty-two-year-old Andrew Abolafia claims to have built a "Static Field Converter" that extracts hidden energy from magnets — thereby staying true to the general rule that free-energy inventions almost always involve magnets in some way. Abolafia feels sure his invention will provide the solution to the world's need for energy, replacing our reliance on fossil fuels. But for some reason, the scientific community hasn't shown much interest. So Abolafia has been reduced to demonstrating his gizmo to local news reporters, hoping this will get the device the attention he believes it deserves. [wnyt.com]
Categories: Free Energy Comments (3)
A Brief History of Triple-Decker Buses
Posted by The Curator on Wed Sep 18, 2013
The first motorized double-decker buses were introduced in 1923, and it was only three years later, in 1926, that the first triple-decker bus went into operation, providing transportation to Berlin's Stettiner railway station. The next significant date in multi-level buses came in 1954, with the introduction of the double-decker Routemaster bus, which, painted red, became an iconic sight in London. And, inevitably, triple-decker versions soon followed. Nowadays triple-decker buses are becoming an increasingly common sight on highways and city streets, because they offer an efficient way to transport large numbers of people. And sightseers love them! For instance, in 2012, Intercity Coachlines introduced the first...
Categories: Photos/Videos Comments (0)
Real Simple Magazine
Posted by The Curator on Wed Sep 18, 2013
The Museum of Hoaxes got a nice little write-up in this month's issue of Real Simple magazine. I think they mentioned the "paranormal stuff" on the site (which, honestly, there isn't a huge amount of) because it's the October issue, and they were trying to tie it in with Halloween.
Categories: Miscellaneous Comments (1)
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