The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Hoax Museum Blog
Hoaxes, mischief, and misinformation throughout history
Do sharks dislike the taste of human flesh?
Posted by The Curator on Wed Dec 18, 2013
Dr. Daniel Bucher, a shark expert at Southern Cross University, says that the notion they do is just a myth. So if you have a pet shark, go ahead and feed them fresh filet-o-human. Oh no ... sharks DO like the taste of human flesh The Logan Reporter According to Southern Cross University shark expert Dr Daniel Bucher it is not true sharks don't like the taste of human flesh. He said there was no evidence to support this claim, which he believed gained acceptance to allay people's fears of shark attack. "Normally they eat fish, but they don't mind red meat if they can get it," he said.…
Categories: Animals Comments (1)
The Myth of Holiday Suicide
Posted by The Curator on Tue Dec 17, 2013
According to urban legend, the holiday season sees a spike in suicides. But Scientific American notes that November and December actually have the lowest rates of suicide. The reason is perhaps because "The increased emotional and social support during holiday time temporarily dims the feelings of despair and anguish for many depressed children and adults." But unfortunately the holiday lull is followed by a peak of suicides in the Spring: "As winter thaws into spring, there is the hope for renewal that if not delivered can set into motion agitation and despair."
Categories: Death, Urban Legends Comments (0)
Have you lost a jackalope?
Posted by The Curator on Tue Dec 17, 2013
Police in Edmonton recently launched a pinterest page on which they display "unique" lost and stolen items they've acquired. If anyone recognizes an item as their former possession, and can provide "specific details" that identify it, they'll be reunited with it. One of the items is the mounted head of a jackalope. I wonder what kind of specific details they need to identify this? I could say that it enjoys whiskey and is sometimes called the "warrior rabbit." But I don't think that's what they're looking for.
Categories: Folklore/Tall Tales Comments (2)
The War on Christmas! Looks like some people are taking seriously this spoof National Report article about a 9-year-old kid being suspended for wishing his atheist teacher a Merry Christmas. National Report is one of the many satirical news sites that are now online. Although you have to search its site for a while before finding its disclaimer ("National Report is a news and political satire web publication"), because they don't post it on the bottom of every page, which can easily lead people to believe its stories are real.
Categories: Religion Comments (1)
Christmas Tinner Update
Posted by The Curator on Mon Dec 16, 2013
Thanks to "anonymous" who posted a comment to my recent post about "Christmas Tinner" (the entire Christmas day meal in a tin), alerting me to this video in which "steviejacko" has a can of the stuff, opens it up, and eats it. This suggests that, at the very least, someone created a prototype of this product. In the youtube comments, steviejacko says: "The one shop where it is available in basingstoke is sold out, it was done as a trial to see how much interest there was, it wont be available now for 2 weeks and even then it will be pretty scarce."
Categories: Food Comments (1)
Santa in Kinky Boots
Posted by The Curator on Mon Dec 16, 2013
Macy's decision to include the cast of the broadway musical Kinky Boots in its Thanksgiving Day parade was criticized by some conservative groups — since Kinky Boots features drag queens, and (so the conservatives argued) this made it inappropriate for the children watching the parade. But instead of being repentant, Macy's seemed to be doubling-down on its support of Kinky Boots when a flyer started to circulate online announcing that Macy's would be having an event in its kids department hosted by a Santa in kinky boots: "Bring your whole family to see Santa wearing a glittery addition to his traditional outfit!" Both Harvey Fierstein (who stars in Kinky…
Categories: Pranks Comments (0)
Bottled Fresh Air
Posted by The Curator on Sun Dec 15, 2013
DUPÉ sells bottled fresh air, as well as other products such as bottled moon light, positive thoughts, and "eco-friendly little rays of sunshine." The site (and storefront) were part of a spoof campaign launched a few months ago by Yarra Valley Water, providers of tap water to the Melbourne area. If you try to buy any of DUPÉ's fresh air, you get a message telling you: "Buying bottled air doesn't make sense. It's just like buying bottled water." (Thanks to Patty on WU for the heads up about…
Categories: Websites Comments (2)
Witchdoctor Protest
Posted by The Curator on Sun Dec 15, 2013
A unique way to express frustration at having been conned: Man conned by fake witchdoctor protests in the nude standardmedia.co.ke KENYA: A middle-aged man, in his desperate attempt to stage a one-man protest, stripped in Mlolongo town. This was after it dawned on him that a fake witchdoctor had conned him Sh25,000. The long protracted mid-morning drama left shocked onlookers wagging their tongues... The money was for some concoction, which he was to collect later and smear it at the door of his shop to attract customers. The initially tickled male spectators began feeling embarrassed at the nakedness of the man. They pleaded with him to dress up, and told…
Categories: Scams Comments (0)
Snow-Covered Sphinx
Posted by The Curator on Sat Dec 14, 2013
Photos of the Sphinx covered in snow have recently gone viral, on the heels of reports of the first snowfall in Cairo for 112 years. These photos haven't been digitally manipulated. However, they don't show THE Sphinx in Egypt covered in snow. Instead, what they show is a miniature model of the Sphinx located in the Tobu World Square theme park in Japan. The theme park has miniature models of many other famous attractions from around the world. (You can actually see the Eiffel Tower poking up behind the pyramid in the bottom photo.) Here's a photo that shows just how small the Tobu…
Categories: Photos/Videos Comments (2)
Posing with Mandela
Posted by The Curator on Sat Dec 14, 2013
The Mandela-themed hoaxes continue. Kenyan senator Mike Sonko recently posted to his facebook page a photo of himself posing with Nelson Mandela. It's such an awful photoshop job, that it's hardly even worth debunking. Still, for what it's worth, the original image that he doctored was one of Mandela posing with Muhammad Ali. [telegraph.co.uk]
Categories: Photos/Videos Comments (0)
Empty Force
Posted by The Curator on Sat Dec 14, 2013
Wikipedia defines the martial arts technique of Empty Force as "the expression of force without making physical contact." This technique claims to harness the power of qi, the "body's vital energy", enabling masters of the art to defend themselves against opponents without making physical contact. However, "Some proponents of martial arts are skeptical about demonstrations of empty force and dismiss them as tricks." Recently a Finnish empty-force master, Jukka Lampila, gave a demonstration in Barcelona. So some skeptics decided to put his claims to the test. So basically, empty force works brilliantly as a method of self defense, as long…
Categories: Body Manipulation, Scams Comments (1)
Fake Mandela Corpse Photo
Posted by The Curator on Fri Dec 13, 2013
On Thursday, an image purporting to be a death photo of Nelson Mandela began circulating online. The photo — a greenish-tinged shot of Mandela with his eyes closed — was originally posted on twitter by someone with the username @nQOW_bee. IOL news reported: "In between tweets about the sign language interpreter at Nelson Mandela’s memorial at FNB Stadium on Tuesday, which is her sexiest body part, and how she can’t stick to a healthy diet, she posted a picture of Mandela with the words 'He is resting'." The image was soon retweeted, but in response to a massive negative response, the twitter user subsequently…
Categories: Death, Photos/Videos Comments (0)
Squirrel Meat For Sale
Posted by The Curator on Thu Dec 12, 2013
These North Omaha homeowners keep signs outside their home advertising fresh meat (squirrel, raccoon, fish, etc.). But no one seems to have ever bought the meat. So are they really selling it? Or are the signs just there to give their home a little curb appeal? Health Officials Worry Rabbit And Squirrel Meat Are Being Sold Illegally kptm.com Fish, raccoon, and squirrel are now on the menu, but who's buying it? "It hasn't come from a USDA approved plant to where it's been processed properly, stamped and inspected," Gaube said. Neighbors said the homeowners have lived there for years and the signs have been there just as long. "They're really…
Categories: Food Comments (0)
Fake Sign Language Guy
Posted by The Curator on Thu Dec 12, 2013
It doesn't seem that the 'fake sign language guy' (Thamsanqa Jantjie) at Mandela's memorial service was a prankster, as some speculated. Instead, it looks like he was a poorly qualified guy who cracked under the pressure and started signing nonsense. Or perhaps he was communicating with extraterrestrials. From the BBC: the man's signing seemed to have no grammatical base and kept repeating sign patterns when it was clear that the speaker was not using repetitive words. UK deaf news blog The Limping Chicken said the sign language interpreter had a "strange repetitive rhythm to his movements", and "the structure of his hand and body movements…
Categories: Literature/Language Comments (0)
Naked Came the Post-Postmodernist
Posted by The Curator on Tue Dec 10, 2013
I doubt that the 1969 "Naked Came The Stranger" literary hoax was the first collaborative novel, but it certainly popularized the genre, inspiring a long line of homages, all of which nod to the original by including the phrase "Naked Came The..." in their title. Examples include Naked Came the Manatee, Naked Came the Phoenix, and Naked Came the Sasquatch. The latest one is "Naked Came the Post-Postmodernist," which is a collaborative novel by 13 undergraduate students at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, N.Y. The idea to create the novel was the idea of their writing teacher, Melvin Bukiet. [newsobserver.com] The plot summarized:…
Categories: Comments (0)
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