The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Hoax Museum Blog
Hoaxes, mischief, and misinformation throughout history
Holy Cheesecake
Posted by The Curator on Fri Dec 27, 2013
A family in Scottsdale, Arizona recently made a cheesecake. As it was cooling off it, it cracked in the shape of a cross. The reporter for azcentral.com asks: "Is this a simple crust cracking or is this actually Jesus Christ coming back and showing support for this family's religious beliefs?" Um. I guess I'll choose option A. My wife (the cook in the family) says it cracked because they didn't make it right. If you overbeat the batter, you'll get too much air in it, which can cause the cracking. The family decided not to eat the holy cheesecake. Instead, they hope to sell it and donate…
Categories: Pareidolia Comments (3)
Saved by the Myth of Poisonous Poinsettias
Posted by The Curator on Thu Dec 26, 2013
According to a decaces-old urban legend, the leaves of poinsettias (aka the Christmas Plant) are extremely toxic, and can be fatal if ingested. But the reality is that poinsettias aren't toxic at all. They're not edible, but if you do eat them the worst that will happen is you'll get an upset stomach. You're not going to die. One of the most thorough debunkings of the "poisonous poinsettia" legend can be found in a Nov. 1996 article in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine: "Poinsettia exposures have good outcomes... just as we thought." The authors of the study reviewed 22,793 cases of poinsettia exposure reported to health care…
Categories: Urban Legends Comments (2)
Depressed Yeti
Posted by The Curator on Thu Dec 26, 2013
Source: "All My Friends are Dead" 2014 Wall Calendar, by Avery Monsen and Jory John.
Categories: Cryptozoology Comments (3)
Jennifer Aniston Gets A Buzzcut
Posted by The Curator on Thu Dec 26, 2013
April 1, 2013 — the site Daily Makeover (which describes itself as "Hairstyles, Makeup and Cosmetics Inspiration") posted a photo of Jennifer Aniston with a buzzcut. The site claimed that Aniston had cut off her hair for a role in a film and quoted her as saying, "My character gets to this really broken point, and [director] Daniel [Schechter] and I thought it would make her more realistic." But actually, the photo was the site's April Fool joke. It had doctored an image of Aniston (below) taken while she was attending the 2006 premiere of Friends with Money. But demonstrating the adage that on the…
Heltheo’s McCoy Home Health Tablet
Posted by The Curator on Tue Dec 24, 2013
"According to prosecutors, Leventhal told potential investors that his company, Neovision USA, Inc., had written agreements with Health Canada to provide it with "Heltheo's McCoy Home Health Tablet," a device that could quickly deliver detailed patient data to doctors. The device, prosecutors said, was apparently named after the fictional character Dr. Leonard McCoy from Star Trek." Man pleads guilty in multimillion-dollar Star Trek-inspired fraud The Vancouver Sun An Illinois man pleaded guilty Monday in New York to fraud in connection with a multimillion-dollar scheme that duped investors into thinking that he had a lucrative contract with the Canadian government to provide a medical device named after the doctor in the television and movie…
Categories: Scams Comments (0)
The Turbo-encabulator
Posted by The Curator on Tue Dec 24, 2013
The invention of the Turbo-encabulator has long been considered to be one of the great technological achievements of the 20th century. More info at wikipedia.
Categories: Technology Comments (0)
Male vs. Female MMA hoax
Posted by The Curator on Mon Dec 23, 2013
Mixed martial arts organization Shooto Brazil recently announced a man vs. woman fight: Emerson Falcao would fight Juliana Velasquez in a three-round bantamweight clash. But then Shooto revealed that the fight wasn't going to happen. It was all a hoax, designed to focus attention on the issue of violence against women and show Shooto's support of Brazil's "Lei Maria da Penha" anti-domestic-violence law. A member of the Brazilian athletic commission explained: "There’s no way a man should fight a woman. This is being done only to show the society the importance of ‘Lei Maria da Penha.’ You can’t have a man beating a woman in a sport, so it shouldn’t happen anywhere.…
Categories: Sports Comments (0)
Chicago Minstrel Show Hoax
Posted by The Curator on Mon Dec 23, 2013
Chicago news outlets recently received a press release from one "Harry Slater," who claimed to be an AP English teacher and "dean of dramatic and movement arts" at Community High School District 94 in West Chicago. The release said that the school's Glee Club was going to be staging a charity minstrel show in order to "start a conversation about racial representation and stereotypes." Proceeds from the show would be donated to the school's Multicultural Sensitivity Club. But when the school began receiving calls from people seeking more info about this show, it was exposed as a hoax. The true author of the release was a local artist, Jason Pallas, who had been participating…
Categories: Art Comments (0)
Slightly haunted house for sale
Posted by The Curator on Mon Dec 23, 2013
A house for sale in Dunmore, PA is getting lots of buzz (and multiple offers) because its owner has described it as "slightly haunted" in the real estate listing. Built in 1901, this Victorian home in the Hollywood section of Dunmore features 1850 sf of living space with an additional 1350 sf of partially finished space. Original hardwood floors throughout entire home. 4 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms. Off-street parking. Freshly painted. New moulding throughout entire first floor. Slightly haunted. Nothing serious, though. e.g. The sounds of phantom footsteps. A strange knocking sound followed by a very quiet (hardly noticeable, even) scream at 3:13am, maybe once a week. Twice a week, tops. And the occasional…
Categories: Paranormal Comments (0)
Santa’s Identity Revealed
Posted by The Curator on Sun Dec 22, 2013
Currently trending online is this set of pictures showing a chocolate rabbit inside a St. Nicholas wrapper. The photos are accompanied by captions such as "Santa's identity revealed" or "an unexpected plot twist": Is this a case of a chocolate manufacturer repackaging chocolate Easter bunnies for the Christmas market? No. The images actually come from a Dutch ad campaign designed to promote awareness of Alzheimer's disease. The original ad includes a third image showing the chocolate rabbit more fully unwrapped, revealing a message that says "Alzheimer's patients are coping with this feeling daily." Or, in the original Dutch, "Met dit gevoel hebben Alzheimerpatienten dagelijks te kampen." The…
Dog finds way home after 8 years
Posted by The Curator on Sat Dec 21, 2013
"Junior"The Reid family lost Junior, their Jack Russell terrier, in 2005. He went out to "go potty" and never returned. (Evidently the Reid family didn't have an enclosed backyard). Eight years later, Junior showed up at the bottom of their driveway. They knew it was him because he was still wearing the same collar and tags. They're calling his return a miracle. [myfox8.com] Something's not right with this story. As Doubtful News says, "Is this the whole story? Is it really the same dog? Confusing." I can think of some possible explanations, though who knows what the truth really is: 1) Eight years ago, someone took…
Categories: Animals Comments (0)
Cow on hood of car
Posted by The Curator on Sat Dec 21, 2013
This image of a cow lying on the hood of a BMW began circulating online around January 2013. At first, the image didn't attract much attention. It circulated with captions such as ""Got Milk!", "Fail Safe Auto Alarm," and "The Ground Is Lava. LOL". But on Nov 18, 2013, the Surrey Roads Police department posted the image on its twitter account accompanied by the message: "Remember as days get colder animals are attracted to the warmth of cars so check wheel arches or other hiding places." This launched the image into the viral stratosphere, as it was soon…
Categories: Photos/Videos Comments (0)
Bigfoot on the toilet
Posted by The Curator on Fri Dec 20, 2013
For the Bigfoot collector who already has everything... but this. Or for someone who has a Bigfoot-themed bathroom. Available on etsy. It comes as a print of an "original oil and digital painting." Though it would be better if it were a velvet painting.
Categories: Art, Cryptozoology Comments (0)
Wanted: Imposter to study at Harvard
Posted by The Curator on Fri Dec 20, 2013
Four days ago an ad appeared on Craigslist (Pittsburgh) seeking someone to take their place at Harvard in return for $40,000/year. The ad has since been removed, but screenshots of it are still floating around the web: You must have either a 4.0 GPA in high school, or a 3.5 or higher GPA from a university to get hired for this. Your age does not matter, but you must be a male since I have a male name. I am looking for someone to attend Harvard University pretending to be me for four years, starting August 2014. I will pay for your tuition, books, housing, transportation,…
Categories: Identity/Imposters Comments (0)
Acme Worm Bouncer
Posted by The Curator on Fri Dec 20, 2013
Great name. Lousy product. Acme Worm Bouncer was widely advertised in the 1920s and 30s, with guarantees that it would quickly free farm animals of "blood-sucking, profit-stealing parasites." But the stuff was actually mostly charcoal. Governmental authorities eventually filed suit against Acme Feeds, Inc., the company that made the stuff, charging them with "misleading representations regarding its efficacy." [via The Quack Doctor] Misbranding of Acme Worm Bouncer. U.S. v. 5 Bags of Acme Worm Bouncer. Default decree of condemnation and destruction. The labeling of this product bore false and misleading representations regarding its efficacy in the conditions indicated below. On February 2, 1940, the United States…
Categories: Health/Medicine Comments (0)
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