The Museum of Hoaxes
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Prof. Wingard's Death Ray Hoax, 1876
The disumbrationist art hoax, 1924
Cursed by Allah
Loch Ness Monster Hoaxes
The Cottingley Fairies, 1917
Rare planetary alignment decreases gravity, 1976
A black lion: real or fake?
war of the worlds
The night Martians invaded New Jersey, 1938
The Hoaxing Hitchhiker, 1941
The Stone-Age Tasaday Hoax, 1971
Insomniac Ukrainian
Here's another example of why Ananova is so widely known as a credible source for news. The title of this latest journalistic gem: Ukrainian hasn't slept in 20 years. The article describes Fyodor Nesterchuk who just stays up reading while everybody else sleeps. The local doctor claims he has "examined Nesterchuk extensively" and can't find anything wrong with him, except for the fact that the guy never sleeps. Although I don't believe for a second that this guy has really gone for twenty years without even taking a nap, I have read articles speculating that in the future scientists might be able to eliminate, at a genetic level, our need for sleep. There's an interesting science-fiction novel, Beggars in Spain, that explores this concept.
Categories: Science
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jan 27, 2005
Comments (29)
Every time someone tries for the World's Record for staying away, usually for some charity, there are attending doctors to monitor the individual. After a few days, five or six I think, the individual begins going into a delusional state and having psycotic attacks of various sorts. In other words, staying awake for more than a couple days can drive you CRAZY. The individuals recover their sanity once they have caught up on sleep, I have never heard of any of these people going insane and having to be treated but I imagine that if you kept at it long enough, serious damage would happen. And as far as people who "recharge" still dying, just remember that everyone who ate carrots in 1873 is dead. Coincidence? Pass the beans please.
Posted by Christopher Cole  in  Tucson, AZ  on  Sat Jan 29, 2005  at  03:20 PM
I too read an article on that family. Aparently 25% of the family eventually gets the disease and dies around their 20's or 30's. The disease has never been seen in anyone other than their family. A family member with the disease one day just doesn't feel tired and is unable to sleep. Eventually they just die because their body won't let them sleep. Studies on this family are probably the best guess at how long a person can go without sleep before they die of exhaustion. Aparently, the members of this family who have not died suffer from stress related disorders. It makes sense. I'm sure every night when they are just having a little bout of insomnia they must panic that they will never sleep again.

Personally, my longest was about 55 hours during traveling back from a trip from germany. I was standing in a line at the detroit airport during my 6 hour layover and i was trying to read the big letters on my ticket that said "Detroit" and I couldn't read it. Then everything went black and I just dropped. I was ok, I just slept in the 4-5 hours to san diego and then another 10 when i got home and I was back to normal.
Posted by Razela  in  Chicago, IL  on  Sun Jan 30, 2005  at  02:06 PM
I seem to remember reading about some stupid prank a DJ did to stay up as long as possible, and it was about 11 days before he passed out. My boyfriend sleeps very little--3-4 hours a night, and he's still smarter than me. After I go about 18 hours without sleep, I start to get completely incoherant. raspberry

Last I heard, the jury's still out on exactly WHY we need to sleep. It was previously believed to be a time for the brain to rest, but the brain remains active--more active than it is during some of our waking hours (watching tv, for example)--so that can't be right. Your body can be refreshed/refueled while you are still awake, as well.
Posted by James D  on  Sun Jan 30, 2005  at  04:18 PM
Fatal Insomia

Fatal Familial Insomia is the disease you were referring to.

There is another type of Fatal Insomnia that is caused by Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

Sounds horrible either way. *shudder*
Posted by Lane_Meyer  in  USA!!!  on  Mon Jan 31, 2005  at  08:15 PM
Hey... "Lane Meyer" was the name of John Cusack's character in the film "Better Off Dead". I love that flick.
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Mon Jan 31, 2005  at  08:22 PM
Regarding sleep: My husband has sleep apnea. When he was finally tested they found he was never really reaching REM sleep. The sleep specialist we went to for the diagnosis told Erik that if he hadn't come in to be treated, the doctor felt he would have had a stroke by age 30. (He was 26 when diagnosed and now sleeps with a CPAP machine.) So, if according to the Dr. Erik would have had a stroke, I really don't see how it is possible that people could survive for so long without sleep.
Posted by Winona  on  Thu Feb 03, 2005  at  10:04 AM
That's odd. I fall asleep within minutes of listening to REM. Shiny, Nappy People, indeed
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Thu Feb 03, 2005  at  10:25 AM
Eleven days? I've stayed up for 27 days on only water and a mixture of amphetamine, methamphetamine and opium. It was a great time and I have yet to beat my 27 day record, but I'm very determined.

By the way, ever since this month-long adventure with no sleep I have been unable to fall asleep soundly at night. I suffer from horrible insomnia and am lucky to fall asleep at all..Most of the time I end up staying up so late that I just force myself to stay awake since it's already so close to morning..

But when I do manage to fall asleep, I sleep for a VERY long time. I missed Sunday completely because of this problem ;(

I slept for probably 22 of the 25 hours I was in bed. I woke up and found it almost impossible to get myself out of bed, if I didn't crawl to my back-pack and grab that Ephedrine I'd probably still be in bed.
Posted by xun  in  Las Vegas, NV  on  Mon Feb 14, 2005  at  12:08 PM
MY BS detector just broek off of that comment xun
Posted by JJmires  on  Mon May 09, 2005  at  04:03 PM
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