The Museum of Hoaxes
hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive
 
Snowball the Monster Cat, 2000
The Cottingley Fairies, 1917
What do the lines on Solo cups mean?
The Instant Color TV Hoax, 1962
BMW's April Fool's Day Hoaxes
Samsung invents the on/off switch
Bizarre pictographs of Emmanuel Domenech, 1860
Rachael Ray cooks her family and her dog
Boy floats away in balloon, 2009
The Hoaxing Hitchhiker, 1941
A Global Warming Hoax from 1874
I periodically receive emails from people who insist I need to add global warming to the site because it's the "biggest hoax in human history." I don't agree with that. Actually, I think global warming is something that definitely merits being worried about. However, I did just add a global warming hoax to the hoax archive, which might make the global-warming-is-a-hoax crowd happy. Except that this hoax occurred in 1874.

It's a story that appeared in U.S. newspapers in February 1874. The premise was that scientists had discovered the earth was getting hotter and hotter. Europe was predicted to be tropical in 12 years, and soon after that the planet would become too hot to support life. The cause of this warming wasn't carbon emissions, but rather the recent laying of transatlantic telegraph cables, which were supposedly acting like giant electromagnets, pulling the earth into the sun.

This was a very minor nineteenth-century hoax. It didn't generate much interest at the time because it was pretty far-fetched. But it's more interesting to us today because of its depiction of man-made global warming. In fact, I suspect it may be the earliest fictional portrayal of global warming caused by man's technology. At least, I can't find any earlier examples.

The full article about the hoax is in the hoax archive. I've redirected comments there to avoid having duplicate threads.

Categories: Death, Journalism, Science
Posted by The Curator on Mon May 21, 2012
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