The Museum of Hoaxes
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Boy floats away in balloon, 2009
The Berners Street Hoax, 1810
Mule elected G.O.P. committeeman, 1938
A black lion: real or fake?
Cat that walked 3000 miles to find its owners, 1951
Cursed by Allah
The Cradle of the Deep, a literary hoax, 1929
Life discovered on the moon, 1835
Stotham, Massachusetts: the town that didn't exist, 1920
Sober Sue, the woman who never smiled, 1907
Still on Vacation!
image I don't know if these pictures are real, in the sense of whether they really show tourists sunning themselves while people try to clean up tsunami damage around them. Maybe the pictures were taken at some other time, in a totally different context. But they certainly look like tourists trying to act as if nothing happened while all around them is a wasteland. Unbelievable.
Categories: Photos/Videos
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jan 12, 2005
Comments (47)
The fatass drinking a beer says it all.
Posted by sbnature  in  sb ca  on  Wed Jan 12, 2005  at  03:32 PM
I've seen this in a number of news reports and it just seems so callous and unbelievable. I guess this is what folks are reduced to when they're too cheap to pay for the vacation insurance.
Posted by Rob  on  Wed Jan 12, 2005  at  03:35 PM
So. Big deal. Doctors, for example, eat, drink, (and possible even heaving love) next to a dead. You cannot be in such business if your skin is too thin.
Posted by Loxx  on  Wed Jan 12, 2005  at  03:52 PM
At first it seems horrible, but then again many of the devastated sites were tourist spots. If the tourists keep away it would hurt the areas even more economically.

O my god, look how fat these folks are? I think they are Europeans. And the Europeans call us Americans fat!
Posted by Gavin  in  USA  on  Wed Jan 12, 2005  at  04:02 PM
I can't believe anyone seriously believes these photos are real. Most of them are so obviously fake as to be laughable. I would have thought people reading a website called the Museum of Hoaxes would know better!
Posted by Veronica  in  MA, USA  on  Wed Jan 12, 2005  at  04:07 PM
A british reporter who hapened to be there at the time just 'relaxed' afterwards. He was on the phone to either BBC or ITV (can't remeber which) who said that when he saw it coming he had a quick search for his camera (being a reporter he knew how much it would be worth) but when he couldn't find it he ran for his son and ran at a right-angle to the wave and was carried about 10 metres. (This was one of the lesser hit areas.) He then went on to say that it almost spoilt his family holiday when, after traveling inland away from where the wave struck, they found a place to have a nice dinner and a hotel took them in, where they would stay until they could find somewhere else to go on holiday to.

NEVER underestimate the selfishness of people.
Posted by thunder  in  England  on  Wed Jan 12, 2005  at  04:37 PM
Although, the first image would be a hoax, for one thing it would be a shock to find one intact sunbed, let alone all the other stuff. And the second image, wouldn't there be some damage to the building those people are in?
A couple might be real though.
Posted by thunder  in  England  on  Wed Jan 12, 2005  at  04:41 PM
If these photos were faked, then: who benefits? Weight Watchers? Disney World? The Poor? Elvis Costello said: "I used to be disgusted- now I'm just amused". Well, I'm way past disgusted or amused. More like "untrusting and abused", these days. Yin and Yang, children, to every action, an equal and opposite reaction. Just cuz these turds don't care doesn't mean you don't have to.
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Wed Jan 12, 2005  at  05:32 PM
If these pictures are real, I can think of two possible explanations:
(a) The people are relief workers taking a well-earned rest after a long day of digging bodies out of the wreckage, or
(b) The people are callous jerks.

In any case, the governments of some of the hard-hit countries are begging tourists to come back as soon as possible because they need the tourist dollars (or tourist euros or tourist yen or whatever) to finance some of the reconstruction they will have to do.
Posted by Big Gary C  in  Dallas, Texas  on  Wed Jan 12, 2005  at  05:34 PM
This is a program by the Thai Tourism people. They are afraid people will associate their beaches with the tsunami. They want to let tourists know it's safe and they want people to come back. It's all for the $$$
Posted by Nick  on  Wed Jan 12, 2005  at  05:36 PM
It could be that these people are just taking a well-deserved break. Or maybe they're doing their bit to help the economy by spending money. But still, I'd feel mighty uncomfortable sunning myself on a beach while people wearing gasmasks are picking up wreckage around me.
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Wed Jan 12, 2005  at  05:46 PM
There has been a news report about this in New Zealand. People ARE going back to the beaches while workers are cleaning up around them.
I couldn't sit there while that was happening, but the places hit need these people. There $$ is everything.
Posted by Matt  on  Wed Jan 12, 2005  at  05:50 PM
Of course all of us that are condemning these tourists have all donated large sums of money and are at this minute on a plane to go help, right.
It's possible that the tsunami washed away all their belongings leaving them with their speedos and nothing else, and because the water is all contaminated the only safe thing to drink is beer.
There is a better explanation, its a hoax and we all have given our stamp of approval in a way by logging on to the link.
Posted by Oscar  on  Wed Jan 12, 2005  at  06:01 PM
I believe all those photos are real. The top photo was featured here in the Sunday Mail, the Adelaide South Australia news paper. And that was a week ago, a couple days after the tsunami happened...so the photos aren't that new.
Posted by Elizabeth A.  in  Australia  on  Wed Jan 12, 2005  at  07:11 PM
"I'd feel mighty uncomfortable sunning myself on a beach while people wearing gasmasks are picking up wreckage around me."

Personally, I'd feel pretty UNSAFE lounging on a beach that was apparently so contaminated that people nearby were wearing gas masks or dust masks.
Not to mention all the things on the beach I might step on.
Posted by Big Gary C  in  Dallas, Texas  on  Wed Jan 12, 2005  at  08:12 PM
I like the bottom picture of the worker-lady sneering at the guy with the sunscreen.
Posted by Katey  on  Wed Jan 12, 2005  at  09:41 PM
Alright that fatass in the ball-kini Speedo needs to stop slothing around the sand and get into the water, pronto. He could be used as a floation device by people wishing to access areas still submerged. Sorry to be cruel, but really, this guy is setting himself up for ridicule by showing so much of himself like that.
He's so gross, I think his navel has actually become distended from all that fat pushing against it...
ew!
Oh, & disclaimers before you slag me:
1. Granted I am not there helping, but I have donated $ & am holding weekly fundraisers benefitting tsumani victims for the month of January.
2. I am excercising daily to prevent myself from looking hellishly slothlike like the aforementioned human hot air balloon.
Thank you.
Posted by Electra  on  Wed Jan 12, 2005  at  10:23 PM
All the pictures look suspect, but if you can't tell that first one is fake then you seriously SERIOUSLY need an eye exam.
Posted by myron  on  Wed Jan 12, 2005  at  10:23 PM
these look photoshopped to me
Posted by Jenny  on  Thu Jan 13, 2005  at  01:20 AM
I have actually seen a couple of stories on Oz tv with very clear pics of folks on the beach relaxing not long afterwards.

Apparantly because its the Northern Winter, its full of Europeans etc... Thats why the Swedish have such a heavy toll.

I still find it hard to imagine wanting to relax and have fun in a place so horribly devastated.
But it is true that tourism is the lifeblood of these people affected (in most cases). How do you help?
Posted by Alice  in  Western Australia  on  Thu Jan 13, 2005  at  03:33 AM
PS. I just had this horrible thought that tose group of men are likely to be on a sex tour, depending where they are!

I know it sounds terrible, but I know Aussie men who go to Thai just for the sex...

Urghhh!
Posted by Alice  in  Australia  on  Thu Jan 13, 2005  at  03:57 AM
Yes life goes on in the tourism industry.

USAToday has an AP article about the Asian governments urging tourists to come back.
http://www.usatoday.com/travel/destinations/2005-01-04-asia-tourism_x.htm?POE=TRVISVA

New York Daily News (I don't know much about this news agency so I am unsure how reliable it is) has an article about some of the tourists behavior right after the tsunami.
http://www.nydailynews.com/front/story/266958p-228627c.html

And finally a couple of pictures (from Reuters) showing sunbather's on Patong beach, Thailand, four days after a tsunami hit the area, on December 30, 2004. There are pictures on this page as well. It is graphics intensive, sorry about that, if you have dial-up be prepared for a wait.
http://worknplay.co.kr/Blogs/?bId=sophia&pSn=458&pName=View
Posted by Myst  on  Thu Jan 13, 2005  at  04:11 AM
Oops! That should have read "There are other pictures on this page as well."
Posted by Myst  on  Thu Jan 13, 2005  at  04:44 AM
THe first picture was in aussie papers not long ago which makes me think its real
Posted by ash_1050  on  Thu Jan 13, 2005  at  07:19 AM
photos being in newspapers mean nothing,

http://www.mg.co.za/Content/l3.asp?cg=BreakingNews-National&ao=177678


especially when there is breaking news, as in the article above papers will be quick to jump at breaking stories
Posted by Alex  in  South Africa  on  Thu Jan 13, 2005  at  09:41 AM
The BBC news also carried a story (TV news) about the tourists who ventured back onto the beach to sunbathe in the days after the Tsunami (inlcuding an interview), IIRC.

I can't find the exact page on the website, but read the first paragraph or so here; http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4137633.stm
Posted by aw  on  Thu Jan 13, 2005  at  01:12 PM
What kind of beer containers are in picture three? Heineken bottom and Lite top? Not necessarily hoax related, but I've never seen one.
Posted by Tyler  on  Thu Jan 13, 2005  at  01:49 PM
Tyler, thats most likely a beer cooler (foamlike usually) covering the bottle.
Posted by sbnature  in  sb ca  on  Thu Jan 13, 2005  at  03:11 PM
Although newspapers ran the first picture (the fat man in the Speedo) as and example of callous western tourists, the German press actually tracked the man down (he is a Swiss national who was on holiday when the tsunami hit). It turns out he was helping the relief effort and the picture was snapped as he was taking a break from those efforts and having a drink from a bottle a local brought him. He was ticked to have been portrayed as a callous tourist when the opposite was true. This difference between reality and imagination is what makes hoaxes work, and it sells newspapers too!
Posted by Sam  in  Delaware  on  Thu Jan 13, 2005  at  04:34 PM
THEY ARE PHOTOSHOPPED.

Look at the first picture. See the guy off to the left under the trees, what is that thing setting on his right shoulder?

Now look at the 5th photo in the sequence. Notice the distorted pixels around the relief worker's yellow helmets. This one is a very crude photoshop job. Also notice that the "relief workers" are walking toward the camera, as are the couple coming down the beach behind them (one in an all orange outfit and one in an all white outfit). This couple has moved toward the camera in the second picture in the sequence, but the "relief workers" are not in the previous picture at all = even though they appear to be walking toward the camera. They would be in the first picture if they were actually walking down the same beach.

It's a bad photoshop manipulation, about on par with what you see posted on http://www.strangecosmos.com
Posted by ohplease  on  Fri Jan 14, 2005  at  01:37 AM
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