The Museum of Hoaxes
hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive
The damp spot that hoaxed a city, 1912
Paul Krassner's Stereophonic Hoax, 1960
The Nazi Air Marker Hoax, 1942
Brief History of Triple-Decker Buses
Mule elected G.O.P. committeeman, 1938
The Cradle of the Deep, a literary hoax, 1929
Fake Photos of Very Large Animals
Jean Gauntt, the Immortal Baby, 1939
Taco Bells buys the Liberty Bell, 1996
Iceberg floats into Sydney Harbor, 1978
The Taj Mahal is Sinking
Apparently it's because the original architects didn't factor in the weight of all the tourists who visit it.

Well, no. Not really. According to the BBC, the real reason is that, "The building's foundations require a steady stream of moisture from the Yamuna River to retain its strength - but the river is slowly drying up." But the headline immediately reminded me of the urban legend of the sinking library.

Categories: Places, Urban Legends
Posted by The Curator on Tue Mar 13, 2012
Comments (3)
I wish they would explain this better. It would seem to me that a building's foundation's flooding would cause a tilting problem rather than it drying out doing so. But I'm not a structural engineer. Is this typical for buildings or is the Taj Mahal unique?
Posted by hoaxinghal  on  Thu Mar 15, 2012  at  05:33 AM
Well, according to the various reports I've seen, the building has wooden foundations that require a certain moisture level. If they get too dry, then they turn brittle. I'm not sure how exactly that is balanced against the wood rotting from the moisture, however.

I'd expect the ground settling due to water receding and leaving voids behind to be a problem, too, but maybe it's not.
Posted by Accipiter  on  Sat Mar 17, 2012  at  12:03 AM
Subsidence is caused by the ground drying below the foundation, it is actually more common a problem than moisture damage. India in particular is experiencing terrible subsidence as a result of the so-called "green revolution"-- massive irregation is draining the land, which in turn is sinking.
Posted by andychrist  in  NYC  on  Sun Mar 18, 2012  at  12:41 PM
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