The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Hoax Museum Blog
Hoaxes, mischief, and misinformation throughout history
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The Great Space Monkey Hoax, 1953
September Morn, the painting that shocked the censor, 1913
Actress who claimed she was kidnapped by puritans, 1950

Van Gogh's ear exhibited, 1935
Burger King's Left-Handed Whopper Hoax, 1998
Rachael Ray cooks her family and her dog
Use your left ear to detect lies
Tourist Guy 9/11 Hoax, Sep 2001
The Great Space Monkey Hoax, 1953
The Man-Eating Tree of Madagascar Hoax, 1874
The Snow Snake
Posted by The Curator on Wed Mar 05, 2014
The above photo has recently been circulating on social media purporting to show a "snow snake". A caption provides this warning: This is the deadly snow snake. It has bitten 3 people in the state of Ohio and one in Pennsylvania. It’s been spotted in other states. It comes out in the cold weather and at this time there is no cure for it's bite. One bite and your blood starts to freeze. Scientist are trying to find a cure. Your body temperature start to fall once bitten. Please stay clear if you have see it. Please forward this and try to save as many people as we can from this deadly snow snake. The usual skeptics are saying that the creature in the photo is really just a rubber snake,...
HUVr Board
Posted by The Curator on Wed Mar 05, 2014
On March 3 a video appeared online (with an accompanying website) announcing that a company had created an actual working hoverboard (aka HUVr Board), of the kind seen in the 1989 movie Back to the Future II, using antigravity technology. The video immediately went viral, with over 3 million views already on YouTube. As many have noted, the video is clearly fake. No one has created a working hoverboard. But it was an impressive fake. Especially noteworthy is the number of celebrities appearing in the video — including Christopher Lloyd, Moby, Tony Hawk, Terrel Owens, etc. Which raises the question: why did someone go to the considerable expense of creating this video? What's the...
Categories: Technology, Videos Comments (0)
Hairy Chest Sweater
Posted by The Curator on Sun Mar 02, 2014
On April 1, 2013, Internet commerce site Firebox.com released a new product — the 70s Hairy Chest Sweater. From the product description: What makes lumberjacks, 70s television stars and the giant Brown Bears of Alaska so irresistibly attractive to others? Simple. Their long, luxuriant chest hair. Sadly, the recent 'man-scaping' trend has led to an epidemic of people pedantically plucking their pecs. Oh, the humanity. Thankfully, we’ve found a solution (while you wait for your rug to regenerate). The 70s Hairy Chest Sweater. This 100% polyester sweater is almost guaranteed to increase your masculinity, virility and ability to chop wood. Pull it on to cover that embarrassing...
Categories: April Fools Day, Fashion Comments (0)
The Brooksville Monster, 1959
Posted by The Curator on Sun Mar 02, 2014
In June 1959, reports surfaced of a monster seen in the woodlands of Central Florida, near Brooksville, about forty miles north of Tampa. Witnesses described seeing a giant creature with glowing eyes that towered over 9-feet-tall and moved rapidly through the trees with massive strides. The creature was active at night. Monster hunters went out to search for it. Some of them were armed with guns, and a few claimed to have spotted it and took a shot at it, but no creature was bagged. The reports aroused the curiosity of two Tampa Tribune reporters, Harry Robarts and Bob Fellows, who decided to track down the monster. They camped out for a few nights in the woods around Brooksville, but...
Categories: Cryptozoology Comments (0)
Aurora From Space
Posted by The Curator on Fri Feb 28, 2014
On the night of Feb. 27, a geomagnetic storm caused Northern Lights to be visible in Europe at unusually low latitudes. And lots of photos of the lights soon began to appear online. So thanks to Marco for giving us a heads up about this fake image that's begun circulating, purporting to show the aurora from space (with some tweets claiming it's a photo taken from the International Space Station). The quick summary is that this isn't a photo at all. It's an artist's conception of what an aurora would look like from space. But as Marco points out, this isn't how an aurora would actually look like from space, since there's no atmosphere visible in the image (no clouds). And the aurora is...
Categories: Comments (4)
A Mistaken Lunatic
Posted by The Curator on Fri Feb 28, 2014
Since today is the first day of Error Day, this story seems appropriate. Assuming that the story was accurately reported, it demonstrates that the difference between sanity and insanity is often just a matter of context. The clipping comes from The Sydney Morning Herald - Dec 26, 1884. But I first saw the story over at Brian Chapman's Legends & Rumors blog. A correspondent of the Pall Mall Gazette writes: — "An Oxfordshire woman met with an experience a few days back which should act as a warning to intending visitors to lunatic asylums. The person in question journeyed to Littlemore, a village four miles distant from Oxford, where there is an asylum, with the intention of visiting a...
Categories: Health/Medicine Comments (0)
Operation Cat Nip Confusion
Posted by The Curator on Fri Feb 28, 2014
In August 2011, hundreds of cats were rescued during a hoarding case, and then a team of veterinary students volunteered their time to spay and neuter the cats in order to prepare them for adoption. A photo of this mass spaying/neutering event (named Operation Cat Nip) ran in the Gainesville Sun. But about a year later that same photo began appearing on Twitter, stripped of any explanatory context, and accompanied by the caption: "Retweet if you say NO to animal testing." The photo also had a watermark added, "Cause Animale Nord,"which is the name of a French animal welfare society. Thousands of people obediently retweeted the photo, many of them adding messages expressing their...
Categories: Animals, Photos/Videos Comments (2)
April Fool UFO Hoax
Posted by The Curator on Thu Feb 27, 2014
One problem is that the planned hoax is too late in the day. According to the rules of April Fool's Day, pranks have to be done before noon! If you do it after noon, then you become the fool. (Does no one care about the rules any more???) So it would be better to do this early in the morning on the 1st, rather than in the evening. RC Group Plans UFO Hoax A Group of RC enthusiasts plan a April Fools Day UFO hoax. This group of RC enthusiasts seem to have a secret plan to create an apocalyptic UFO doomsday hoax on April Fools Day. I not sure how long this big secret can be kept seeing that the entire plan is posted on their public forum. The group plans on getting as many people as than can...
Every day is Back to the Future Day!
Posted by The Curator on Thu Feb 27, 2014
A Tumblr blog titled "Today is the Day Marty McFly Went to the Future" posts a new photo every day, indicating that today is the day McFly arrives in the future, as indicated by the Delorean's onboard time monitor in Back to the Future Part II (1989). It's the latest take on the perennial return of Future Day (an ongoing internet prank in which people claim that the date of McFly's arrival is closer at hand than it really is). The actual date of McFly's arrival is October 21, 2015.
Celebrity Salami
Posted by The Curator on Thu Feb 27, 2014
A new website has many people slightly puzzled. It claims to be producing artisanal salamis made from lab-grown meat from celebrity tissue samples. So it's kind of like a celebrity version of Manbeef.com (from way back in 2001) — except that it's celebrity beef and the human meat is grown using in-vitro meat production. Salon.com got a response from "Kevin" on the BiteLabs team who explains that "the site is partly a commentary on food culture, the ethics of meat, and 'the way celebrity culture is consumed.'" So yes, it's a parody site. However, Kevin also insists that they do actually plan to make salami from celebrity meat. I'm not sure about the current state-of-the-art of...
Categories: Celebrities, Food, Websites Comments (1)
Error Day
Posted by The Curator on Tue Feb 25, 2014
The Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna is hosting a 3-day festival that will celebrate and explore the human propensity to screw up. They're calling it Error Day. Festivities begin on Feb. 28 and continue until Mar. 2. From the website for the event (which is mostly in Italian, but has a few pages in English): "Welcome errors, blunders, mistakes, miscarriages, misunderstandings, omissions, faults, failures, inaccuracies, misapprehensions, oversights, misprints, howlers, wrongs, gaffes, lapsuses, goofs, betrayals, fails, falls: here is humanity's true common denominator!"
Categories: Celebrations Comments (4)
Big Mango Disappears
Posted by The Curator on Tue Feb 25, 2014
The town of Bowen in Queensland, Australia is home to the world's largest mango statue. It's 33 feet tall, 26 feet wide, and weighs 7 tons. Yesterday, that mango went missing. Employees of the Bowen tourist information centre, adjacent to the statue, said they showed up for work and it was simply gone. CCTV footage revealed a mobile crane backing up to the statue in the night and taking off with it. Word quickly spread via social media of the missing mango. source: Twitter source: Facebook However, people quickly suspected that the mango heist might be a publicity stunt since no theft report was filed with the police. And sure enough, a chicken restaurant chain, Nando's, has now...
Categories: Advertising Comments (0)
The Buckhead Neighborhood Coalition Against Justin Bieber
Posted by The Curator on Tue Feb 25, 2014
After Justin Bieber reportedly looked at a few houses in the Buckhead community of Atlanta, Georgia, a group calling itself the Buckhead Neighborhood Coalition formed to protest him moving to the area. And since the media loves to cover anything related to Justin Bieber, the protest group was soon making headlines, reported on by the BBC, CNN, Daily Mail, Time, Atlanta Journal Constitution, etc. Harold White, leader of the group, told CNN: "We're concerned he'll bring the wrong type of element into a quiet, residential area. It is our position that a person with his means could certainly find a neighborhood more suited to his eclectic lifestyle." On its Facebook page, the group further...
Categories: Identity/Imposters Comments (0)
Loch Ness Chip Monster
Posted by The Curator on Mon Feb 24, 2014
Artist Prudence Straite makes works of art out of fish-and-chip shop food. Below is her version of the Loch Ness Monster. It's a chip monster, and it looks like the banks of the Loch are made from fried fish. [via Yahoo! News]
Categories: Nessie Comments (1)
New developments in afterlife communication
Posted by The Curator on Sun Feb 23, 2014
Some of the new developments include a device called the "soul phone," which is described as "an instrument that works like a telegraph through which people in spirit communicate." Also learn how to communicate with the dead via regular phones: "Brazilian researcher Sonia Rinaldi... has been helping people by making phone calls to the beyond since March 2001. The majority have been for parents who have lost their children. Sonia writes, 'With this technology controlled by the Beyond, the call is not from the Beyond. They enter our terrestrial phone calls.'" I guess that means you can talk to the dead on your iPhone. I wonder if there's an app for that? A lot of the other stuff at the...
Categories: Death, Paranormal Comments (1)
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All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.