The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Hoax Museum Blog
Hoaxes, mischief, and misinformation throughout history
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Man flies by own lung power, 1934
The boy with the golden tooth, 1593
Fake Photos of Very Large Animals

war of the worlds
The night Martians invaded New Jersey, 1938
Life discovered on the moon, 1835
The Great Electric Sugar Swindle, 1884
The Society for Indecency to Naked Animals, 1959
Old-Time Photo Fakery, 1900 to 1919
The Sandpaper Test, 1960
The Case of the Vanishing Belly Button, 1964
Outhouse Springs Water
Posted by The Curator on Wed Aug 13, 2003
Stuart Elliott, in today's edition of his NY Times email newsletter, writes about a hoax product that recently became a real product. It goes by the name Outhouse Springs water. This brand of bottled water was dreamed up by an advertising agency that wanted to gauge how effective outdoor billboard ads could be. So they put 40 billboards advertising the fictitious Outhouse Springs Water up around Charleston, South Carolina. The billboards sported slogans such as "It's #1, not #2!" People definitely noticed the ads and actually started asking for the stuff at retailers. Demand became so intense that the ad agency eventually made a deal with a bottled-water company to produce a limited run of...
Categories: Advertising, Food Comments (0)
The Cesky Sen Hypermarket
Posted by The Curator on Tue Aug 12, 2003
How do people react when their expectations built up by advertising collide with reality? That was the question two Czech film students set out to answer. They flooded Czech media with advertisements for a new 'hypermarket'—Cesky sen— offering goods at rock-bottom prices. New TV sets for $19, for instance. Eager shoppers flooded to the hypermarket's address, shopping bags in hand, only to find a large empty scaffold bearing a banner fluttering aimlessly in the wind. (Story via Paul Farrington)
Categories: Advertising Comments (0)
When I do not know if it is a hoax or not
Posted by The Curator on Tue Aug 12, 2003
A frustrated visitor asks: "If you don't know whether it's real, or a hoax, then why in the world did you include it on this site of 'hoaxes'!" I assume they were referring to those pictures of the skinny models. Well, as vast as my knowledge is (note: sarcasm intended), sometimes I just don't know whether the weird things that pop up on the news or on the internet are real or false. But when I list things here, usually someone will write in with info that'll point the way towards the truth. That's the great thing about the internet. So to answer the question, I list things here even if I don't know if they're real or not, in order to find out what other people might know. But everything in...
Categories: Miscellaneous Comments (0)
Air Guitar For Sale
Posted by The Curator on Tue Aug 12, 2003
A brand new air guitar and drum set. Bid on it now at eBay.
Categories: eBay Comments (1)
They Captured ET
Posted by The Curator on Tue Aug 12, 2003
Talk about a pain in the neck. Photoshop has made this guy look a bit like a giraffe, or E.T. This photo has been circulating via email for a few months. It's usually titled 'They finally captured E.T." or some variation of that. I think it's fair to conclude that the neck and stomach of the man being led away by the police officer have been digitally enlarged. Note the boxy pixellation where the photoshopper cut-and-pasted to lengthen the neck: (thanks to Karen Robinson for sending this).
Categories: Photos/Videos Comments (2)
Gollum for Governor
Posted by The Curator on Mon Aug 11, 2003
Here's the latest entrant to the California recall election: Gollum, from Lord of the Rings. Considering the other candidates running, he just might have my vote.
Categories: Politics Comments (0)
Cherie Blair Dance Hit
Posted by The Curator on Mon Aug 11, 2003
A dance hit by Cherie Blair, wife of British Prime Minister Tony Blair, is taking the clubs by storm in Spain. Or, um, maybe not. (Thanks to Keith Brogan for emailing me about this). Update 8/14/03: According to this article, maybe it's not a hoax.
Categories: Politics Comments (0)
Win Toilet Paper
Posted by The Curator on Mon Aug 11, 2003
Enter the Win-Toilet-Paper sweepstakes, and the toilet-paper delivery man could soon be knocking on your door. I'm not sure if this is for real or not. I don't feel like supplying them with my email address to find out. Update: Apparently it's real. Strange, but real.
Buy Land on the Moon
Posted by The Curator on Sat Aug 09, 2003
Can you buy land on the moon? According to this website you can. It's the home on the internet of the Lunar Embassy, which claims that it is "the only company in the world to possess a legal basis and copyright for the sale of lunar, and other extraterrestrial property within the confines of our solar system." And if you believe that, then I've got a bridge to sell you. Their basis for this claim is that the UN Outer Space Treaty of 1967 forbid governments from owning extraterrestrial property, but it didn't mention anything about individuals or corporations! Ah Ha! Sounds like a clever loophole. Unfortunately this argument doesn't hold water, because individuals and corporations can...
Categories: Business/Finance, Places Comments (1)
More about the Time Traveler
Posted by The Curator on Sat Aug 09, 2003
A visitor, Dave Kaplan, has sent me some correspondence that he has had with Bob, the time traveler in search of a dimensional warp generator. Update: Another visitor has pointed out that Bob is not the first time traveler to have visited us. Three years ago a guy named John Titor made a big splash for a couple of months, before he mysteriously disappeared (he said he was returning to his own time). I guess John had a dimensional warp generator, whereas Bob doesn't.
Categories: Future/Time Comments (0)
How Californias recall election can erase the states deficit
Posted by The Curator on Fri Aug 08, 2003
A lot of people have been wondering whether this whole California recall election is some kind of hoax, what with candidates for governor such as Gary Coleman, Larry Flynt, and Angelyne. Well, it's no hoax. All it takes is $3500 and 65 signatures and anyone can announce their candidacy for governor. Personally I think people are failing to see the potential here to get rid of Gray Davis and solve our budget woes all in one fell swoop. Think about it. We've got a $35 billion deficit, and it costs $3500 to run for governor. So if the entire population of Los Angeles registered to run for governor, our deficit would be gone in an instant. Apparently we're already well on our way to achieving...
Categories: Politics Comments (0)
Too Skinny?
Posted by The Curator on Fri Aug 08, 2003
Here are some images that have been circulating around of anorexically skinny fashion models. Are these models actually this skinny, or have the images been touched up by someone trying to make the fashion industry look like a gallery of horrors? I'm not sure. (Warning: one of the images may not be considered safe for work, though it's no racier than what you'd find in your average issue of National Geographic).
Of Foxes, Turtles, and Ham
Posted by The Curator on Fri Aug 08, 2003
A Japanese newspaper scooped its rivals by revealing a serious environmental problem—that foxes were eating the eggs of the endangered loggerhead sea turtle. It even had pictures of the foxes eating the eggs. Until it turned out that the only reason the foxes were standing there by the eggs was because the cameramen had lured them there with ham.
Categories: Animals, Journalism Comments (0)
Crop Circle
Posted by The Curator on Fri Aug 08, 2003
A radio station admits to being the creator of a crop circle.
Categories: Crop Circles, Radio Comments (0)
More About the Mystery Time Traveler
Posted by The Curator on Thu Aug 07, 2003
David Emery, at About.com, has dug up some interesting clues about the time-travel spammer. He notes that an authentic mind warper generator was once offered for sale on eBay, as well as a Generation 4 Dimensional Warp Generator. Bidding on these items has closed. He also notes that there's speculation that the mystery spammer is a well-known, Woburn-based spammer named Robert Todino, since the mystery spammer states that he lives in the Woburn area. But someone who wrote to me claims to have talked to the time traveler on the phone and supports the theory that the guy is crazy as a loon.
Categories: Email Hoaxes, Future/Time Comments (0)
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All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.