The Hoax Museum Blog

Killer Whale Attacks Bear

Does this photo show a killer whale attacking a bear? No, it's just an April Fool photo hoax that's apparently still fooling some people.

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2015.   Comments (0)

Edward Mordake—A Mystery Solved

Edward Mordake is said to be an Englishman who was born with a second face on the back of his head — a face that eventually drove him mad. But was he a real person? I say no. I argue that he was actually the literary creation of the 19th-century poet Charles Lotin Hildreth. more…

Posted: Fri Apr 24, 2015.   Comments (2)

The Origin of the Word Canard

'Canard' is the French word for duck, but in both French and English it can also mean a false or absurd story. According to one theory, the word acquired this meaning on account of a 19th Century experiment involving cannibalistic ducks. But is this theory true, or is it itself a canard? more…

Posted: Tue Apr 21, 2015.   Comments (2)

Oomedoodle Bird

The Oomedoodle is a legless bird native to Australia. It is so named because of the distinctive cry it makes every time it lands on its exposed nether regions: "Oomedoodle! Oomedoodle!" They're said to be highly intelligent and make great pets because of their facility with language (even better than that of parrots). However, owners should be warned that their language tends to be vulgar.

Posted: Mon Apr 20, 2015.   Comments (0)


Touching wires means instant death and prosecution!

Throughout the 20th century, a brief story ran repeatedly in newspapers about a sign at a power plant that read, "To touch these wires means instant death. Anyone disregarding this notice will be placed under arrest." The story was most likely an urban legend masquerading as news. There's no good evidence that this sign ever hung anywhere. more…

Posted: Fri Apr 17, 2015.   Comments (1)

Football Streaker Video

Grainy video of a streaker at a football game was posted online in late March and quickly went viral, with over 2 millions views in less than 2 days. But it turned out to be a stunt by DishLATINO, as revealed on their YouTube channel on April 1. The streaker was actually Mexican comedian Eugenio Derbez.

Posted: Fri Apr 03, 2015.   Comments (0)

Kenya’s Best April Fools

Standard Digital News offers a round-up of April Fool's Day hoaxes that's a bit different. The 10 best ever from Kenya. I hadn't heard of any of them before. more…

Posted: Fri Apr 03, 2015.   Comments (0)

The Left-Handed Whopper

For many years, I've had Burger King's left-handed whopper hoax from 1998 listed as one of the most popular April Fool hoaxes of all time. But in all that time, I had never seen a copy of the actual ad that Burger King ran in USA Today. I tried contacting Burger King repeatedly asking for a copy, and they ignored me. And no libraries had back issues of USA Today that included the ads. But finally, I managed to track down a copy at the Library of Congress. So here it is. The original left-handed whopper ad.

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2015.   Comments (1)

Top 100 Fools, and other stuff

I haven't posted on the front page in far too long. But I haven't been ignoring the site. I was busy pursuing one of my own personal obsessions, which was to create a complete archive of the history of April Fool's Day. And I managed to do it. I've now got a fairly complete archive here on the site of the entire history of April Fool's Day, from 1500 to the present day. Check it out. I also completely overhauled the list of the Top 100 April Fool's Day Hoaxes of All Time. And with that out of my system, hopefully I can return to posting as usual!

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2015.   Comments (3)

The Hundred-Million-Dollar Robbery of the U.S. Treasury

On April 1, 1905 the Berliner Tageblatt broke the news of a shocking and massive crime. All the gold and silver in the U.S. Federal Treasury had been stolen. A group of thieves funded by American millionaires had tunneled beneath the Treasury and robbed it from below, getting away with over $268,000,000. The U.S. Government was said to be desperately trying to conceal the crime, even as its forces chased the criminals across the oceans of the world. more…

Posted: Tue Jan 20, 2015.   Comments (0)

Brides for Liechtenstein

In 1928, the Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung published an article about a Bride Import company that was supplying wives to the men of Liechtenstein. Women were being shipped into the country in freight cars, the magazine claimed, and were sold at marriage markets. The article provoked outrage in Liechtenstein, particularly because all the brides shown being imported seemed to be extremely overweight. more…

Posted: Wed Jan 14, 2015.   Comments (3)

Lard From Live Pigs

Back in 1921, a widely reprinted story claimed that German farmers had developed a method of obtaining lard from live pigs by operating on the pigs to remove the rashers, then bandaging the pigs up and letting them heal. Supposedly the operation could be repeated three times a year. The story was actually a German April Fool's Day spoof that was mistaken by the American and British press for real news. more…

Posted: Sun Jan 11, 2015.   Comments (1)

Dachshunds listed in Social Directory

The publishers of the Social Directory of the United States were embarrassed when, in 1939, they were tricked into including a pair of dachshunds in their listing of prominent American families who "through culture, ancestry, tradition and aristocracy of achievement have risen and maintained the heights of social leadership." more…

Posted: Mon Jan 05, 2015.   Comments (0)

Konstant Kitten

The website KonstantKitten.com claims to offer a service that's like a Netflix for kittens, in that it allows customers to rent kittens through the mail and exchange them every 3 months for new ones. But rest assured, it's fake. more…

Posted: Fri Jan 02, 2015.   Comments (1)

Self-Kidnapping Attempt Goes Awry

From the incompetent criminals file: Back in 1974, 20-year-old Kenneth Lutz of Grand Terrace, California thought he had found an easy way to scam his parents. He kidnapped himself. He did this by attaching a note to his parents' front door demanding $5000 in $20 bills for his return, with instructions that the money be "put out when you go to work Wednesday," and signed the note, "the kidnaper". Then he went into hiding. However, he didn't hide very well. When the police arrived a few hours later they found him sitting at a desk in a camper van behind his parents' home. He promptly confessed that he had written the note, and that no one else was involved in the scheme, explaining, "I wanted the money and it sounded like something that could be done." A detective said that the circumstances of the case had immediately aroused his suspicions because, "You tell me one kidnapper that signs his name 'kidnaper' at the bottom of a note."

Posted: Thu Jan 01, 2015.   Comments (0)

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