The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Hoax Museum Blog
Hoaxes, mischief, and misinformation throughout history
Natasha Demkina, a young girl living in Saransk, Russia, began to receive a lot of media attention around the middle of last month. It started with an article in Pravda, which hailed her as the 'Girl with X-ray vision'. You see, Natasha possesses the unusual ability to peer through human flesh and spot diseases and injuries that are lurking unseen within people's bodies. Or, at least, this is what Pravda claimed. It didn't take long for more newspapers to catch onto the story. The British Sun has been the most relentless about pursuing it. They've actually flown Natasha to London and are now parading her around like some kind of…
Posted: Tue Feb 03, 2004 Comments (710)

Buying imaginary girlfriends (and, less frequently, boyfriends) is the latest fad on eBay. What happens is that if you're the winning bidder, the person you bid for will pretend to be going out with you for a set period of time, such as a month. This imaginary relationship will be limited to emails and letters... you won't ever meet your eBay lover in person. But by showing off the communications from your new girlfriend, you might be able to convince your friends that you aren't quite the antisocial loser they thought you were. That is, until they find out that you paid for an imaginary friend, at which point they'll think you're an even bigger loser than they thought…
Posted: Tue Feb 03, 2004 Comments (3)

Here's a news story from a couple of weeks ago that I missed. This Finnish company promised that if you sent their service a text message prayer, you would receive a response from Jesus Christ himself. And Jesus would only charge the very reasonable price of $1.52 per prayer.
Posted: Tue Feb 03, 2004 Comments (2)

Digital Velocity wants to rewind your DVDs for you. Just enter your credit card information on their website (Just $1 per DVD), then insert the DVD into the CD tray of your computer, and fifty-nine seconds later your DVD will be rewound. (Thanks to Tracey for the link).
Posted: Tue Feb 03, 2004 Comments (4)


This UK website offers you the chance to buy cannabis online. No seeds. No hydroponics. Just cannabis itself, delivered to you by a special courier. Sounds like a stoner's dream. But if you actually try to place an order, it's all revealed to be a joke. (Thanks to Paul Farrington for the link).
Posted: Tue Feb 03, 2004 Comments (2)

Half of America saw Justin Timberlake 'accidentally' expose part of Janet Jackson's breast on live tv during the Superbowl halftime show. But now a great controversy is sweeping over the internet. Was the exposure really an accident? Or was it planned and staged? Matt Drudge is reporting that it was planned and even approved by high-level CBS officials beforehand. Plus, the accidental exposure fit in remarkably well with the lyrics of the song, which made references to getting naked before the end of the song. Finally, how exactly does one 'accidentally' rip away part of a costume? I mean, it wasn't like something got snagged. He quite purposefully reached over…
Posted: Mon Feb 02, 2004 Comments (4)

Sitting here watching the Superbowl, and out of the blue a hoax website is featured in one of the ads: ShardsO'Glass.com. This company supposedly sells freeze pops embedded with shards of glass. It's a satire of how cigarette companies sell products that they also know are bad for people's health.
Posted: Mon Feb 02, 2004 Comments (8)

Richard has written in with a question about the photograph (to the right) that's being sold as a print by The New York Times. It shows the sky above Portland, Oregon filled with biplanes. It was taken in 1920 by the photographer C.S. Woodruff. Richard questions whether the picture can possibly be real, and I think he's right to do so. First of all, the biplanes seem dangerously close to each other, all clustered together in a swarm. Second, by 1920 there were hundreds of biplanes and trained pilots in the U.S. But what would they have been doing all gathered together in Portland? Could one city have produced that…
Posted: Sun Feb 01, 2004 Comments (3)

Hold onto your hats for this one. Hot Noodz offers you uncensored noodle porn. That's right. Noodles strut their stuff in all kinds of provocative poses. Is it safe for work? That depends entirely on if your boss would be offended by the sight of naked noodles. (Thanks again to Phil Carmody for the link. Phil reports that he was the 'purveyor of background tiles' for this site).WARNING: pop-up ads. (I didn't notice these until someone pointed them out to me... my browser automatically blocks pop-up ads).
Posted: Sun Feb 01, 2004 Comments (4)

Around the world hungry hackers and coders are about to eat pizza. But the question that vexes them is this: what if there is an image of Jesus hidden in that pizza? Now the JesusPizza Project will harness the power of thousands of computer users, via the miracle of distributed computing, to search images of those pizzas that are about to be eaten, to find out if one of them contains the image of Jesus. Just like the Seti-at-Home project, you download some software. When your computer is in screensaver mode this software goes to work, scanning downloaded images of pizzas. (Thanks to Phil Carmody for the link)
Posted: Sun Feb 01, 2004 Comments (0)

I've finally taken the plunge and upgraded this weblog to a 'real' weblog, complete with permalinks, categories, and the ability to add comments. I'm using pMachine to achieve all this. I'm a little wary of letting people add comments, having encountered huge amounts of comment spam when I previously had a guestbook (especially, as I noted somewhere else, from 'cruddy german hotels'... I still can't figure out why they, in particular, turned out to be such a plague). But I'll see how it goes. If it becomes too time consuming for me to delete the spam, I may have to convert to allowing comments by registered members only. But for now I want to keep it open to all.…
Posted: Fri Jan 30, 2004 Comments (6)

Need to make a little extra money? Would you be willing to slap an advertisement on your forehead and parade around all day displaying it? The management team at Headvertise.com is hoping that you would, especially if you're a college student. Headvertise seems to be the creation of some students at Johnson & Wales University, and I'm betting it's either a joke, or some kind of bizarre class project. But who knows! I have seen stupider business plans in my day. (Link via J-Walk).
Posted: Wed Jan 28, 2004 Comments (5)

There's a scam business that's been in operation for years that offers to sell land on the moon. But a new group is raising the ante by offering to sell you land on the sun! Thankfully, all money they collect goes to aid the American Cancer Society.
Posted: Wed Jan 28, 2004 Comments (2)

You might remember the infamous 'Japanese Butt-Skirt Hoax,' in which pictures circulated around the internet showing Japanese women wearing skirts that supposedly had buttocks airbrushed onto them. The buttocks in those pictures were created via photoshop (i.e. they were painted on the photos, not the skirts), but a fashion designer has now been inspired to create real 'butt skirts.' Check them out at Alba D'Urbano Couture. (Warning: contains fake nudity. The women are wearing clothes, but the clothes themselves have pictures of naked bodies on them).
Posted: Wed Jan 28, 2004 Comments (2)

Discover all kinds of recipes for cooking and eating babies at eatbabies.com. For instance, you might want to try baby soup or baby stir fry. The site is plastered with warnings announcing that it's all just a joke (I guess they must have got complaints), but I suppose it'll still attract criticism from people who think it might provide sick and twisted individuals with bad ideas. Personally, I think the site would have been funnier if it had provided recipes for eating the babies of poor people, thus playing off of Jonathan Swift's classic work, A Modest Proposal. (Thanks to Antonia for the link).
Posted: Wed Jan 28, 2004 Comments (5)

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