The Museum of Hoaxes
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Today's Featured Topic:
The Great Turkey Drive of 1866
Is that food real or plastic? — Sometimes plastic display food, like you often find in Japanese restaurants, can look awfully real. This website has a shockwave test that challenges you to separate photos of real food from the plastic stuff. The pictures are too small to really make a good decision, but it's a neat idea. (why they felt the need to design the test in shockwave, I can't figure out. HTML would have worked perfectly well for something this simple, and when viewing it with Safari it crashed my browser).
Posted: Mon Aug 18, 2003.   Comments (0)

More eBay Auctions — I got an email from the girl (not guy) selling the Air Guitar and Ring of Saturn on eBay. Turns out she has a few other items for sale, such as a Ticket to Heaven (in case you're worried about going to Hell), and the Answer to Life and the Universe. I guess she's mastering the art of the Strange eBay Auction. WhatTheHeck.com has a great collection of such eBay Oddities. Included are hot-sellers such as Ghost Poop and A Lie.
Posted: Mon Aug 18, 2003.   Comments (71)

Inner Peace — Here's a silly email that's going around. Not a hoax. Just a joke: Inner Peace I'm passing this along to you as I consider you a valued friend. This worked for me and I think it may work for you. I have found Inner Peace. Recently I read an article that stated: The best way to achieve inner peace is to Finish Things You Have Started. So today I finished two large bags of potato chips, the last half of a lemon cream pie, a nearly full bottle of Jose Cuervo, a small box of Godiva…
Posted: Mon Aug 18, 2003.   Comments (0)

Excelsior, Minnesota: No Starbucks Allowed — The small town of Excelsior, Minnesota recently launched an ad campaign declaring that big retailers such as Starbucks and Home Depot were not welcome in its community. A bold position to take, especially considering that those retailers had never expressed any interest in opening up stores there.
Posted: Mon Aug 18, 2003.   Comments (0)


The Crop Circle/Beer Connection — Some new crop circles in Devon may be inspired by a potent new beer.
Posted: Sun Aug 17, 2003.   Comments (0)


Is Peter Lynds a Hoax? — Recently a 27-year-old New Zealander named Peter Lynds has been getting a lot of attention. He's been hailed as the next Einstein because he's come up with an entirely new theory of time. And he's done this without having any formal qualifications as a physicist. But suggestions that Peter Lynds may be nothing more than a hoax have been cropping up. Some have even doubted the guy's existence. The Guardian investigated and found that Lynds was real enough, but that his work hasn't…
Posted: Sat Aug 16, 2003.   Comments (0)

Fake Friendsters — There's been not one, but two articles in the past few days about the phenomenon of Fake Friendsters. Apparently many people using the new online service Friendster — a service that allows you to meet new people by making connections with the friends of your friends — have been creating fake identities, identities such as God, Giant Squid, or Jackalope. Friendster is fighting back by trying to delete all the fakes. Of course, this is like fighting the tide. Just ask any postmodernist…
Posted: Sat Aug 16, 2003.   Comments (2)

Mold Dogs — How do you know if your house has a mold problem? Well, you could hire a mold-sniffing dog to find out. But be warned. Mold Consultants, LLC says the mold-dog industry is a scam.
Posted: Sat Aug 16, 2003.   Comments (0)

Hotmail Hoax — To all users of Hotmail, Yahoo, AOL, etc. If you ever get an email claiming to be from your service provider warning you that you need to forward the email you just received "so that we know you are still using this account," then it's a hoax. Variations of this hoax have actually been around a long, long time, but people are still falling for it.
Posted: Thu Aug 14, 2003.   Comments (3)

Tourist Flights to Mars — This story is five years old (dating back to 1998) but someone just sent it to me anyway. It details what appears to be a case of extreme gullibility. But a search on Lexis-Nexis for any newspaper report of this scam occurring in the past twenty years turned up nothing—except for skeptical references to this same email. So I've got to conclude that the case this email describes is just an urban legend. This person posting on SpaceFuture.com's message board back in 1998 agrees. Here's…
Posted: Thu Aug 14, 2003.   Comments (2)

To Serve Rabbit — This has gotten a lot of attention. A LiveJournal user, Siamang, posted an entry about how his pet rabbit Grendel died. So (he claimed) he decided to skin and eat his beloved pet. After all, burying or cremating him seemed so impersonal. This was accompanied by pictures of Grendel both alive and served up on a plate. Predictably, the entry got a huge response. But it seems that Siamang wasn't being entirely honest. In a separate journal entry he refuses to say whether his story is true…
Posted: Wed Aug 13, 2003.   Comments (0)

Terry Tate for Governor — To the list of fictitious characters campaigning to become Governor of California we can now add Terry Tate, the 'Office Linebacker' in those ads by Reebok. Terry Tate is played by actor Lester Speight, but it's Tate that's running, not Speight. So we now have Gollum and Tate running, as well as Gary Coleman, Gallagher, Arnold Schwarzenegger, the pornstar Mary Carey, Angelyne, and Larry Flynt. All elections should be this fun!
Posted: Wed Aug 13, 2003.   Comments (0)

Baron Munchausen Trading Cards — A cool set of Baron Munchausen trading cards. I'm sure it would cost a lot of money to buy the complete set. Update 8/14/03: I didn't intend to suggest that these cards are a hoax, as a few people queried me about. I linked to them because Munchausen (the fictional character) was a famous teller of tall tales, so the cards appealed to me as an example of hoax memorabilia.
Posted: Wed Aug 13, 2003.   Comments (1)

Outhouse Springs Water — 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!"…
Posted: Wed Aug 13, 2003.   Comments (0)

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