The Hoax Museum Blog

The Canine Collection Hoax

Lyst, a fashion shopping site, announced that it had begun selling dogs — as fashion accessories. It encouraged shoppers to "find the right dog to match your wardrobe." An online gallery displayed 33 breeds of dog "from petite XS puppies to oversized companions." The announcement generated angry responses on social media, as well as quite a bit of skepticism. And sure enough, a day later the company revealed it was all a hoax, designed to promote the message that "a dog is for life, not just for Instagram." more…

Posted: Mon May 16, 2016.   Comments ()

The Dissolving Bathing Suit Hoax of 1930

A 1930 news story about women pranked by a dissolving bathing suit turned out to be a hoax — but it had a long subsequent career. more…

Posted: Wed Mar 16, 2016.   Comments ()

Poodle Clipping As An Olympic Sport

Was poodle clipping included as an official competition in the 1900 Summer Olympics? more…

Posted: Sun Jan 10, 2016.   Comments (1)

The Medical Value of Maternal Kisses

Did medical researchers really conduct a study to determine whether mother's kisses of children's boo-boos had any therapeutic value? more…

Posted: Tue Jan 05, 2016.   Comments ()

Painted Ponies

In 1965, a Copenhagen newspaper ran an April Fool hoax claiming that the Danish parliament was going to require all black dogs to be painted white, in order to increase road safety by making the dogs more visible at night. Fast forward to 2015. The Dartmoor Livestock Protection Society has launched a scheme to paint ponies with reflective blue stripes in order to allow motorists to see them more easily at night. Goes to show that, given enough time, all April Fool hoaxes eventually come true.

Posted: Fri Oct 02, 2015.   Comments ()

Park Rules (and other fake signs)

Jeff Wysaski's hobby is putting up fake signs at various locations such as stores, museums, or in the street. He posts examples of his creations on his blog Obvious Plant. The very first fake sign he put up was in a park, listing the Park Rules, which included that "Dogs must be clothed." Perhaps an allusion to Alan Abel's Society for the Indecency to Naked Animals? more…

Posted: Fri Oct 02, 2015.   Comments ()

Wisconsin Concrete Deer Hoax

No, Wisconsin has not accidentally been including concrete deer lawn ornaments in the state's official deer count. So homeowners are free to keep the concrete deer on their lawns. No matter how tacky they might be. more…

Posted: Wed Sep 30, 2015.   Comments (1)

The $12 Million Message In A Bottle

In 1949, did a California restaurant worker really find a will sealed inside a bottle that bequeathed millions of dollars to him, as the finder of the bottle?

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2015.   Comments (1)

Boyfriend was really a girlfriend

Almost too weird to believe: Gayle Newland says that for two years she thought she was meeting and having sex with her boyfriend, Kye Fortune... a boyfriend whom she never set eyes on because she wore a blindfold the entire time they were together. Kye insisted on this, saying he was ashamed of scars from a car accident and "anxious about the way he looked." But according to a criminal complaint Newland has filed, she eventually discovered that this "boyfriend" was actually one of her female friends wearing a prosthetic penis. She's now suing that friend for sexual assault. More info:

Posted: Thu Sep 10, 2015.   Comments (5)

The Poetry of Yi-Fen Chou

Since 2009, the poetry of Yi-Fen Chou has appeared in a number of journals, but Yi-Fen's big break came when one of his poems was selected for inclusion in the 2015 edition of Best American Poetry. But that's also when the trouble began, because after learning of the selection, Yi-Fen admitted that he was actually Michael Derrick Hudson, a white man who lived in Fort Wayne, Indiana and worked at the Allen County Public Library. more…

Posted: Tue Sep 08, 2015.   Comments (2)

Bogus Baldness Epidemics

Two cases in which the press warned the public about "epidemics of baldness," only to have those epidemics turn out to be much less than was initially reported. One case occurred in 1926, when the New York Times reported that 300 young men in the town of Kittanning, Pa. had been struck by sudden-onset baldness which was attributed to a "mysterious germ." more…

Posted: Fri Jun 05, 2015.   Comments (2)

Peterfid Tomcat

In 1960, a group of janitors snuck a piece of scrap metal into an art exhibit. It was awarded a ribbon for merit. more…

Posted: Wed Jun 03, 2015.   Comments ()

Did Cleopatra Drink a Pearl Dissolved in Vinegar?

Ancient legend tells of Cleopatra drinking an extravagantly expensive beverage — the world's most expensive pearl dissolved in vinegar. But modern scholars disagree about whether she ever really drank such a concoction.

Posted: Sat May 30, 2015.   Comments ()

The Rhythm of the Trees

After gaining a coveted place in the 1993 Manchester Academy of Fine Arts Exhibition, the creator of this painting was revealed to be 4-year-old Carly Johnson of Lancashire. Her mother had submitted the work as a joke. more…

Posted: Mon May 25, 2015.   Comments (2)

Cheeseburger Oreos

A photo circulating on social media shows Cheeseburger Oreos. No, there is no such flavor. It's the latest in the "fake Oreo flavor" trend popular on social media.

Posted: Wed May 20, 2015.   Comments (1)

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