The Hoax Museum Blog

Artificially Dirty Eggs

In 1973, the Dutch egg industry noted a drop in sales. After studying the situation, its analysts decided that the problem was that grocery-store shoppers were put off by the antiseptic appearance of the factory-cleaned eggs on the shelves. To consumers, the sparkling clean eggs seemed to represent the "plastic and concrete style of modern living." To remedy this, the Dutch Egg Board decided to stick mud, manure, and bits of feather onto the eggs (after they had been cleaned) in order to artificially give them that "straight from the farmyard look." J.T. Mellema, head of the Egg Board, noted that a bit of carefully placed dirt would make the eggs "look real and give back that old farmhouse touch."

Posted: Sun Jun 19, 2016.   Comments (5)

The Muhammad Ali Underwater Training Hoax

Early in his career, Muhammad Ali convinced Life magazine that he regularly trained underwater. In reality, he trained underwater only once — during the photoshoot for Life. more…

Posted: Wed Jun 08, 2016.   Comments (2)

Edgar Allan Poe’s Apocryphal April Fool Hoax

Poe is known to have authored six hoaxes. But for over one hundred years a story has circulated claiming that, as a young man in Baltimore, he pulled off a seventh, lesser-known hoax, involving a flight from the 234-foot tall Phoenix Shot Tower. more…

Posted: Wed Jun 01, 2016.   Comments (2)

The Case of the Umbrella-Handle Parmesan Cheese

Is it true that in 1969 an Italian man was charged with selling fake Parmesan cheese made out of grated umbrella handles? more…

Posted: Thu May 26, 2016.   Comments (1)


Does having a hairy chest prevent cirrhosis of the liver?

Here's a strange claim I recently ran across: if a man has a hairy chest he's less likely to develop cirrhosis of the liver. And by extension, if a man has a hairless chest, he's at greater risk of cirrhotic damage. Is there any truth to this claim? Or is it just a medical urban legend? more…

Posted: Mon May 23, 2016.   Comments (7)

Dinosaur Hunting License

The area around Vernal, Utah is the only place in the world where it's legal to hunt dinosaurs. Because Vernal is the only town that issues official Dinosaur Hunting Licenses. more…

Posted: Wed May 18, 2016.   Comments (1)

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 (0)

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 (0)

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 (0)

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 (0)

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 (0)

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: telegraph.co.uk

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

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