The Museum of Hoaxes
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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
September 2005
Mentos + Soda = Explosion — Status: True Given the urban legend about kids eating pop rocks and soda, and then having their stomachs explode, I wouldn't have believed that mixing Mentos and soda could cause such a violent reaction. But after watching the video posted on WLTX's website, I do. (You need Windows Media Player to view it, and I had to click the "Trouble Viewing" button to make it work.) To summarize what the video shows, three Mentos are dropped into a bottle of soda, causing a geyser of soda to shoot…
Posted: Fri Sep 23, 2005.   Comments (186)

Mobile Phone Conversation Simulation Service — Status: Real (but it's a conceptual art project) Denmark now has a wireless phone service called You're Kidding Me!? that allows you to pretend you're having a conversation with someone on your cellphone: The automatic service is designed to assist people at conferences, gallery openings and other places where being socially disconnected is no fun. After dialing the service number, users can choose between two types of conversations: a 'casual' or an 'important' conversation. The user…
Posted: Fri Sep 23, 2005.   Comments (4)

Babycage.net — Status: Hoax Babycage.net has been selling "infant confinement" products (i.e. cages in which you can lock up your child) since 2001. Or so it claims. It also offers a Teenager Cage, which looks like it could be very useful. The company's philosophy is straight-forward: At BabyCage.net we believe that the most important tool you need in life to succeed is discipline. Without discipline and structure, a child may become succeptible to liking rock and roll, doing drugs, or in an extreme…
Posted: Fri Sep 23, 2005.   Comments (29)

Extreme Fans Fake Emergency Landing To See Team Play — Status: Pathetic, but true Fanatical Gambian soccer fans chartered a jet and faked the need for an emergency landing so that they could watch their team play: The plane, claiming to be low on fuel, landed Tuesday in Peru's northern coast city of Piura, where Gambia played Qatar in the FIFA Under-17 World Championships later that night. Emergency crews were scrambled ahead of the Lockhead L1011 Tri-Star's unscheduled landing. It was to have landed in the capital, Lima. The fans were…
Posted: Thu Sep 22, 2005.   Comments (4)


Giant Jesus Prevents Auto Accidents — Status: Unlikely (though the people who think it does won't care what I say) Along I-75 in Ohio there stands a 62-foot-tall fiberglass and styrofoam statue of Jesus, his hands raised into the air. It's very visible from the highway. Nicknames for it include Super Savior, Touchdown Jesus, Drowning Jesus (because it's located in front of a reflecting pool), and Jeeebus. It was completed last summer, and according to rumor there have been no accidents along the stretch of highway in front…
Posted: Tue Sep 20, 2005.   Comments (21)

Cheese Can Cause Nightmares — Status: Old wives' tale disproven by science At last I can return to my nocturnal cheese-eating ways, now that I know eating the stuff won't cause me nightmares... Actually I had never heard any rumor associating cheese with nightmares, but apparently researchers at The Dairy Council had, because they designed an experiment to disprove the fallacy. With the help of 200 volunteers they determined "cheese may actually help you have a good night's sleep." But stay away from Stilton, which…
Posted: Tue Sep 20, 2005.   Comments (30)

Fake Fly in Urinal — Status: Strange, but apparently true. A pair of images showing a urinal with a fake fly etched into the porcelain is doing the rounds. (I'd guess it's been circulating for at least two years.) The images are accompanied by this caption: In Amsterdam, the tile under Schiphol's urinals would pass inspection in an operating room. But nobody notices. What everybody does notice is that each urinal has a fly in it. Look harder, and the fly turns into the black outline of a fly, etched into…
Posted: Tue Sep 20, 2005.   Comments (39)

Planet-Dissolving Dust Cloud Headed Toward Earth — Status: Fake; an example of the Weekly World News Effect. I've received a couple of emails about this article on Yahoo! News detailing a cosmic "chaos cloud" that will obliterate the earth in 2014: CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Scared-stiff astronomers have detected a mysterious mass they've dubbed a "chaos cloud" that dissolves everything in its path, including comets, asteroids, planets and entire stars -- and it's headed directly toward Earth! Discovered April 6 by NASA's Chandra X-ray…
Posted: Tue Sep 20, 2005.   Comments (18)

Lincoln Death Photo — Status: Authentic In my hoax photo gallery I display a picture of the body of Abraham Lincoln lying in a casket and explain that the photo is fake because the army didn't allow any photos of Lincoln's body to be taken. But I just received an email from Rich noting that there is one authentic picture of Lincoln's corpse, and he's right. A photographer did manage to snap a shot of the dead Lincoln as he was lying in state in Manhattan's City Hall. Secretary of War Edwin Stanton had the…
Posted: Tue Sep 20, 2005.   Comments (29)

Clarifying Posts — I received an email today from the person who runs the Online Gamers Anonymous site (about which I once posted an entry): Please remove On-Line Gamers Anonymous from you hoax website. Please inform me when this has been done. This is a REAL service provided for people who are addicted to computer/video games and have no where else to go. Their concern is that when people do a google search, they see the name of the site in question followed by "Museum of Hoaxes," which could imply…
Posted: Mon Sep 19, 2005.   Comments (29)

Lesbian Phone Call — Michel sent an email asking whether the Lesbian Phone Call site is for real or not. A description, from the site, advertises that: LesbianPhoneCall.com delivers you a phone call from a genuine lesbian! For $10 one of our professional lesbians will call anywhere in the US or Canada. A member of our diverse lesbian staff will call you within three business days. Simply supply a name, telephone number and tell us what sort of lesbian you'd like. We do the rest! Order a lesbian call for…
Posted: Mon Sep 19, 2005.   Comments (12)

Emily Fox Stacks Cups — About a year ago I posted an entry about cup stacking, since I found it hard to believe it was a real sport. Now after watching this video of Emily Fox stacking cups (requires windows media player and also viewable at speedstacks.com), I've got to say it's not only real but pretty impressive. I don't think I've ever seen cups move that fast. Assuming, that is, the video hasn't been speeded up.
Posted: Mon Sep 19, 2005.   Comments (23)

Monster Crocodile in New Orleans — Michael Maffei sent me some giant crocodile pictures that have begun doing the rounds. They're accompanied by this caption: Now this is a Crocodile ! This crocodile was found in New Orleans swimming down the street. 21 FT long, 4,500 lbs, around 80 years old minimum. Specialists said that he was looking to eat humans because he was too old to catch animals. This crocodile was killed by the army last Sunday at 3:00 pm, currently he is in the freezer at the Azur hotel. The contents of…
Posted: Sat Sep 17, 2005.   Comments (132)

Grotica Search Engine — No, Google is not unveiling a new erotica search engine, despite what this press release posted on pressbox.co.uk (and now linked to by a number of blogs) claims: MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – September 15, 2005 – Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) announced today its plans to enter the lucrative adult content market with a new search engine that will be kept separate from its main line of search services. Called Grotica, the new service uses sophisticated image processing tools to automatically…
Posted: Sat Sep 17, 2005.   Comments (11)

Gillette’s 5-Blade Razor — Here's a great example of satirical prophecy (defined as a joke becoming a reality). Back in February 2004 The Onion lampooned the razor industry with a spoof article, supposedly written by the CEO of Gillette, declaring that his company was going to one-up the competition by inventing a five-blade razor with two lubricating strips: Stop. I just had a stroke of genius. Are you ready? Open your mouth, baby birds, cause Mama's about to drop you one sweet, fat nightcrawler. Here she…
Posted: Thu Sep 15, 2005.   Comments (26)

Bush’s UN Bathroom Break — If these pictures weren't posted on Yahoo! News, I would find it very hard to believe them to be real. But there they are, credited to Reuters photographer Rick Wilking, and accompanied by this caption: U.S. President George W. Bush writes a note to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during a Security Council meeting at the 2005 World Summit and 60th General Assembly of the United Nations in New York September 14, 2005. I suppose even Presidents need to go to the bathroom.
Posted: Thu Sep 15, 2005.   Comments (45)

Fuel From Dead Cats — The German newspaper Bild yesterday reported that an inventor, Christian Koch, had developed a method to make bio-fuel out of dead cats. 20 cats would be enough to fill one gas tank. The story quickly spread to other media outlets, and animal-rights activists expressed concern: "The president of the German Society for the Protection of Animals, Wolfgang Apel, said using dead cats for fuel was illegal... 'We're going to keep an eye on this case,' Apel said." But it now turns out that…
Posted: Thu Sep 15, 2005.   Comments (8)

$100 Blog Contest — About a week ago I posted that my friend Dave had created a weblog to test some software that he'd developed. He's now running a contest with a $100 prize. This isn't a hoax. Basically all you have to do is register with his site and post an entry. If you post something, you get a chance to win the $100. Since no one has yet posted anything (and the contest has been running for a couple of days), your chances of winning are pretty good. The contest will end three days after the tenth…
Posted: Wed Sep 14, 2005.   Comments (10)

David Manning Settlement — A week or two ago papers were reporting the final verdict in the class-action suit against Sony stemming from the David Manning phony critic case. Sony got slapped with a $1.5million fine that was supposed to compensate moviegoers who felt defrauded by the fake ads. But William Booth of the Washington Post did some research and found out that not all was as it seemed with the payout: News of the settlement created a stir in cyberspace and the entertainment press, with visions of tens…
Posted: Wed Sep 14, 2005.   Comments (2)

Yearbook Photos: Fake Sweat — Newsweek had a short blurb about the enormous money people are paying for high school yearbook photos nowadays. I know something about this because my cousin Kelsey just spent A LOT of money on shots for her yearbook. But one line in the Newsweek article (the part about the fake sweat) caught my attention: Cindy Glover, 41, remembers her high-school yearbook photos: "All the girls wore wool blazers." But for her son, Austin, 17, a senior from Spencer, Iowa—and many of his peers…
Posted: Tue Sep 13, 2005.   Comments (15)

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