The Museum of Hoaxes
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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
October 2005
Hydra High Energy H2O
Posted by The Curator on Mon Oct 31, 2005
Status: Dubious Product Claims The makers of Hydra High Energy H2O claim that most people in the world are chronically dehydrated. In fact, they claim that even people who are drinking up to half their body weight in water every day, are still dehydrated. They offer their product as the cure for this problem. They state that it "dramatically increases intra-cellular hydration – by an average of more than 22%" So what makes Hydra H2O more hydrating than normal water? Well, according to the Hydra H2O website, normal water is comprised of large "H2O cluster aggregates" that have difficulty passing…
Categories: Food Comments (14)
Jesus Tree
Posted by The Curator on Mon Oct 31, 2005
Status: Pareidolia The latest face of a deity to be seen in a random object is the face of Jesus that some people claim they can see in the trunk of a tree on North Clinton Avenue in Rochester, New York. They're now calling it the Jesus Tree. Most of the time, when people start claiming to see the Virgin Mary in a grilled cheese sandwich or Jesus in an oyster shell, I can at least make out the outline of a face. But in this case I can't see anything at all. Maybe you need to have more faith in order to be…
Categories: Pareidolia, Religion Comments (37)
The Curse of Saint Edmund
Posted by The Curator on Mon Oct 31, 2005
Status: Unlikely A group of anti-development activists calling themselves the Knights of Saint Edmund have hit upon an unusual way of stopping a shopping center from being built in their hometown, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk. They're threatening to unleash the ancient Curse of St. Edmund upon the developers. Their website states that: On St Edmund's day, the 20th November 2005, a formal and public cursing ceremony will take place at Bury St Edmunds to once again summon the avenging saint and dread King to punish his 21st century enemies. The ancient curse of St Edmund has not been used for over 500 years, but with the determination of developers to destroy the whole character…
Categories: Paranormal, Places Comments (18)
Peanut Butter Slices
Posted by The Curator on Fri Oct 28, 2005
Status: Real This really shouldn't surprise me, but for some reason it does. A company has developed peanut butter slices that come in packs (similar to packs of sliced cheese). I'm not sure how they made the peanut butter rigid enough, and non-sticky enough, that it could be formed into a plastic-wrapped slice. But somehow they did. I'd be worried that whatever they did to it would affect the taste. No word on whether anyone has developed sliced jam. [Update: they have; see the comments below.] I think if you're going to eat sliced peanut butter, you naturally should have it on
Categories: Food Comments (29)
The Grafton Portrait of Shakespeare
Posted by The Curator on Fri Oct 28, 2005
Status: Art Fake (i.e. it's not Shakespeare) The National Portrait Gallery has reported that the Grafton portrait, long thought to depict Shakespeare as a young man, doesn't depict him at all. They don't know who the guy in the painting is. The portrait apparently served as the inspiration for the portrayal of Shakespeare in the movie Shakespeare in Love. So the Grafton portrait will now join the Flower portrait (revealed to be a nineteenth-century fake earlier this year) in the category of "portraits of Shakespeare that don't actually show Shakespeare." My hunch is that all…
Categories: Art, Literature/Language Comments (10)
Loo With A View
Posted by The Curator on Fri Oct 28, 2005
Status: Real A photo is doing the email circuit, showing a bathroom that men who don't enjoy being watched as they 'go about their business' might not want to use. Yes, it is a real bathroom. It's located on the second floor of the Sofitel Hotel in Queenstown, New Zealand. Here's from a press release about the bathroom: Queenstown photographer Sheena Haywood shot the images of models from local agency Ican -- after Auckland model agencies turned down the job when they heard where the images were going to be placed. “We had a lot of fun…
Categories: Photos/Videos, Places Comments (14)
Volkswagen Autostadt Car Tower
Posted by The Curator on Thu Oct 27, 2005
Status: Real Here's a new picture doing the email circuit. It's accompanied by this caption: A Volkswagen Polo is loaded in the car towers of the VW Autostadt in Wolfsburg, northern Germany on Wednesday. The Autostadt, situated next to Volkswagen's headquarter, is the company's theme park, and distribution centre where daily 5,500 visitors view Volkswagen brands like Bentley, Audi, Lamborghini. It looks like something out of a science-fiction movie, but it's real, as is the caption. The picture was taken by AP photographer Fabian Bimmer. It appeared in's photo gallery on October 19, 2005. (Thanks…
Categories: Photos/Videos, Places Comments (23)
Chess Boxing
Posted by The Curator on Thu Oct 27, 2005
Status: Real Chess Boxing seems to be getting a lot of attention lately. The basic premise of this sport is that you play chess for four minutes, and then you box for two minutes. Then you go back to playing chess, followed by another round of boxing. And this goes on and on for eleven rounds until someone is either knocked out, or checkmated. The website of the World Chess Boxing Organization states that: One of the goals of this new sport is the old ideal of a healthy mind in a healthy body: mens sana in corpore sano. During a chessboxing fight the control of aggression plays a big role. That's…
Categories: Sports Comments (16)
Plastic Pumpkin Carving
Posted by The Curator on Wed Oct 26, 2005
Status: Real (though the pumpkins are fake) The newest thing for Halloween is fake pumpkins. Made out of polyurethane foam, they can be carved just like the real thing. But don't try to eat the seeds. A guy quoted about this issue in the Loudoun Times-Mirror notes that: "There's something wrong with society if people start carving plastic pumpkins." I don't think I have anything to add to that statement. The article also notes that once you've carved your foam pumpkin, it wouldn't be wise to light it up with a candle. You need to use a flashlight.
Categories: Food Comments (25)
Museum of Hoaxes Mentioned in the Wall Street Journal
Posted by The Curator on Wed Oct 26, 2005
I've learned that the Museum of Hoaxes got mentioned in the Wall Street Journal last week. The title of the article was "Photo Firms Hunt Copyright Violators" (October 19, 2005) by Vauhini Vara. I got included because of my brief fight with the Science & Society Picture Library over my use of the Cottingley Fairy images. Unfortunately the reporter didn't fully represent my side of the argument. Here are the relevant sections from the article: Bloggers, beware: That photo of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes on your Web site could be fodder for a lawsuit. Stock-photography companies like Getty Images Inc. and Corbis Corp. are using high-tech tools to crack down on Web…
Categories: Miscellaneous Comments (7)
Pet Rat Grooming
Posted by The Curator on Tue Oct 25, 2005
Status: Real Gary emailed me this article with the comment "Please tell me this is a hoax." Sadly, I think it's not. Here are some highlights from the article: Grooming isn't just for dogs anymore, and many pet owners are bringing in their rats to groomers like Garrison, who uses waterless shampoo to make their coats shine and smell sweet... "We need to be there for all our clients," Garrison said. "I think we might be the only place around that grooms rats."... "The most difficult part of grooming rats is trimming their nails," Garrison said. "They have very small feet." Ferguson recommends pet owners get their animals groomed at least once a…
Categories: Animals Comments (49)
Do Round Bowls Make Goldfish Go Blind?
Posted by The Curator on Tue Oct 25, 2005
Status: Undetermined CNN reports that the city of Rome has passed a set of laws to prevent cruelty to animals. For instance, dog owners will be forced to walk their dogs regularly. And round goldfish bowls have been banned because round bowls supposedly cause the fish to go blind. Specifically, the article says: The newspaper [Il Messaggero] reported that round bowls caused fish to go blind. No one at Rome council was available to confirm this was why they were banned. Many fish experts say round bowls provide insufficient oxygen for fish. I have never before heard this claim about the dangerous effects of round bowls. I tried to google "round…
Categories: Animals Comments (39)
Ice Giant Found in Siberia
Posted by The Curator on Tue Oct 25, 2005
Status: Hoax (part of a viral marketing campaign) Russian geologist Arkady Simkin claims to have participated in an oil-surveying expedition to Northern Siberia that found an enormous, skyscraper-size creature buried in the ice. He gives the following description of the creature (which he refers to as Taurus Major) on his website: The animal appears to be a huge quadruped with horns much like a bull. In fact it looks to be a hybrid of a bull, woolly mammoth and a rhino – if such a thing existed. But its size is truly colossal. The horns are immense in dimension and protrude from the head…
Great Pointed Archer Society
Posted by The Curator on Tue Oct 25, 2005
Status: Undetermined (but probably a hoax) Not many people like rats. But the members of the Great Pointed Archer Society do. As they proclaim on their very slick website: The immediate goal of this website is to replace the offensive name ‘rat’ with the untainted, and beautiful name Great Pointed Archer. By doing away with this all-to-common slur, we can begin to repair centuries of disrespect and hatred. After all, it’s not their fault they live in the sewer and eat trash. It's not clear who's the creative force behind the Great Pointed Archer Society. It seems to be a little too well designed to actually…
Categories: Advertising, Animals Comments (8)
Charlotte Church/Liam Gallagher Pepsi Ad
Posted by The Curator on Mon Oct 24, 2005
Status: Hoax It's been very widely reported in the past few days that singer Charlotte Church and Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher will be paired up in a new ad for Pepsi. According to the report: the unlikely pair will head-up a lucrative advertising campaign, which will feature the OASIS frontman "teaching" Church how to trash hotel rooms and smash instruments while enjoying a selection of alcoholic drinks mixed with the cola beverage. A PepsiCo source tells British newspaper the Daily Star, "We've always got safe, family friendly stars to endorse Pepsi in the past, like BRITNEY SPEARS, BEYONCE KNOWLES, CINDY CRAWFORD and BLUE. But Pepsi is becoming more and more…
Categories: Advertising Comments (4)
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