The Museum of Hoaxes
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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
January 2006
Fake Puma Ad Mystery Solved
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jan 31, 2006
Status: Update about advertising hoax Remember this racy PUMA ad? It was circulating around the internet back in early 2003. The rumor was that it had appeared in the Brazilian version of Maxim, but PUMA officials soon denied this, and further stated that their company was not responsible for it in any way. PUMA then threatened to sue anyone who posted it. (No one ever got sued.) This led many bloggers to speculate that PUMA was, in fact, the creator of it, and had spread it as a subviral advertisement (i.e. a viral ad secretly produced by a company, which the company…
Categories: Advertising Comments (11)
Rainbow vs. Tornado
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jan 31, 2006
Status: Real A very cool picture... and it's not photoshopped. It was taken by Eric Nguyen in Kansas in 2004, and was featured as the Astronomy Picture of the Day on June 13, 2005. APOD explains: "Last June in Kansas, storm chaser Eric Nguyen photographed this budding twister in a different light -- the light of a rainbow. Pictured above, a white tornado cloud descends from a dark storm cloud. The Sun, peeking through a clear patch of sky to the left, illuminates some buildings in the foreground. Sunlight reflects off raindrops to form a rainbow. By coincidence, the tornado appears to…
Categories: Photos/Videos Comments (4)
Fighting Dinosaurs Fossil
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jan 30, 2006
Status: Real Zkato wants to know if the fossil of fighting dinosaurs found on the website of the Nakasato dinosaur Center is real. The fossil does sound a little too good to be true: One Protoceratops, a herbivorous (plant-eating) dinosaur, perished in the struggle with a carnivorous theropod, Velociraptor. After their death 80 million years ago, both skeletons were fossilized, then finally unearthed in 1971 in fully articulated forms without having been smashed. However, not only is it real, it's one of the most famous fossils in the world. It was found in Mongolia in 1971, and was…
Categories: Animals, Science Comments (12)
32-pound Cat
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jan 30, 2006
Status: Real I love fat cat pictures, and here are some good ones, courtesy of Kieran Charette who reports that they were taken at a vets office in Vancouver. Apparently the cat is perfectly healthy. Just large. 32 pounds, to be exact. (Which makes him 8 pounds lighter than Sassy, aka Munchkin.) I don't see any reason why these pictures would be fake. (Although the datestamp on the pictures--09/01/2007--is obviously wrong.)
Categories: Animals, Photos/Videos Comments (34)
Near Miss Over London
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jan 30, 2006
Status: Optical Illusion Barry Bland snapped a photograph of two airplanes apparently narrowly avoiding colliding in the sky over London. However, Civil Aviation Authorities are dismissing the photograph as an optical illusion, pointing out that none of their safety systems indicated that the two planes were close to each other. The BBC reports: British Air Line Pilots Association chairman Captain Mervyn Granshaw described it as a "fluke photograph". He explained how visual factors conspire to make the planes could look closer together, but safety measures meant they could not be in such proximity. While the lower plane was a A300, a…
Categories: Photos/Videos Comments (10)
Hoax Websites of Lost
Posted by The Curator on Sat Jan 28, 2006
Status: A few hoax sites After getting the first season of Lost on dvd for christmas, I've become hooked on the show. Although I'm beginning to suspect that the writers of the show are simply going to introduce one mystery after another without ever offering an explanation for anything. But anyway, here are some hoax websites related to Lost: Oceanic World Air (the airline that the Lost passengers were flying on), Dharma Industries (the mysterious project that was being conducted on the island), and The Hanso Foundation (The philanthropic foundation funding the Dharma Initiative. This page is part of an alternate reality game, as is the Dharma Industries site). If you know of…
Categories: Entertainment, Websites Comments (63)
Dating Service for Single Men Seeking Birthmoms
Posted by The Curator on Sat Jan 28, 2006
Status: The intention seems genuine (though it doesn't look like the service has matched anyone up) Ally forwarded me a link to the website, along with this comment: A friend sent this to me (we used to be part of a young mom's group) and I thought it was really disturbing... Could this site be a hoax? I sure hope so... It's a site that hooks up men who want to adopt with girls who don't want to give up their babies and they have the slogan "Attention Single Men Seeking To Adopt A Baby: Why snatch a baby from a poor 18-year-old birthmom when you can have the baby and the birthmom?" Yeah,…
Categories: Birth/Babies, Sex/Romance Comments (22)
Budgie Enjoys Cross-Stitching
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jan 27, 2006
Status: Undetermined Birds can be very clever, but so clever that they'll take up stitching as a hobby? I'm not so sure about that, though that's what Sandra Battye claims of her three-year-old budgie, Spike. She says: "She would sit on my shoulder and watch me for hours. One day I just sat and didn’t stitch. It seemed to frustrate her. Then suddenly she picked up the needle in her beak and began cross-stitching herself. I was staggered. Now I can’t stop her. She still gets a bit confused at how the patterns work but she is very good at…
Categories: Animals Comments (23)
Rescued Cat and Frogkitten
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jan 27, 2006
Status: Real, Fake The expression on this cat's face is pretty wild, but I don't see any evidence of photoshopping. I found the image on this Russian livejournal site, so I'm guessing it might be a Russian fireman who just saved the cat. This little guy, however, ("frogkitten" -- whose image has been floating around the internet for years) has definitely been photoshopped.
Categories: Animals, Photos/Videos Comments (25)
Carjacker Strategy: Place Paper On Your Rear Window
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jan 26, 2006
Status: Theoretically could happen (though there's no solid evidence it ever has) You may have received this email warning recently: Imagine: You walk across the parking lot, unlock your car and get inside. Then you lock all your doors, start the engine and shift into REVERSE. Habit! You look into the rear-view window to back out of your parking space and you notice a piece of paper, some sort of advertisement stuck to your rear window. So, you shift into PARK, unlock your doors and jump out of your vehicle to remove that paper (or whatever it is) that is obstructing your view... when you reach the back of your car, that is when the…
Nasdijj, Native-American Memoirist
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jan 26, 2006
Status: Phony Here we go again. Another memoirist has been unmasked as a phony. This time it's Nasdijj, celebrated Native-American author of autobiographical works such as The Blood Runs Like A River Through My Dreams and The Boy and the Dog Are Sleeping. Turns out he ain't Native American, unless by Native American one means white anglo-saxon protestant. His real identity seems to be that of Tim Barrus, who grew up in a middle-class community in Lansing, Michigan. As Barrus, he was a pioneer of gay "leather" erotica, before the gay community got tired of his antics and he disappeared for a few years, only to…
MagicSHELF Update
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jan 26, 2006
So I've been in contact with Uncle Url of Linky Dinky, and as a consequence I've become a firm believer in the brilliance and ingenuity of the magicSHELF. Everyone needs to have one of these! Well, that may be, but the behind-the-scenes story is that Uncle Url and I have worked out a deal. He's sending me a magicSHELF (and an extra one which I can give away as a prize). I'm going to test it out and verify that it does indeed work as advertised. Then he'll be able to use me as an objective, third-party endorsement. In return, when he mentions my endorsement in his newsletter, he might also mention that I have a book coming…
Categories: Miscellaneous Comments (27)
Thames Whale Watering Can on eBay
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jan 25, 2006
Status: Beware of fakes This is just pathetic: Opportunists have tried to capitalise on the hysteria surrounding the Thames whale by putting a bogus watering-can up for sale on eBay, with a starting price tag of £1,924. The unidentified owner insisted the item was used in the attempted rescue of the 19ft northern bottle-nosed female whale to keep her moist and comfortable. But the fake sale outraged the British Divers Marine Life Rescue, who spent 36 hours and £100,000 trying to save the sea mammal's life and who were selling their own watering-can online. Here's the real watering can for sale. Bidding is currently up to £99,701.25. (I hope…
Categories: Con Artists, eBay Comments (5)
Insect Candy
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jan 25, 2006
Status: Real Paul Farrington emailed me with a question about the HOTLIX Insect Candy Company: "The site looks real, the products look real, there are no obvious giveaways except the sheer unbelievable grotesqueness of the very concept! What’s your take?" Well, my take is that the insect candy is definitely real, though I've never ordered any of it and submitted it to an entomologist for confirmation. (Nor do I plan to.) But there's no reason to believe the candy wouldn't be real. After all, insects are eaten in many cultures. It's only Westerners who are squeamish about eating them. A recent article
Categories: Food Comments (34)
magicSHELF Mystery Solved
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jan 25, 2006
Status: magicSHELVES are a kind of simple magic trick, but they do work (they will hold up your books) Greg Cason broke down and ordered one of those LinkyDinky magicSHELVES that I posted about last week (I was tempted to do the same), thereby learning the secret of how they work. It turns out it's not a photoshop trick, nor are the books glued to the wall. Actually, they work almost exactly as I theorized. [edited out... I can't give away the secret. That would be against the magician's creed: never give away the trick!] Update: Uncle Url himself (of Linky Dinky) sent me an email in response to the Museum of Hoaxes's ongoing…
Categories: Magic, Technology Comments (7)
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