The Museum of Hoaxes
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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
July 2006
Conger Cuddling Contest Cancelled — Status: Real (weird news) If standing on a wooden platform as people hurl giant dead eels at you is your idea of a good time, then sorry, it's too late. The giant dead eel tossing contest held in the English village of Lyme Regis for the past 30 years has been cancelled. A lone animal-rights activist spoiled everyone's fun by complaining that the contest was disrespectful to the dead eel. It sounds to me like the guy may have been joking. (He sent his complaint via an anonymous email.)…
Posted: Mon Jul 31, 2006.   Comments (12)

The Butter Trough — Status: Hoax The Butter Trough, located in Atlanta, Georgia, is a great concept for a restaurant. First of all, the menu is simple. They only serve bread, butter, and sweet tea. But best of all, it's all free! It's the world's first advertiser-supported restaurant: The Butter Trough is the world's FIRST 100% advertisement supported restaraunt. Come down to our Atlanta Facility to enjoy food and fun with friends and family all for free. We are able to bring this great value to YOU, the…
Posted: Mon Jul 31, 2006.   Comments (10)

Paris Bans Going Fake Topless on Fake Beach — Status: Weird news Five years ago the City of Paris trucked in sand to create a two-mile long fake beach along the banks of the Seine. Now, despite the fact that women go topless on all the real beaches in France, Paris has made it illegal for women to be topless on this fake beach. Nor can they fake being topless: If women are topless, or if they fake it and look topless, they are now banned from the fake beaches and they are told that they have to go to the real beaches to be fake. In…
Posted: Mon Jul 31, 2006.   Comments (4)

The Town Representative Vanishes — Status: Weird news The picture on the left shows the former group photo of Cary, North Carolina's town council. Then representative Michael Joyce resigned. Instead of taking a new group photo, the city simply deleted Joyce from the photo. The new photo is on the right (and you can also check out the photo on the town's website). There's nothing wrong with this. I suppose it was easier to do than getting everyone together for another photo. Still, it seems a bit like something out of The…
Posted: Mon Jul 31, 2006.   Comments (9)


Miracle Fountain Gushes Water — Status: The miracle of plumbing Due to the honesty of Wadowice's mayor, the town has lost out on a great opportunity to profit from a phony miracle. When water began to gush out of the base of a statue of Pope John Paul II, located in this Polish town, the devout (and gullible) thought it was a miracle. They declared it a "miracle fountain" and eagerly started filling up bottles with the water. Unfortunately for them, the water had a far more mundane source: their belief in what they…
Posted: Mon Jul 31, 2006.   Comments (6)

Porn Radio Replaces Christian Radio — Status: Publicity stunt When I first read this article I thought it was an example of satire masquerading as news. Now, however, I think it's just a publicity stunt:Kingsburg-based KFYE, FM 106.3, offered Christian programming until a week ago. In a neck-snapping, did-I-really-hear-that? turn of events, it now provocatively calls itself "Porn Radio" — presenting a mix of music, moans and suggestive announcements... The station's titillating playlist runs from "Why Don't We Do It in the…
Posted: Mon Jul 31, 2006.   Comments (9)

Ocean Dome — Status: Real place (fake beach) A couple of people have sent me these pictures of an artificial dome-covered beach.... located a few yards away from a real beach! Yes, it's a real place. This is Ocean Dome, located outside of Myazaki in Japan. Its motto is "Paradise within a paradise." David Boyle, author of Authenticity: Brands, Fakes, Spin and the Lust for Real Life (which is a pretty good book, by the way), has an article about it on his website. He speculates that it's possibly the…
Posted: Mon Jul 31, 2006.   Comments (10)

Aquiess Weather Modification — Status: Highly questionable A company called Aquiess, led by David Miles, claims to have developed technology that can bring rain to drought-ridden areas. Sounds a bit dubious to me, but Miles has managed to convince some farmers in Geelong, Australia that this is the real deal. The farmers have hired him on the agreement that they'll pay him if it rains. So if it doesn't rain, they remain out of luck. And if it does rain, they're going to pay some guy for something that is probably due…
Posted: Sun Jul 30, 2006.   Comments (6)

Optical Illusion As Traffic Control — Status: Weird News Chicago's transportation department has announced that they're going to try an interesting experiment to try to get people to slow down on a notoriously hazardous curve. They're going to use an optical illusion: The yellow warning signs mounted along the road in recent years telling drivers to take the curve at 25 m.p.h. have had little or no effect. So the city has decided to try something new. In a few weeks, dozens of new pavement stripes will be laid down. At…
Posted: Fri Jul 28, 2006.   Comments (15)

Doctor Who Currency — Status: Weird News As a long-time Doctor Who fan, I couldn't resist posting about this. It seems there's some phony British currency circulating around on which the Queen has been replaced by Doctor Who. The faux £10 notes bear the inscription "I promise to pay the bearer on demand the sum of 10 satsumas." Apparently the notes were created by the BBC for use during a scene in which the Doctor causes an ATM machine to start spewing money out into the street. Instead of using real money,…
Posted: Fri Jul 28, 2006.   Comments (10)

Can-Throwing Skills — Status: Real (I think) Check out this video that shows a bunch of kids casually tossing empty soda cans into trash bins. They make perfect shot after perfect shot, from behind their back, thirty feet away, beneath their legs, etc. And always as if they're not even trying to make the shot. You can watch the video either on their website, vietnam-26.skyblog.com (scroll down to the link that says The Caca Cola Company), or on youtube. The question is, how did they manage all these perfect…
Posted: Fri Jul 28, 2006.   Comments (19)

Hair-Made Soy Sauce: An Update — Status: Gross news Back in January 2004 I posted a short entry about a factory in China that had been caught making soy sauce out of human hair. I also mentioned the incident in Hippo Eats Dwarf (p.76). Now more gruesome details have emerged, published in the Internet Journal of Toxicology (link via Boing Boing): In late 2003, there was an alternatively produced soy sauce named "Hongshuai Soy Sauce" in China. The soy sauce was marketed as “blended using latest bioengineering…
Posted: Fri Jul 28, 2006.   Comments (28)

Alien Bug: What Is It? — Status: Real (but species unknown) This video of an alien-looking bug has already been posted in the forum, but I wanted to repost it here to give it a bit more attention (i.e. for those who read the site via RSS and never check out the forum). Hopefully someone will be able to identify this thing. I should note that I do think it's a real bug and not something mechanical (as one emailer speculated), but what kind of bug is it? I'm leaning towards it being a variety puss moth. For…
Posted: Fri Jul 28, 2006.   Comments (27)

Ancient Book of Psalms Found In Irish Bog — Status: Seems to be real A guy was out digging in an irish bog recently when, purely by chance, he found a book buried in the mud. Turns out that it could be a book of psalms over 1000 years old. Pat Wallace, director of the National Museum of Ireland, points out that this discovery was highly fortuitous: "There's two sets of odds that make this discovery really way out. First of all, it's unlikely that something this fragile could survive buried in a bog at all, and then for it to be…
Posted: Wed Jul 26, 2006.   Comments (13)

Is There A Hoose Loose? (Possible Horse-Moose Hybrid) — Status: Undetermined (but unlikely) A Canadian rancher claims that one of his mares has given birth to a horse-moose hybrid. His main evidence for this is that the mare has a funny looking head. Also, he says that his stallions were both sterilized shortly before the mare got pregnant, and there are no other male horses in the region. So who could the father be but a rogue moose that happened to be wandering by? Biologists, naturally, are skeptical. Gilles Landry, a biologist with…
Posted: Wed Jul 26, 2006.   Comments (12)

Texas Town Prays For Rain — Status: Superstition It's been a hot summer, and a lot of areas really need some rain. The town of Lubbock, Texas is taking a pro-active approach by organizing everyone in the town to pray for rain. Mayor David Miller says:"Nobody is going to tell God what to do and what not to do, but we are in a serious drought in West Texas and since he is the man who controls the rain clouds, we're asking him for his mercy and his help." If the City Council approves the rain-prayer resolution,…
Posted: Wed Jul 26, 2006.   Comments (27)

Headless Gymnast — Status: Strange but real A strange photo can be seen on Yahoo! News Photo. It looks like this gymnast is headless, though, of course, that's just an illusion created by the angle of the camera. The gymnast is Katherine Coronel of Venezuela. The photo was taken by Martin Bernetti.
Posted: Wed Jul 26, 2006.   Comments (7)

Inflatable Passenger — Status: Weird News Sheilas’ Wheels, a UK-based auto-insurance company that caters to women, has announced the invention of a "buddy on Demand": "a blow up man that inflates at the flick of a switch if and when a passenger is needed to be used whenever a woman driving alone after dark needs an instant passenger." It doesn't sound like a bad idea, and it would be very useful for carpool lanes as well. I suspected the whole thing was a joke since I couldn't find any picture of this…
Posted: Wed Jul 26, 2006.   Comments (15)

Cursor Kite — Status: Real Has a giant cursor been photoshopped into this picture? It looks like it, but the cursor is actually a kite created by Tim Elverston of WindFire Designs. It's not yet for sale. In the larger version of the picture, you can see someone on the right-hand side holding the strings to keep the kite aloft. More pictures of the Cursor Kite can be seen at the WindFire Designs site. (via OhGizmo)
Posted: Tue Jul 25, 2006.   Comments (12)

Did Einstein Consider Geography More Difficult Than Physics? — Status: Hoax The following quotation is widely attributed to Albert Einstein: "As a young man, my fondest dream was to become a geographer. However, while working in the Customs Office, I thought deeply about the matter and concluded that it was far too difficult a subject. With some reluctance, I then turned to physics as an alternative." Did he ever say it? No. Nor did he ever work in the Customs Office. (He worked in the Patent Office.) In an article in the Toronto Star, Sharon…
Posted: Tue Jul 25, 2006.   Comments (7)

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