The Museum of Hoaxes
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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
May 2007
Pop Band For Sale — A Swedish pop band called Rednex is up for sale on eBay for $1.5 million. An accompanying website, popbandforsale.com, details what you get when you buy the band: The Music - the Trademark - the Band The Tour - the Record Deals - the Web Site The Record Releases - the Plans - the Contacts The Contracts - the Styling - the Catalogue (all previous hits and recordings) And of course… ... the opportunities… ... the future... At first I wondered whether this was even a real band, never…
Posted: Tue May 22, 2007.   Comments (7)

Quick Links: Pranks and Robbers — Prank Bathroom Signs Backfire If you ever go to McGuire's Irish Pub in Destin, Florida, it pays to read the fine print, especially when going to the bathroom. For years McGuire's has played a joke on its customers. The fine print on the "Ladies" sign explains that it's actually the men's room, and vice versa for the "Mens" sign. But recently, "A father filed a complaint, after his daughter was interrupted by a man in what she thought was the ladies room. Now, state regulators are…
Posted: Tue May 22, 2007.   Comments (6)

Urban Parrot Phenomena — Is it true that large flocks of wild parrots can be found in cities such as Los Angeles, New York, and San Diego? When I first heard this I doubted it, since I live in San Diego and I've never seen wild parrots flying around (though I've seen plenty of other strange birds in my backyard.) But apparently parrots are adapting very well to urban environments, and many can now be found living wild in cities throughout the world. It's called Urban Parrot Phenomena. (Actually, I don't know…
Posted: Tue May 22, 2007.   Comments (31)

Killer Mobile Phone Virus — I'm a bit late with this, but I see (via Fortean Times) that last month Reuters reported that rumors were spreading around Pakistan and Afghanistan alleging that: a deadly virus was being sent through mobile phones, and that anyone answering phone calls from some certain numbers would contract a fatal illness. The rumours claimed that "as soon as you answer your phone blood comes out of your mouth, nose and ears and you die" The local phone companies were trying to calm people down,…
Posted: Fri May 18, 2007.   Comments (30)


Panty-Clad Robber — Here's a recent case of a man who is obviously not cut out for a life of crime: What a cashier first thought of as a practical joke turned into no laughing matter for a Ranson man who was arrested Wednesday after using women’s underwear and a lighter shaped like a small gun in an attempt to rob a convenience store... “He entered the store wearing a pair of women’s pajama shorts over his face,” Sgt. T.C. Kearns of the West Virginia State Police said Wednesday. “I couldn’t make this stuff…
Posted: Thu May 17, 2007.   Comments (8)

Whiskey Floats on Water — This YouTube video demonstrates a physics trick right out of high-school science -- how to take a glass of water and a glass of whiskey and swap their contents, without using a third glass. It relies on the principle that whiskey is lighter than water and will float on top of it. The funny part is not the video, which is fairly straightforward, but rather the comments left by YouTube viewers, many of whom seem to think the video must have been faked. I guess they weren't paying…
Posted: Thu May 17, 2007.   Comments (8)

Quick Links: Fake Zebras, etc. — Fake Zebras A zoo in China is charging a small fee for posing beside horses painted with zebra stripes. The zoo assures the customers that it is 'just for fun'. Dressed Up Dead Fawn Left By Theatre "The police log entry said it all: "Deceased fawn was dressed up like an infant and abandoned at the Pantages Theater." The police have no idea who left the fawn or why, but they believe that the fawn had been stillborn and had died some time previously. Woman Pretends to be Pregnant -…
Posted: Wed May 16, 2007.   Comments (7)

Flipping: Is it a new prank or an old one? — The Wilmington, Delaware News Journal reports that there's a new prank that's all the rage in America's high schools. It's called backpack-flipping. The idea is simple. You take someone's backpack, remove all its contents, turn it inside out, and then restuff it with everything that was originally in there. Students are divided on whether or not this is amusing: Sophomore Tim Southerland, whose backpack has been flipped 15 times, thinks backpack-flipping is "like a drug." "There are…
Posted: Tue May 15, 2007.   Comments (15)

Fake Attack at Elementary School — Sixty-nine elementary students from Scales Elementary School got quite a scare during a recent field trip to Fall Creek Falls. Their teachers told them that a gunman was on the loose in the area: The students were told to lie on the floor or crawl underneath tables and keep quiet. The lights went out, and about 20 kids started to cry, 11-year-old Shay Naylor said. Some held hands and shook. “I was like, ‘Oh my God,’ ” Shay said Saturday afternoon as she recounted the incident. “At…
Posted: Tue May 15, 2007.   Comments (16)

How much of the legend of the 17th-Century tulipmania is true? — The tulip craze that hit Holland in the seventeenth century is arguably the most famous financial bubble in all of history. According to the popular account of what happened, prices for tulips began to go through the roof in 1636 as word spread that wealthy people were willing to pay huge sums of money for tulips. Soon the general population joined in the speculative fervor, many people using their life savings in order to buy bulbs, believing they could resell them at windfall…
Posted: Mon May 14, 2007.   Comments (13)

The Underground Railroad Quilt Code — Did escaping slaves fleeing from the South in the pre-Civil War era use secret codes woven into quilts to communicate with each other and guide them on their journey? That is the premise of the quilt-code theory, first popularized in a 1998 book written by Jacqueline Tobin and Raymond Dobard, Hidden in Plain View: A Secret Story of Quilts and the Underground Railroad. A National Geographic article from 2004 elaborates on the theory: A plantation seamstress would sew a sampler quilt…
Posted: Sat May 12, 2007.   Comments (15)

Mirror-Magnified Moonlight — A couple out in Arizona, Richard and Monica Chapin, have built a moonlight magnifier (or, as they call it, an "interstellar light collector"). Exposure to concentrated lunar rays, they claim, can have all kinds of positive medical benefits. They hope it may even heal cancer. It cost them over $2 million to build the thing. According to their website, starlightuses.com, here's how the machine works: The Interstellar Light Collector rotates a full 360 degrees, and can be aligned with…
Posted: Sat May 12, 2007.   Comments (18)

The Great Goldfish Hoax — It began with a classified ad in the Fresno Bee: "Found: Large, obese goldfish. Approx 11yrs old, blind as a bat." The ad, placed by Lori Igasan, ran for a week, starting March 16, and soon attracted a lot of attention, especially after David Letterman talked about it on his show. Igasan explained to reporters that she had just walked out of her house one day, when she happened to notice a large goldfish lying on her front lawn. Immediately she ran inside to place it in an aquarium…
Posted: Fri May 11, 2007.   Comments (15)

Colour-Changing Card Trick — This trick is quite an interesting little demonstration of misdirection. I shan't say more, so as to not give it away, but keep your eyes peeled - there is more to this than just one trick. (Thanks, Nettie and David B.)
Posted: Thu May 10, 2007.   Comments (17)

Crushing Crane Weights — In this video a pair of crane weights falls on a car, completely crushing it. The odds of someone capturing this scene on video as they're driving down a street suggest that it must be fake, but it's a pretty well done fake. A professional agency must have created it. (via Digg) var FO_245 =…
Posted: Wed May 09, 2007.   Comments (12)

Catching Sunglasses — Here's a youtube video of a guy who catches sunglasses on his face. The sunglasses are dropped from a house, from a bridge, and thrown at him as he passes by in a car. Yeah, it's obviously fake. But it's kind of amusing.
Posted: Wed May 09, 2007.   Comments (10)

Did Hillary Clinton Participate in a Menstrual Synchrony Study? — One of the stranger rumors I encountered in the course of writing Elephants on Acid was the suggestion that Hillary Clinton participated in a menstrual synchrony study while she was a student at Wellesley College during the 1960s. Stranger still, I haven't been able to disprove this. Here are the facts. In 1968, Martha McClintock, while a senior at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, convinced all 135 of her dormmates to participate in a study of the phenomenon of synchronous…
Posted: Wed May 09, 2007.   Comments (7)

Prom Babies — The latest trend among teenage girls is, apparently, to have a "prom baby." The idea is that girls try to get pregnant on prom night. This sneaky tactic allows them to avoid the pressure of going to college. Instead they substitute the pressure of raising a child. This trend was reported by a "Worried Dad" who recently wrote in to Dear Abby. He writes: I first heard about it while driving my teenage daughter to a lacrosse meet with several of her girlfriends. One girl in the car,…
Posted: Tue May 08, 2007.   Comments (23)

Gnome News — Some gnome stories that have been in the news lately: Gnome Abuse On April 13 more than twenty gnomes were found around the town of Seaford, taped to lamp-posts, covered in fake blood, with macabre messages written on them, and some with forks and axes embedded in their heads. Police have now identified those responsible for this gruesome scene. The police sergeant said, "We have established that the little fellows were bought by some high spirited youngsters who disfigured them with…
Posted: Tue May 08, 2007.   Comments (7)

PC World’s Top 25 Web Hoaxes — PC World writer Steve Bass compiled a list of the Top 25 Web Hoaxes and Pranks. Here's the list (minus Bass's commentary): The Accidental Tourist Sick Kid Needs Your Help Bill Gates Money Giveaway Five-Cent E-Mail Tax Nigerian 419 E-Mail Scam Kidney Harvesting Time You've Got Virus! Microsoft Buys Firefox The Really Big Kitty $250 Cookie Recipe Free Vacation Courtesy of Disney Sunset Over Africa Alien Autopsy at Roswell, New Mexico Real-Time GPS Cell Phone Tracking Apollo Moon Landing…
Posted: Sat May 05, 2007.   Comments (3)

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