The Museum of Hoaxes
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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
July 2007
Rent a Pet
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jul 30, 2007
FlexPetz is a San Diego-based company that allows people to rent out dogs by the day. So if you want to be able to take a dog to the beach on the weekend, but you don't have time to care for it during the week, this is the service for you. Marlena Cervantes, the founder of the company, doesn't like the term "rent-a-pet," according to this AP article. Instead, she likes to think of what she's offering as "shared pet ownership." The service is quite pricey, but it's doubtless cheaper than caring for a dog yourself for its entire life.
Categories: Animals, Business/Finance Comments (17)
The Coleman Frog
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jul 30, 2007
The Coleman Frog, explains a recent article on, is an enormous stuffed frog -- it weighs 19 kilograms, or about 42 lbs -- on display in the York-Sunbury Museum in Fredericton, Canada. According to legend, the frog originally belonged to Fred Coleman, who owned a lodge near Fredericton back in the 1880s. He used to feed it whiskey and whey, causing it to grow to its enormous size. After it died, he had it stuffed. It sat in the saloon of a hotel for a while before coming into the possession of the York-Sunbury Museum. There are skeptics who say…
Football Fake Out
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jul 30, 2007
I'm no expert on football, but I don't think this is a legal move. (via Funl)
Categories: Pranks, Sports Comments (16)
Eclyse the Zorse
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jul 30, 2007
Big Gary forwarded me a link to this Yahoo News Photo of Eclyse, a zebra-horse hybrid housed at the Stukenbrock Safaripark in Germany. Big Gary had some doubts about whether this was a true hybrid, or a fake one (such as Tijuana Zebras -- donkeys that Tijuana street vendors paint to look like zebras so that tourists can pose with them). Eclyse's color coating does look so strange that it would be natural to assume it was fake, but it turns out to be real. Spiegel has more pictures of Eclyse. Eclyse's coloring is highly…
Categories: Animals Comments (16)
The Compliment Machine
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jul 27, 2007
No form of deception is more ubiquitous in modern life than the cheery platitudes we constantly exchange: "How are you?" "Fine!" or "Have a nice day." Washington DC based artist Tom Greaves has created a work of art designed to hold a mirror up to this culture of shallow, saccharine pleasantries. It's the compliment machine -- a red-and-white striped box that sits on a street corner and delivers compliments all day. As pedestrians pass by, it continuously shouts out words of encouragement: "People are drawn to your positive energy." "You are always there when needed." "Your eyes are…
Categories: Art, Psychology Comments (13)
Dentist Implants Fake Boar Tusks
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jul 27, 2007
While operating on one of his employees, Dentist Robert Woo temporarily implanted fake boar tusks in her mouth and took photos of her. The boar tusks, he claimed, were merely a practical joke -- an allusion to the pot-bellied pigs her family raises. He hoped the joke would help foster a "friendly working environment." Unfortunately, the employee wasn't amused when she later saw the photos. She sued him for outrage, battery, and invasion of privacy. Woo asked his insurance company to represent him, but they refused, saying that the joke was intentional and not a normal business activity. Therefore, Woo had to hire a lawyer on his own and eventually reached a settlement with his employee in…
Categories: Health/Medicine, Pranks Comments (10)
Oscar, the death-predicting cat
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jul 25, 2007
The latest issue of the New England Journal of Medicine (Volume 357, Number 4) contains a short article about Oscar, a cat that seems to possess the ability to predict when people are about to die. Oscar's home is the Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Providence, Rhode Island, so he has many chances to be around dying people. When patients are about to die, he curls up next to them and happily sleeps there, until they're dead. Then he quietly exits the room. Most of the time the dying patients are so sick they don't even know he's there. The article in the NEJM…
Categories: Animals, Death Comments (81)
M is for Fake
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jul 25, 2007
Cosmetics giant Elizabeth Arden has gone on record to let everyone know that an image apparently circulating around the internet, showing a supposed ad for Mariah Carey's new perfume, M, is a fake. An Arden spokesman says: "An image of MC with her fragrance bottle photoshopped in the corner is being featured on several blogs today, and is categorically not the advertisement for her new fragrance, nor is it even remotely close. The real ad for M by Mariah Carey will debut exclusively on…
Categories: Advertising Comments (10)
Cerne Abbas Homer
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jul 25, 2007
A 180ft image of a donut-waving Homer Simpson recently appeared on a hillside in Dorchester, beside the famous Cerne Abbas Giant. The image is part of the publicity for the new Simpsons movie. However, the stunt has not pleased local pagans, who believe it to be disrespectful. Catherine Hosen, Wiltshire representative for The Pagan Federation, says, "I find it quite shocking and very disrespectful. It's just a publicity stunt for a film and we are talking about a monument which is definitely of great historical significance and a lot of people feel has important spiritual significance as well." However, the pagans…
Categories: Advertising, Places Comments (8)
Manusia Kena Sumpah
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jul 24, 2007
I have no idea what the meaning of this video is, but whoever created it appears to be trying to simulate the appearance of a Feejee Mermaid-type creature. I found it linked to on the CeticismoAberto blog, where it's noted that the illusion of the creature is created in much the same way as magicians create the illusion of sawing a woman in half. In other words, this Feejee Mermaid actually consists of someone's head poking out the top of a box, with the body of the mermaid being manipulated separately from the head.
Madonna’s Arms
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jul 24, 2007
What in the world has happened to Madonna? The Daily Mail published these photos of her, taken "as she left her private members club in London's Soho to attend a business meeting," clutching a large designer bag. The sinewy appearance of her arms is attributed to "use of 'miracle' machine - The Power Plate," which apparently is some kind of vibrating platform offering "the same benefits of an hour-long sweaty gym workout in just 15 minutes with the machine burning the calories for you." Sure, it lets you get a full workout in just 15 minutes, but unfortunately it also turns you into a walking skeleton. At first I thought the photo of Madonna's arms…
Pickled Person
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jul 23, 2007
Robert Brewington was kind enough to forward me the following job listing. My email program initially flagged the message as potential junk mail, but after I looked at it more closely I realized it wasn't spam. Instead, it's a very tempting job lead. The listing, posted by the Circus of Horrors on the British government's Job Centre site, reads: Pickled Person Applicants should be flexible, and happy to work in confined spaces, as one of the acts will involve climbing into a Perspex box with very little room. According to an article in Gazette Live, it's a real…
Categories: Body Manipulation Comments (3)
Ghetto Bus Tour
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jul 23, 2007
Next time you visit Chicago, consider skipping the normal city tours and instead take the "Ghetto Bus Tour." It takes tourists on a guided tour in a yellow school bus "through vacant lots and past demolished buildings on a tour of what was once one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the country." You get to see the former housing projects. The tour guide is Beauty Turner. The Chi-Town Daily News reports: Turner leads her captivated audience from site to site in a beat-up yellow school [bus]. Sitting in the back, listening to her point out the sites, the We…
Categories: Places Comments (11)
Man vs. Wild vs. Hotel Room
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jul 23, 2007
I know it should come as no surprise to learn that a reality TV show has been faked, but it still kind of sucks to hear this about Born Survivor (aired in America on the Discovery Channel as Man vs. Wild), since I've watched quite a few episodes of this show and enjoyed it. The premise of the show is that Bear Grylls, a former soldier with the UK Special Forces, is dropped into various extreme situations (on top of a mountain, on a desert island, etc.) and has to survive on his own until he gets rescued. Obviously there's a camera crew with him constantly, so he's never in that much danger. Still, learning that…
Categories: Entertainment Comments (25)
Is that the real Buddha’s tooth?
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jul 23, 2007
In a Buddhist temple in Singapore, stored inside a solid gold stupa, lies a tooth. The monks who run the temple claim that it's the Buddha's tooth. But others are not so sure. Apparently, "some experts have reportedly questioned whether the tooth is from the Buddha himself." Wow! It's hard to imagine something like this would be fake. The problem seems to be that the tooth looks suspiciously like the tooth of a herbivore, such as a horse or a buffalo. Apparently vendors in places such as Myanmar often try to sell similar-looking teeth to tourists. Vets have confirmed that the teeth the vendors sell come from herbivores. However, the monks…
Categories: Religion Comments (5)
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