The Museum of Hoaxes
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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
July 2008
Pareidolia Roundup — Once again, it's time to play spot the blurry face resembling the iconic image of Jesus (or the Virgin Mary, or whatever). Cat Fur Jesus The Johnson family of Indiana recently adopted a kitten. To their surprise, they discovered that the fur on its side contains a pattern that looks like the face of Jesus. They admit that people who don't see it "might think we are weird crazy or something," but they're fine with that. I'd say they haven't quite reached the weird crazy stage yet. Maybe…
Posted: Thu Jul 31, 2008.   Comments (12)

The Montauk Monster — The story so far: A bizarre creature washed up on Ditch Plains beach near Montauk, New York on July 12. Local resident Jenna Hewitt took some photos of it. However, the body is now gone. Some guy (unidentified) supposedly has it in his backyard. In the absence of any evidence except for the photo, there are many theories about what it might be: a sea turtle, a dog, a raccoon missing an upper jaw, a creature from the government's animal-disease lab on Plum Island, or a hoax. We'll…
Posted: Thu Jul 31, 2008.   Comments (34)

Buy Your Own Universe — The Authority for Universe Ownership offers you the chance to buy your own parallel universe. They explain: Quantum physics dictates that reality is created by observation. There are an infinite number of possible realities, which can be actualised only through observation - an unlimited variety of parallel universes exist in what is known as quantum flux. In some of these universes the deeds purchased from Buy Your Own Universe will be recognised as legally binding, meaning that you…
Posted: Wed Jul 30, 2008.   Comments (6)

Georgia Monkey Hoax of 1953 — Back in July 1953 three pranksters left the hairless/tailless body of a monkey lying in the middle of a Georgia highway. When a policeman came along, they told him it was the body of an extraterrestrial that they had accidentally run over. Its friends had escaped moments before in a spacecraft. The prank managed to make national headlines. (I describe it in greater detail in the Hoaxipedia.) MSNBC has an article (with picture) about the Great Monkey Hoax. The occasion for it is a visit…
Posted: Wed Jul 30, 2008.   Comments (5)


Gays must leave the plane — Posted recently by Tobester in the Hoax Forum: I couldn't resist doing some research on this. Here's what I found. a) It's definitely an urban legend. b) I can't find any record of it ever appearing in the New York Times. c) The earliest mention of it I can find in print dates back to July 10, 2000, when it was discussed in the Sydney Morning Herald. Apparently, in a version circulating back then, they were identified as the source of the tale. They denied this, pointed out the…
Posted: Tue Jul 29, 2008.   Comments (6)

Fake soldiers guard base — To save money, a Taiwanese army base decided to use dummies in place of real soldiers to guard a base. Locals eventually noticed that the soldiers never moved, and as word spread the fake soldiers became a tourist attraction. (via Weird Asia News) It's actually not as odd as it sounds. Ever since World War II armies have made extensive use of decoys, including fake tanks, aircraft, ships, and individual soldiers. A classic story about this phenomenon is that during WWII the Germans…
Posted: Tue Jul 29, 2008.   Comments (9)

Ban Fake Tans! — The Baines School in Lancashire has decided to ban fake tans. From The Telegraph: "The current trend for fake/spray tans does little to enhance the appearance of our young ladies," [Carol Robinson, head of the school] wrote. "We ask for your support in ensuring girls do not come to school looking varying shades of orange." She claimed that fake tan went against the principles of the school, where staff strived to "promote natural beauty and contentment with one's own looks". Her…
Posted: Tue Jul 29, 2008.   Comments (8)

Did Steve Fossett fake his death? — That's the latest rumor. The Telegraph reports: Lieutenant Colonel Cynthia Ryan of the US Civil Air Patrol has said Fossett, whose body or plane was never found, could still be alive. She said: "I've been doing this search and rescue for 14 years. Fossett should have been found. "It's not like we didn't have our eyes open. We found six other planes while we were looking for him. We're pretty good at what we do." Some anomalies about his disappearance: Only one person saw him take…
Posted: Mon Jul 28, 2008.   Comments (12)

Brillante Weblog Premio — Surf around the web enough and you'll notice a lot of sites that have announced they're the recipients of a "Brillante Weblog Premio" award. (Google "Brillante Weblog" and you'll see what I mean.) Just to clue in anyone who might be confused -- this is not a real award. It's a viral nuisance. The gimmick is that you receive this award from a friend. Accompanying the award are these rules: 1. The winner can put the logo on his/her blog. 2. Link to the person you received your award…
Posted: Thu Jul 24, 2008.   Comments (6)

The Fishing Lures of Faith — Not to be outdone by Christian fundamentalists, Islamic fundamentalists have come out with their own anti-evolution treatises. Among the most prominent of these is the Atlas of Creation by Harun Yahya. It's a long work (and more is on the way) consisting primarily of page after page of examples showing that modern-day species can be found in the fossil record. This is supposed to demonstrate that evolution hasn't occurred. Volume 1 contains the example of the Caddis Fly. The…
Posted: Thu Jul 24, 2008.   Comments (6)

Girl cries crystal tears — Here's an oldie but a goodie (Thanks, Nettie!). This video from 1996 shows Hasnah Mohamed, a 12-year-old Lebanese girl who "baffled medical experts by producing crystals from her eyes." Girl Has Crystals Coming Out Of Eyes Fake? Of course. Hasnah's crystal tears were debunked by Joe Nickell in a 1997 Skeptical Inquirer article: Hasnah, who claims to produce up to seven crystals a day, showed a collection of the allegedly apported rocks. From their rhomboidal shape and other…
Posted: Wed Jul 23, 2008.   Comments (44)

Fake Coffee with the News — Product placement has reached the TV news. On the desk in front of the anchors of Las Vegas's Fox 5 TV news sit two cups of McDonald's iced coffee. McDonald's is paying for the coffee to be there. But the best part: it's not real coffee. It's just a plastic simulation of iced coffee. From the Las Vegas Sun: The anchors aren’t even supposed to acknowledge them, McDonald’s reps explain. That’s part of their genius, my little lambs! They get into your mind without you knowing it. So they…
Posted: Wed Jul 23, 2008.   Comments (10)

Well-Dying Courses — Suicide has become such a problem in South Korea that many companies, including Samsung and Hyundai, are sending their employees on "well-dying" courses, which involve writing out your will and faking your own funeral. Somehow this is supposed to prevent suicide. From the Financial Times: Before they are "buried", participants are asked to pose for their funeral portrait. Participants enter a "death experience room" where they choose a coffin and put on a "death robe". Course members…
Posted: Tue Jul 22, 2008.   Comments (7)

Joker Face in Toilet — Found on eBay: "Dark Knight Joker (Heath Ledger) - Face in My Toilet!" The seller writes: Plain and simple, you are bidding on my toilet. This toilet was installed in my home in 1971. Recently, I realized that the mineral buildup in the toilet had a strong resemblance to the Joker character in The Dark Knight. Click through the pictures below and see for yourself. Resemblance? You decide. For the winning bidder, we will have a plumber professionally remove the toilet, then have it…
Posted: Tue Jul 22, 2008.   Comments (11)

You know this man? — He's African Con-Cheater: His talent as a Con-Man makes him luring people into a "business-partnership" with him that will allow him to withdraw all money you have deposited into "His" account. If you help bring him to justice, you will receive 50% of the recovered money. Too bad he's probably already spent it all! Sent in by Norbert Harms, to whom lovemeadow.com is registered.
Posted: Tue Jul 22, 2008.   Comments (5)

Nessie Does New York — Apexart, in New York City, is currently hosting an exhibition titled "Nessie Does New York: Monetizing Myth, Legend & Culture." It's basically a collection of Nessie, Bigfoot, and Chupacabra-related kitsch. Their downloadable exhibition brochure poses this question: Is it the marketing of myth, or the myth of marketing that keeps these creatures alive? (Who knows?) In other words, is it that we want to believe there's a small chance Bigfoot might show up on a logging road after we've…
Posted: Mon Jul 21, 2008.   Comments (4)

Farting iPhones — You've just shelled out a couple hundred bucks for a new iPhone, and now you're paying outrageous monthly service charges in addition to that. So what can you do to show off your new status symbol? How about make it fart? DoApp has introduced a whoopie cushion app for the iPhone: This app includes 10 varieties of gas sounds. The user will be able to choose the right length and power to make the proper sound effect for the moment. In order to use this application, a user has to touch…
Posted: Fri Jul 18, 2008.   Comments (4)

No tattoos in Jewish cemeteries — The New York Times debunks the myth that "If you get a tattoo, you can’t be buried in a Jewish cemetery": The eight rabbinical scholars interviewed for this article, from institutions like the Jewish Theological Seminary and Yeshiva University, said it’s an urban legend, most likely started because a specific cemetery had a policy against tattoos. Jewish parents and grandparents picked up on it and over time, their distaste for tattoos was presented as scriptural doctrine. But even if…
Posted: Fri Jul 18, 2008.   Comments (7)

An offensive ad? — I've received a few complaints about one of the ads running on the site, for Dickipedia.org. People are worried it might be a porn ad. It's actually not. According to Federated Media it's "a satirical wikipedia stye guide to celebrities who behave badly." Most of the ads on the site run through Google, and I have very little control over them. But a few run through Federated Media, and I have slightly more control over these. FM warned me this ad was scheduled to run, and I could have…
Posted: Thu Jul 17, 2008.   Comments (16)

Spiderman Tattoo — Photos of a Spiderman tattoo, showing an illusion of skin tearing away to reveal a Spiderman costume beneath, have been circulating around, prompting people to wonder if the images are real or photoshopped. They are real. The tattoo is the work of Milwaukee-based artist Dan Hazelton. Check out his site for other examples of his work. He very briefly discusses the Spiderman tattoo on his myspace page in response to a question from someone who asks, "can i get a tear out like the…
Posted: Wed Jul 16, 2008.   Comments (22)

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