The Museum of Hoaxes
hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive
   
Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
March 2009
Square Root April Fool’s Day — Electrical engineer Aziz Inan, of the University of Portland, recently noticed that April 1st, 2009 is a square root date. From USA Today: April Fool's Day, April 1, 2009 is 04/01/2009, or 4012009, which has 2003 as a square root (2003 * 2003 = 4012009.)... The next April Fool's square date doesn't fall until April 1, 6016 (2004*2004 = 4016016.) Of course, this is of no significance whatsoever. Or is it???
Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2009.   Comments (12)

National Geographic Interview and iPhone App — Marc Silver of National Geographic interviewed me about the history and customs of April Fool's Day. The interview is now up on the Nat Geo blog. And in other news, programmer Mark Greenfield turned the list of the Top 100 April Fool's Day hoaxes into an iPhone app (for those people who want to have the list in an easy-to-read format on their phone). The app is now available at the iPhone store. I don't have an iPhone, so I haven't been able to test the app. I think it costs $1, of…
Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2009.   Comments (1)

Cheating Hubby Caught on Street View — A recent article in The Sun (and we all know how diligent The Sun is about fact checking) claimed that a woman, while using Google Street View, spotted her husband's car parked outside another woman's home. Now she's filing for divorce! But Matt Platino, of the Idiot Forever blog, claims he hoaxed the sun into printing the story: I emailed The Sun, first with the email address sashaharris289@gmail.com. I shot them a “frantic” note: Hey Sun, I need your help. One of my mates caught…
Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2009.   Comments (6)

Great Hoaxes Trading Cards — Topps has announced it plans to release a set of cards featuring the "world's biggest hoaxes, hoodwinks, & bamboozles." The entire set, according to visualeditors.com, will consist of: Charles Ponzi Bernie Madoff The Runaway Bride Idaho The Turk Enron Anna Anderson Ferdinand Waldo Demara San Serriffe D.B. Cooper Spaghetti Trees Victor Lustig The War of the Worlds George Parker The Bathtub Hoax The Cottingley Fairies James Reavis The Piltdown Man The Cardiff Giant Cold Fusion Looks…
Posted: Mon Mar 30, 2009.   Comments (12)


The Hotelicopter — The premise: According to Hotelicopter.com, a giant helicopter (a Soviet-made Mil V-12) has been transformed into a flying hotel: The Hotelicopter features 18 luxuriously-appointed rooms for adrenaline junkies seeking a truly unique and memorable travel experience. Each soundproofed room is equipped with a queen-sized bed, fine linens, a mini-bar, coffee machine, wireless internet access, and all the luxurious appointments you’d expect from a flying five star hotel. Room service is…
Posted: Mon Mar 30, 2009.   Comments (10)

Agloe, New York — A case of a fake that became real. In this case, a fictitious town that, for a while, achieved actual existence. The town of Agloe, New York was a "copyright trap" placed on Esso Maps during the 1930s. (That is, it was a nonexistent town whose purpose was to reveal if rival mapmakers were blindly copying the information on Esso maps.) The name was a scramble of the initials of Otto G. Lindberg (the company founder) and his assistant Ernest Alpers. They located the town at a dirt-road…
Posted: Thu Mar 26, 2009.   Comments (20)

The Fake Acai Berry Diet Girl — Following up on Accipiter's post in the forum about the Acai berry weight-loss scam -- one of the interesting (and sleazy) things about the scam is the proliferation of fake diet blogs promoting these Acai berries. The sites go by names such as kirstensweightloss.com, rachelsweightloss.com, patdietblog.com, etc. etc. The sites have before and after pictures of the Acai berry dieters, but pictures of the same women appear on different sites... under different names. For instance, the…
Posted: Wed Mar 25, 2009.   Comments (31)

Can you see Half Dome from the Central Valley? — This may be of interest only to Californians, but so be it... On February 18 the Patterson Irrigator posted a picture that appeared to show the Half Dome in Yosemite, visible from Patterson. (It's a little hard to see, but if you look closely it's there.) The thing is, Patterson is in the Central Valley, about 100 miles from Yosemite. So the photo met with a very skeptical reaction. A lot of people simply refused to believe that Half Dome could be seen from that far away. There was…
Posted: Mon Mar 23, 2009.   Comments (19)

Homeless Decoys — The City of Toronto plans to pay 100 people $100 each to pose as homeless people for a day. Each person will first attend a 30-minute training seminar on how to convincingly look homeless. The reason: the decoys will act as a "control measure" during the city's upcoming survey of the homeless population. I guess I don't sufficiently understand the methodology of conducting surveys, because this doesn't make any sense to me.
Posted: Mon Mar 23, 2009.   Comments (16)

Car by Ikea — A new site (in French), roulez-leko.com, appears to announce the imminent introduction of the Leko, "the car by Ikea". The suspicious part: the car is set to debut right around April 1st. However, it could be legitimate because the first week of April is France's Sustainable Development Week, which the text on the site states that the debut is part of. We'll know soon enough if it's a hoax or something real. If it is real, it serves as a reminder that companies should avoid making…
Posted: Mon Mar 23, 2009.   Comments (6)

Wolverine Blow-Up Doll — A picture of a Wolverine toy with an unfortunately positioned blow-up valve has been doing the rounds. It's another case of satire mistaken as news. The picture originated on the satire site christwire.org, under the headline "Marvel Now Promotes Gay Agenda With Wolverine Toy." But once the image got loose on the web, its satirical origin was lost. Thus, the confusion.
Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009.   Comments (11)

Twitter Premium Services — An article that ran on the satire site BBSpot has apparently fooled some Twitterers. It claimed that Twitter was going to begin charging for "premium" services as follows: * Sparrow ($5/month) – Users get 145 character limit, 5 extra random followers. * Dove ($15/month) – Users get 160 character limit, 25 extra random followers, 1 random celebrity follower, auto-spell check, "Fail Whale" T-shirt. * Owl ($50/month) – Users get 250 character limit, 100 extra random followers,…
Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009.   Comments (3)

April 1st as an Atheist Holy Day — An urban legend has been circulating for a number of years that mockingly describes April Fool's Day as a holy day for atheists: FLORIDA COURT SETS ATHEIST HOLY DAY In Florida, an atheist created a case against the Easter & Passover holy days. He hired an attorney to bring a discrimination case against Christians, Jews & observances of their holy days. The argument was, it was unfair that atheists had no such recognized day(s). The case was brought before a judge. After listening to…
Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009.   Comments (12)

If you don’t show a weapon, is it really a robbery? — Police say that a man, alone in a car, drove up to a teller window at the Lone Star National Bank in Texas. He slipped the teller a note. Exactly what it said has not been revealed, but it caused the teller to hand him an undetermined amount of cash. He then drove away. At no point did the man display a weapon. Big Gary asks: But if you just say, "Give me money," and you don't display a weapon, and you aren't in any position to hurt anybody, it's not really a robbery, it's a gift,…
Posted: Wed Mar 18, 2009.   Comments (11)

Pareidolia Roundup: March 2009 — The Divine Cushion The "face of Christ" appeared in a cushion attached to a priest's chair, located in a Roman Catholic church on the French Indian island of Reunion. Parish priest Daniel Gavard said, "This is not a miracle, it's a sign of God." So what, exactly, is the meaning of the sign? God likes comfy chairs? Dead Dad in Ultrasound Marion McAleese thinks the arm of her dead dad can be seen in this ultrasound, cradling her unborn child. She says, "You can see four fingers on the…
Posted: Wed Mar 18, 2009.   Comments (10)

The Science of Whoopee Cushions — Science has determined the funniest whoopee cushion sound, based on a survey of 34,000 people. It is a long, whiny fart, lasting at least seven seconds. Young, European women tend to be most amused by fart sounds, relative to other demographic groups. And the noise of flatulence gets funnier the more you listen to it. The research was conducted by acoustics Professor Trevor Cox of the University of Salford, working in conjunction with the charity Comic Relief. My theory is that farts…
Posted: Wed Mar 18, 2009.   Comments (12)

The mystery of the gift-wrapped postbox — It happened in Edinburgh, on McDonald road. But why was it wrapped? Nobody knows. A Royal Mail spokeswoman suggests it may have been a "romantic gesture." The box has now been unwrapped.
Posted: Tue Mar 17, 2009.   Comments (1)

Green Dye in Nuclear Pool Prank — Happy St. Patrick's Day. Today the water in the White House fountains as well as the Chicago River will be dyed green. And looking back through prankster history, I found this case from 1988 in which someone put green dye in the pool where radioactive nuclear fuel was stored at Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station. Oddly, the plant officials were unwilling to admit it was a St. Patrick's Day prank, even though it happened on the eve of March 17. As reported in the San Jose Mercury News
Posted: Tue Mar 17, 2009.   Comments (0)

The AIG Bonuses — In response to the uproar over the millions of dollars in bonuses paid to the executives of AIG (you know, that company that would be bankrupt if not for the billions of dollars in loans it's taken from the US government), AIG management explains that it had no choice but to pay those bonuses because it was contractually obligated to do so. The Treasury Department, despite wagging its finger sternly at AIG, appears to accept that argument. On salon.com Glenn Greenwald details why…
Posted: Mon Mar 16, 2009.   Comments (10)

Ocean Youth — Too close to the real thing. Yachting Monthly reports that the April Fool it inserted into its current issue ruffled a few feathers: In our bid to insert some authentication into the prank about children competing in world sailing stunts we used the fictitious name: Ocean Youth Association. We did not foresee that by Googling this name - which according to Caroline White of the Ocean Youth Trust many people did - her own organisation and that of the Association of Sail Training…
Posted: Mon Mar 16, 2009.   Comments (0)

Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 > 
All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.