The Museum of Hoaxes
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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
April 2012
Driving into the mouth of the tunnel — It would be cool if there really was a tunnel entrance somewhere in the world that looked like this. But this is one of those brought-to-you-by-photoshop images. The original is an image showing a billboard created in March 2007 by the Austrian ad agency Demner, Merlicek & Bergmann for the restaurant chain Oldtimer. (link: adsoftheworld.com) What's puzzling me is whether the original image is itself photoshopped? Did this Oldtimer billboard ever exist in real life, or is the photo…
Posted: Mon Apr 30, 2012.   Comments (8)

Mexican Woman isn’t pregnant with nonuplets — From Mexico, last week, came news of a multiple-birth hoax. (posted by Smerk in the forum). Thirty-two-year-old Karla Vanessa Perez of Coahuila claimed she was pregnant with nonuplets (six girls and three boys) and would give birth on May 20. This was dutifully reported by Mexico's main broadcaster Televisa as well as various newspapers. She gave welfare officials some kind of ultrasound video (not clear where she got that), so her claim wasn't entirely without evidence. But when…
Posted: Mon Apr 30, 2012.   Comments (1)

Controversy over Egyptian ‘Farewell Intercourse Law’ — Late last week a strange story emerged alleging that Egypt's parliament was considering a 'Farewell Intercourse Law' to make it legal for Egyptian husbands to have sex with their dead wives for up to six hours after death. Why six hours? I assume to make sure the tender last moments are wrapped up before rigor mortis fully sets in. Though according to Wikipedia, rigor mortis begins after 3 to 4 hours, so that might be a bit awkward. Naturally a lot of news orgs ran the story without…
Posted: Mon Apr 30, 2012.   Comments (2)

The Mystery of the AB-hancer — An ad for a product called the "AB-hancer" appeared online back in March 2011 and quickly went viral. The text of the ad made it pretty obvious that this wasn't a real product — specifically where the text says, "Recommended by pseudo-athletes." There's also the fact that the product isn't available for purchase anywhere. Though inevitably a few people seemed to think the AB-hancer was real. But the mystery is: Where did this ad come from? Who created it? No one seems to know. Paul…
Posted: Sun Apr 29, 2012.   Comments (4)


The Mermaids of Zimbabwe — Ginny Stein reports for Australia's ABC News on the mermaids of Zimbabwe. Although Zimbabwe is landlocked, it's apparently home to many mermaids. And these aren't the friendly Disney kind of mermaids. These are evil, nasty creatures that live in ditches and creeks, kidnap people, and hold them prisoner for years. No Myth - Scourge of mermaids in Zimbabwe abc.net.au A mermaid is very mysterious creature. You can't really say what complexion it is, what colour it is. It can be like a…
Posted: Sat Apr 28, 2012.   Comments (1)

Fast-Food Tattoo Guy — The "Fast-Food Tattoo Guy" image has been floating around the internet since 2009, at least. It's not a very good fake. Which is to say, it doesn't appear that many people have been led to believe, on the basis of this photo, that some large, cheeseburger-loving man actually decided to tattoo himself with the logos of fast-food restaurants. Nevertheless, I'm always curious about where these fake photos originally come from. In the case of this photo, I tracked down the original to a…
Posted: Sat Apr 28, 2012.   Comments (0)

Bouncing Bear — This is one of those photos that looks so surreal you'd think it has to be photoshopped, but it's real. It was taken earlier today in Colorado. Although it looks like the bear might be bouncing on a trampoline, it's actually falling onto a thick mat: Bear tranquilized in tree near Williams Village cuindependent.com The bear managed to climb up a tree near the dorms where it stayed for about two and a half hours. Wildlife officials were able to safely tranquilize the bear at 10:17 a.m.…
Posted: Thu Apr 26, 2012.   Comments (3)

Woman dies after trying to live on sunlight alone — The NY Daily News is reporting (via the Tages-Anzeiger) that a Swiss woman died after deciding to embrace the philosophy of breatharianism and live on sunlight alone: Swiss woman dies after attempting to live on sunlight; Woman gave up food and water on spiritual journey nydailynews.com The Zurich newspaper reported Wednesday that the unnamed Swiss woman in her fifties decided to follow the radical fast in 2010 after viewing an Austrian documentary about an Indian guru who claims to…
Posted: Thu Apr 26, 2012.   Comments (3)

Romney’s family misspells their last name — This image has been circulating online since February with the caption: Romney's family misspell their last name in the greatest Freudian slip in history. The Hill reports that it's fake. However, I don't yet know any further details — such as where the picture was taken. Nor have I seen the original yet. But I've got to say, assuming this is a fake image, it's a really good one. Both because it's very believable (it's easy to imagine that two kids could momentarily stand in the wrong…
Posted: Thu Apr 26, 2012.   Comments (1)

Start Cola Earlier, says the Soda Pop Board of America — At first glance, this appears to be a vintage ad by the "Soda Pop Board of America" extolling the virtues of drinking cola at an early age. It's been circulating around the internet for quite a while, during which time many sites have angrily responded to the claims made in the ad. For instance, the Queen Anne Chiropractic Center declared that the ad demonstrates "just how wicked the Mad Men of yesteryear were." The parenting blog babble.com wrote: "We all know that, on occasion,…
Posted: Thu Apr 26, 2012.   Comments (11)

Long-Tongue Girl — Exhibit A: This image has been floating around the internet for quite a while. Over four years, I would guess, which is a lifetime in internet years. I don't know why it caught my attention, but it did, and I decided to see if I could find any information about it. Or rather, although it's obvious the picture has been photoshopped, I was curious how much it had been altered. I soon dug up a second (seemingly earlier) version of the picture. Exhibit B: The girl's tongue is shorter…
Posted: Wed Apr 25, 2012.   Comments (4)

Miss Travel—flying beautiful people around the world for free. Real or Fake? — Miss Travel calls itself "The #1 Travel Dating Site." But I'm not sure how many other travel dating sites there are. Is it the only one? The premise is that if you're an attractive person (but most likely a woman) who likes to travel, they'll pair you with a "generous" traveler who wants a traveling companion (a rich guy). So it's like a high-class escort service, trading travel for "companionship." The concept seemed a bit dubious to me, but as far as I can tell the site is…
Posted: Tue Apr 24, 2012.   Comments (1)

The Fake Science Blog — The Fake Science Blog has been around for over two years, but I just found out about it. It describes itself as being "for when the facts are too confusing." Lots of great stuff! Seems to be a new post about once every 4 or 5 days. Here's a few samples:
Posted: Tue Apr 24, 2012.   Comments (1)

The ghost of Janis Joplin attends a party — Posted by "klove614" on reddit: "Going through pictures from the other night...holy shit" Reddit users quickly pointed out that the ghost in the background bears a strong resemblance to this poster of Janis Joplin:
Posted: Tue Apr 24, 2012.   Comments (1)

The Taxidermied Zoo — This is a bit like something out of a Philip K. Dick novel -- The Dream Park El Janoob Zoo in the Gaza Strip can no longer afford to display live animals. And it's difficult to import animals into Gaza. So the zoo owner has decided to display taxidermied animals. An advantage of this is that zoo visitors can pet the animals, without having their limbs torn off, as might happen with live animals. Link: Al Arabiya
Posted: Mon Apr 23, 2012.   Comments (3)

Marl the Stock-Picking Robot — Accipiter already posted about this in the forum, but the story is odd enough that it deserves to be on the front page. Back in 2007, two teenage twins from North Tyneside, Alexander and Thomas Hunter, began selling a stock newsletter in which they recommended stocks supposedly selected by an AI robot named Marl. Investors could also pay to get advice through a variety of websites run by the twins, daytradingrobot.com, doublingstocks.com, and equitypromoter.com. Or would-be…
Posted: Mon Apr 23, 2012.   Comments (0)

Sonar Image Shows Nessie… or Algae — Marcus Atkinson, skipper of a Loch Ness tourist boat, noticed something strange on his sonar fish finder: a long, snake-like object at a depth of 75 ft. (In the image, the green line to the left of the number 25.) So he quickly snapped a picture of the sonar screen with his mobile phone. The picture recently won him bookmaker William Hill's Best Nessie Sighting of The Year Award. Of course, the scientists have to throw cold water on the excitement of all the Nessie fans. Dr Simon…
Posted: Mon Apr 23, 2012.   Comments (1)

New Research Suggests Link Between Welsh Rugby And Papal Deaths — In December 2008, two doctors published a study in the journal BMJ investigating what they called the "urban legend" that there's a link between Welsh rugby and papal deaths. Specifically, that "every time Wales win the rugby grand slam, a Pope dies, except for 1978 when Wales were really good, and two Popes died." They found that there was indeed a "borderline significant (P=0.047) association between Welsh performance and the number of papal deaths but no significant association…
Posted: Mon Apr 23, 2012.   Comments (0)

Trojan Houses, or Mobile Homeless Homes — FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Outraged homeless muppets to converge on Goldman Sachs NEW YORK, April 21, 2012 -- Homelessness is a great American tragedy. Our financial system and government have let us down and we, together, must take a stand to change the way the system works. With over 11 million homes underwater and millions in foreclosure, people are frightened, distressed and angry. Although not a cure, Mobile Homeless Homes (MHH) offers a temporary solution -- low cost alternative…
Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2012.   Comments (3)

Breast-Sucking Turtles of Namibia — If you happen to be a young woman in Namibia, watch out for a middle-aged Indian man who may try to strike up a friendship with you. Before too long, he may whip out his breast-sucking turtle. It happened to Lina Sames (link: informante.web.na): Sames, a domestic worker, related how the mysterious man suddenly produced a live turtle, no bigger than the average grown up's hand and pressed the reptile against the victim's right breast. "It proceeded to suck, while at the same time…
Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2012.   Comments (1)

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