The Museum of Hoaxes
hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive
   
Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
May 2012
Yet Another Nessie Theory: She’s a Sleeper Shark — Alaska biologist Bruce Wright, writing in the Alaska Dispatch, offers a new theory to explain Nessie sightings — as well as sightings of 'monsters' in other lakes, such as Alaska's Lake Iliamna. He thinks people may actually have been seeing Pacific Sleeper Sharks. Despite the name, this type of shark is found circumglobally in northern waters and could have made its way into Loch Ness. Wright elaborates: The idea of sharks possibly using Loch Ness is not new; that's long been one of…
Posted: Fri May 11, 2012.   Comments (2)

Mr. Corrupt Self-Serving Lying B’stard — Add this to the satirical candidates file: The guy in the picture was born Eric Mutch. But in 2010 he changed his name by deed poll to "Zero None Of The Above" and ran in the general election for Mayor of Bristol. But he only received 172 votes. He theorized that people didn't understand the point of his name, which was "to give a choice to people who wanted to vote but did not want to give their support to any of the candidates on their ballot paper." So he's changed his name again.…
Posted: Fri May 11, 2012.   Comments (3)

Top 10 Worst Excuses Offered by Students for not Turning in Papers — Teacher Larry Wilson offers up these gems, all of which really were told to him by tardy students: "I had too much homework in my important classes." "I'm having a baby this weekend, can I turn it in later." "I turned it in, and I guess you lost it." "Glee was on." "I'm a crack baby." "I'm working on my essay at home." "My allergies are extremely bad right now, and I'm on my period. It's VERY heavy flow, so I apologize in advance if I freak out on you or anyone." "It's at my mom's…
Posted: Fri May 11, 2012.   Comments (2)

Notice to Thieves, Thugs, Fakirs and Bunko-Steerers — Warning notice posted in Las Vegas, New Mexico, March 24, 1882. Had to post it because I love the term "Bunko-Steerers". From New Mexico's Digital Collections (via Kate Nelson).
Posted: Thu May 10, 2012.   Comments (0)


How Abraham Lincoln Invented Facebook (a hoax) — On Wednesday, Nate St. Pierre posted an interesting story on his blog. He detailed his discovery of an attempt by Abraham Lincoln in 1845 to create and patent a social-networking system that very much resembled Facebook. Only it was an all-paper version of Facebook, and Lincoln didn't call it Facebook. In his patent application he supposedly called it "The Gazette," and he described it as a system to "keep People aware of Others in the Town." He laid out a plan where every town would…
Posted: Thu May 10, 2012.   Comments (1)

Story about jilted woman who pulled out all her ex-boyfriend’s teeth turns out to be a hoax — At the end of April, a news story was widely reported involving a jilted Polish woman, Anna Maćkowiak, who got revenge on her ex-boyfriend by pulling out all his teeth. Seems she was a dentist, and he made the mistake of showing up at her practice complaining of toothache. So she sedated him, and set to work. He woke up later with no toothache, and no teeth. This got posted over at Weird Universe (though not by me), but it didn't trigger any hoax alarms in my head. But it should have.…
Posted: Wed May 09, 2012.   Comments (0)

S?it Yourself — This image that recently appeared on the May 4 cover of the Living section in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review is all over the blogosphere. Does the heading say "Suit Yourself" or "Shit Yourself"? The real question is whether this was an innocent accident, or an artist's prank. Kind of like the penis on the Little Mermaid video cover. The artist swore he didn't put it there intentionally, but that was kind of hard to believe. After all, how could he miss it?
Posted: Wed May 09, 2012.   Comments (6)

Poop Dollaring — Scatology has always provided fertile ground for pranks and humor. In fact, I've read scientific speculation that farts and feces probably provided the inspiration for the very first jokes told (or staged) by our early hominid ancestors. Witness how modern-day chimpanzees find it endlessly amusing to fling their feces. This might provide us with some context for the prank called Poop Dollaring. (Though it's probably more analysis than the prank deserves.) Its method is simple: smear…
Posted: Wed May 09, 2012.   Comments (3)

A Disposition to Be Rich, by Geoffrey Ward — A new book to add to my reading list: A Disposition to Be Rich csmonitor.com Geoffrey Ward’s cagily titled book, A Disposition to Be Rich, about his great grandfather isn’t so much written as lived in. In colorful and remarkable detail it chronicles the brazen exploits of Ferdinand Ward, “the best-hated man in the United States” and the pre-eminent Ponzi schemer of the Reconstruction Era. Not only did Ferd swindle former President Ulysses S. Grant out of millions in today’s…
Posted: Wed May 09, 2012.   Comments (0)

LazyTruth Fact-Checking Widget — A software company has announced it's making a widget called LazyTruth that will scan all your incoming emails for misinformation: tl;dr: We’re building an inbox widget that surfaces vetted information when you receive an email forward full of political myths, urban rumors, or security threats. It’s called LazyTruth. Basically the widget will scan the text of your incoming emails and check them against "pre-existing nonpartisan information". It's an interesting idea. I'll be…
Posted: Wed May 09, 2012.   Comments (3)

Exam-weary students in China receive amino-acid infusions — A strange series of photos has recently been circulating online showing an entire classroom full of high school students in China hooked up to IV drips. Apparently the students aren't sick. Instead, they're exhausted from cramming for the upcoming National College Entrance Exam (Gao Kao). So they're all being given supplemental amino acids via IV drip. And this is something the Chinese government is willing to pay for. Links: ministryoftofu.com, globaltimes.cn, businessinsider.com.
Posted: Wed May 09, 2012.   Comments (3)

Was Junior Seau’s death predicted on Craigslist? (of course not) — The death last week of former Chargers linebacker Junior Seau was big news here in San Diego. But then, as deadspin.com reports, a rumor began circulating that his death had been predicted on Craigslist. Specifically, on May 1, a day before Seau died, this post apparently was posted on San Diego Craigslist: The solution to this is simple. Someone must have edited the post after the fact to turn it into an accurate prediction. Either that, or Nostradamus has come back from the grave…
Posted: Mon May 07, 2012.   Comments (0)

Bonsai Kittens available from ThinkGeek — Nettie has informed me that ThinkGeek is selling Bonsai Kittens. They're stuffed toys. Therefore, "No cats kittens or kittehs were harmed in the creation of this product." Still, it's seems to be like waving a red flag in PETA's face. They must figure that enough time has passed so that all the furor over bonsai kittens has calmed down. In fact, ThinkGeek also seems to have acquired the bonsaikitten.com domain name. I guess no one else wanted it. The last time I checked it had become…
Posted: Mon May 07, 2012.   Comments (7)

“Why Boys Need Parents!” Is this a photograph or a painting? — This image (which appears on a lot of humor and weird picture sites around the web) is often captioned, "Why boys need parents." And try as I might, that's the only information I can find out about it. Where it came from and who created it, I have no idea. I'm not even sure whether this is a photograph or a painting, though I suspect it's a painting. The low resolution makes it difficult to tell, and I can't find any higher-res copies. It's the boy's legs, in particular, that make me…
Posted: Mon May 07, 2012.   Comments (2)

Does this cat really have a cat-shaped mark on its back? — Several pictures of a cat with a cat-shaped mark on its back have circulated online for a couple of years. There's also a version of the image with arabic writing on it, that's currently doing the rounds on facebook. I don't know the cat's name, but the cat has a Japanese owner who keeps a blog, ameblo.jp/usousopp, devoted to posting pictures of it. There are hundreds of pictures of the cat up there. And here's the strange thing. In the two pictures of the cat that are circulating,…
Posted: Fri May 04, 2012.   Comments (4)

Fairy Kidnappings and Fairy Shysters — Fairies have a pretty good public image. They're widely regarded as good creatures, since they're small, delicate, and magical. But in European folklore, they were often considered quite malevolent. The wikipedia article on fairies notes the belief in fairy kidnapping: Any form of sudden death might stem from a fairy kidnapping, with the apparent corpse being a wooden stand-in with the appearance of the kidnapped person. Consumption (tuberculosis) was sometimes blamed on the fairies…
Posted: Fri May 04, 2012.   Comments (1)

Get Goated — Imagine you're going about your day, minding your own business, when all of a sudden, out of nowhere, there's a goat! That's the premise of the goat prank that's become a tradition in Spokane, Washington. The link includes a video of a Spokane anchorwoman who keeps repeating excitedly, "I've been goated! I've been goated!": Surprise! You Have Just Been 'Goated!' khq.com Spokane community members have the opportunity to play a great practical joke by having a real baby goat delivered to…
Posted: Fri May 04, 2012.   Comments (1)

Cop Convention at Donutland — I'm not sure how old this image is, but it must be 15 or 20 years old at least. It's been circulating online for as long as I can remember. It's one of those images that's become a staple on humor sites, but people don't often pause to ask about the details of it: is the picture real? Where was it taken? And if it is real, what were all those cops doing there? Were they really all on a donut break? Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find out very much about the picture. Although I…
Posted: Thu May 03, 2012.   Comments (2)

Does Autistic Photographer Patrick Notley exist? — Thanks to Smerk for posing this question in the forum. I thought it deserved to be on the front page. Around about mid-2009, a slideshow began circulating via email featuring a series of stunning images, all of which had supposedly been taken by an autistic German photographer, Patrick Notley. The images were soon posted on slideshare, and then someone collected them together into a youtube video. A few examples of some of the photos attributed to him: But Notley himself seemed…
Posted: Wed May 02, 2012.   Comments (18)

The Case of the Leaping and Mating Giraffe — When I first saw this image, I immediately wondered whether giraffes can jump. I did some googling and eventually found Giraffes by Nicole Helget in which she addresses this question: A giraffe can also jump, clearing heights of up to five feet (1.5 m). This capability is important, now that many cattle fences have been built in Africa. The neck helps propel the giraffe over obstacles. To jump, the giraffe first pulls its neck back, putting most of its weight over the hind legs. Then…
Posted: Tue May 01, 2012.   Comments (2)

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