The Museum of Hoaxes
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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
May 2012
Yet Another Nessie Theory: She’s a Sleeper Shark
Posted by The Curator on Fri May 11, 2012
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 the hypotheses explaining the Loch Ness Monster. But until now, nobody has suggested sleeper sharks, perhaps because they're secretive and so rarely seen. Sleeper sharks can exceed 20 feet and weigh upwards…
Categories: Nessie Comments (2)
Mr. Corrupt Self-Serving Lying B’stard
Posted by The Curator on Fri May 11, 2012
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. It's now "Mr Corrupt Self-serving Lying B'stard." And he's running for Mayor of Bristol again. …
Categories: Politics Comments (3)
Top 10 Worst Excuses Offered by Students for not Turning in Papers
Posted by The Curator on Fri May 11, 2012
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 house, and I'm at my dad's this week" "My mom wouldn't let me do my homework." "I ran out of paper, so…
Categories: Bad Excuses, Education Comments (2)
Notice to Thieves, Thugs, Fakirs and Bunko-Steerers
Posted by The Curator on Thu May 10, 2012
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).
Categories: History, Law/Police/Crime Comments (0)
How Abraham Lincoln Invented Facebook (a hoax)
Posted by The Curator on Thu May 10, 2012
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 have its own Gazette, named after the town itself. He listed the Springfield Gazette as his Visual Appendix, an example of the system he was talking about. Lincoln was proposing…
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. MSNBC reporter Erin Tennant was suspicious, did some investigating, and discovered it was all a hoax. Or rather, it seems to have been…
Categories: Journalism, Sex/Romance Comments (0)
S?it Yourself
Posted by The Curator on Wed May 09, 2012
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?
Categories: Photos/Videos, Pranks Comments (6)
Poop Dollaring
Posted by The Curator on Wed May 09, 2012
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 feces on a dollar bill and then place it so as to "tantalize the gullible". Back when people used pay-phones, a variant of the prank involved stuffing dog poop into the coin return box. Unfortunately I remember…
Categories: Gross, Pranks Comments (3)
A Disposition to Be Rich, by Geoffrey Ward
Posted by The Curator on Wed May 09, 2012
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 dollars – making Grant a near-pauper as he was dying of tongue cancer – but Ferd’s greed also caused the collapse of several banks and the embarrassment of any number of high-ranking politicians…
Categories: Books, Con Artists Comments (0)
LazyTruth Fact-Checking Widget
Posted by The Curator on Wed May 09, 2012
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 curious to see how well it works. Of course, the main problem will be that the people who need the widget most, won't use it. And the widget won't work if some authoritative source hasn't…
Categories: Email Hoaxes, Technology Comments (3)
Exam-weary students in China receive amino-acid infusions
Posted by The Curator on Wed May 09, 2012
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. I haven't found anything to indicate that the scene shown in the pictures isn't exactly what it's being described as. And Chinese officials, in interviews, seem to have confirmed that this is what's going…
Was Junior Seau’s death predicted on Craigslist? (of course not)
Posted by The Curator on Mon May 07, 2012
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 and is lurking around Craigslist. (But then, the prediction should have been in the form of a quatrain.)
Categories: Death, Sports Comments (0)
Bonsai Kittens available from ThinkGeek
Posted by The Curator on Mon May 07, 2012
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 a spam portal, with a few ads for cat food and pet medications on it. However, ThinkGeek aren't hosting the original site there. Instead the…
Categories: Animals, Products Comments (7)
“Why Boys Need Parents!” Is this a photograph or a painting?
Posted by The Curator on Mon May 07, 2012
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 suspect it's a painting. They look slightly unrealistic. So I'm posting this here in the hope that…
Categories: Art, Photos/Videos Comments (2)
Does this cat really have a cat-shaped mark on its back?
Posted by The Curator on Fri May 04, 2012
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, the marking clearly resembles a cat. But in the pictures of the cat on the ameblo.jp…
Categories: Animals, Photos/Videos Comments (4)
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