The Museum of Hoaxes
hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive
   
Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
December 2013
Yunnan Breast-Touching Festival — In an article about the growing popularity of festivals in China (they're popular because they make lots of money for local governments), China Daily called attention to a false rumor about the existence of a "Breast-Touching Festival" in Yunnan province: According to rumors circulating on micro blogs and Internet chat forums, the Chuxiong Yi autonomous prefecture in Yunnan province was considering applying for world cultural heritage status for a "Breast-Touching Festival". During the…
Posted: Tue Dec 31, 2013.   Comments (0)

Salinas crop circle — A crop circle has appeared in Salinas, California. It looks vaguely like a microchip. I assume this must be a publicity stunt of some kind. [links: nbcbayarea, mercurynews]
Posted: Tue Dec 31, 2013.   Comments (1)

What happens when lightning strikes sand — In June 2013, the image below started to circulate online. It was launched into viral status after being posted on Reddit, where it was captioned, "This is what happens when lightning strikes sand." When lightning strikes sand, it can form fulgurites, which are also known as "lightning tubes" or "petrified lightning". Tonya Clayton offers a good, one-sentence explanation of what these are: "If the in-ground moisture content is just right, the sand melts and fuses, forming beautiful…
Posted: Mon Dec 30, 2013.   Comments (0)

The history of the War of the Worlds Panic Broadcast, as told by 3rd Graders — Nice to see kids learning about the history of hoaxes!
Posted: Sun Dec 29, 2013.   Comments (0)


The Confused English-Language Student — The Borneo Post offers a Malay urban legend about a confused English-language student who bumps into an English speaker (identifiable as a "white man") at the airport and says, "I'm sorry." The English speaker replies, "I'm sorry too." The learner replies, "I'm sorry three." "What for?" "I'm sorry five" The English speaker: "I'm sick of this," and starts to leave. The learner: "I'm sorry seven." ‘I’m sorry three, five, seven’ tickles delegates during debate on economy
Posted: Sat Dec 28, 2013.   
Comments (0)

Holy Cheesecake — A family in Scottsdale, Arizona recently made a cheesecake. As it was cooling off it, it cracked in the shape of a cross. The reporter for azcentral.com asks: "Is this a simple crust cracking or is this actually Jesus Christ coming back and showing support for this family's religious beliefs?" Um. I guess I'll choose option A. My wife (the cook in the family) says it cracked because they didn't make it right. If you overbeat the batter, you'll get too much air in it, which can cause…
Posted: Fri Dec 27, 2013.   Comments (3)

Saved by the Myth of Poisonous Poinsettias — According to a decaces-old urban legend, the leaves of poinsettias (aka the Christmas Plant) are extremely toxic, and can be fatal if ingested. But the reality is that poinsettias aren't toxic at all. They're not edible, but if you do eat them the worst that will happen is you'll get an upset stomach. You're not going to die. One of the most thorough debunkings of the "poisonous poinsettia" legend can be found in a Nov. 1996 article in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine:
Posted: Thu Dec 26, 2013.   Comments (2)

Depressed Yeti — Source: "All My Friends are Dead" 2014 Wall Calendar, by Avery Monsen and Jory John.
Posted: Thu Dec 26, 2013.   Comments (3)

Jennifer Aniston Gets A Buzzcut — April 1, 2013 — the site Daily Makeover (which describes itself as "Hairstyles, Makeup and Cosmetics Inspiration") posted a photo of Jennifer Aniston with a buzzcut. The site claimed that Aniston had cut off her hair for a role in a film and quoted her as saying, "My character gets to this really broken point, and [director] Daniel [Schechter] and I thought it would make her more realistic." But actually, the photo was the site's April Fool joke. It had doctored an image of Aniston…
Posted: Thu Dec 26, 2013.   Comments (0)

Heltheo’s McCoy Home Health Tablet — "According to prosecutors, Leventhal told potential investors that his company, Neovision USA, Inc., had written agreements with Health Canada to provide it with "Heltheo's McCoy Home Health Tablet," a device that could quickly deliver detailed patient data to doctors. The device, prosecutors said, was apparently named after the fictional character Dr. Leonard McCoy from Star Trek." Man pleads guilty in multimillion-dollar Star Trek-inspired fraud The Vancouver Sun An Illinois man…
Posted: Tue Dec 24, 2013.   Comments (0)

The Turbo-encabulator — The invention of the Turbo-encabulator has long been considered to be one of the great technological achievements of the 20th century. More info at wikipedia.
Posted: Tue Dec 24, 2013.   Comments (0)

Male vs. Female MMA hoax — Mixed martial arts organization Shooto Brazil recently announced a man vs. woman fight: Emerson Falcao would fight Juliana Velasquez in a three-round bantamweight clash. But then Shooto revealed that the fight wasn't going to happen. It was all a hoax, designed to focus attention on the issue of violence against women and show Shooto's support of Brazil's "Lei Maria da Penha" anti-domestic-violence law. A member of the Brazilian athletic commission explained: "There’s no way a man…
Posted: Mon Dec 23, 2013.   Comments (0)

Chicago Minstrel Show Hoax — Chicago news outlets recently received a press release from one "Harry Slater," who claimed to be an AP English teacher and "dean of dramatic and movement arts" at Community High School District 94 in West Chicago. The release said that the school's Glee Club was going to be staging a charity minstrel show in order to "start a conversation about racial representation and stereotypes." Proceeds from the show would be donated to the school's Multicultural Sensitivity Club. But when the…
Posted: Mon Dec 23, 2013.   Comments (0)

Slightly haunted house for sale — A house for sale in Dunmore, PA is getting lots of buzz (and multiple offers) because its owner has described it as "slightly haunted" in the real estate listing. Built in 1901, this Victorian home in the Hollywood section of Dunmore features 1850 sf of living space with an additional 1350 sf of partially finished space. Original hardwood floors throughout entire home. 4 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms. Off-street parking. Freshly painted. New moulding throughout entire first floor. Slightly…
Posted: Mon Dec 23, 2013.   Comments (0)

Santa’s Identity Revealed — Currently trending online is this set of pictures showing a chocolate rabbit inside a St. Nicholas wrapper. The photos are accompanied by captions such as "Santa's identity revealed" or "an unexpected plot twist": Is this a case of a chocolate manufacturer repackaging chocolate Easter bunnies for the Christmas market? No. The images actually come from a Dutch ad campaign designed to promote awareness of Alzheimer's disease. The original ad includes a third image showing the chocolate…
Posted: Sun Dec 22, 2013.   Comments (0)

Dog finds way home after 8 years — "Junior"The Reid family lost Junior, their Jack Russell terrier, in 2005. He went out to "go potty" and never returned. (Evidently the Reid family didn't have an enclosed backyard). Eight years later, Junior showed up at the bottom of their driveway. They knew it was him because he was still wearing the same collar and tags. They're calling his return a miracle. [myfox8.com] Something's not right with this story. As Doubtful News says, "Is this the whole story? Is it really the same…
Posted: Sat Dec 21, 2013.   Comments (0)

Cow on hood of car — This image of a cow lying on the hood of a BMW began circulating online around January 2013. At first, the image didn't attract much attention. It circulated with captions such as ""Got Milk!", "Fail Safe Auto Alarm," and "The Ground Is Lava. LOL". But on Nov 18, 2013, the Surrey Roads Police department posted the image on its twitter account accompanied by the message: "Remember as days get colder animals are attracted to the warmth of cars so check wheel arches or other hiding…
Posted: Sat Dec 21, 2013.   Comments (0)

Bigfoot on the toilet — For the Bigfoot collector who already has everything... but this. Or for someone who has a Bigfoot-themed bathroom. Available on etsy. It comes as a print of an "original oil and digital painting." Though it would be better if it were a velvet painting.
Posted: Fri Dec 20, 2013.   Comments (0)

Wanted: Imposter to study at Harvard — Four days ago an ad appeared on Craigslist (Pittsburgh) seeking someone to take their place at Harvard in return for $40,000/year. The ad has since been removed, but screenshots of it are still floating around the web: You must have either a 4.0 GPA in high school, or a 3.5 or higher GPA from a university to get hired for this. Your age does not matter, but you must be a male since I have a male name. I am looking for someone to attend Harvard University pretending to be me for four…
Posted: Fri Dec 20, 2013.   Comments (0)

Acme Worm Bouncer — Great name. Lousy product. Acme Worm Bouncer was widely advertised in the 1920s and 30s, with guarantees that it would quickly free farm animals of "blood-sucking, profit-stealing parasites." But the stuff was actually mostly charcoal. Governmental authorities eventually filed suit against Acme Feeds, Inc., the company that made the stuff, charging them with "misleading representations regarding its efficacy." [via The Quack Doctor] Misbranding of Acme Worm Bouncer. U.S. v. 5 Bags of…
Posted: Fri Dec 20, 2013.   Comments (0)

Page 1 of 3 pages  1 2 3 > 
All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.