The Museum of Hoaxes
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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
February 2014
Aurora From Space — On the night of Feb. 27, a geomagnetic storm caused Northern Lights to be visible in Europe at unusually low latitudes. And lots of photos of the lights soon began to appear online. So thanks to Marco for giving us a heads up about this fake image that's begun circulating, purporting to show the aurora from space (with some tweets claiming it's a photo taken from the International Space Station). The quick summary is that this isn't a photo at all. It's an artist's conception of what an aurora would look like from space. But as Marco points out, this isn't how an aurora would… Continue…
Posted: Fri Feb 28, 2014.   Comments (4)

A Mistaken Lunatic — Since today is the first day of Error Day, this story seems appropriate. Assuming that the story was accurately reported, it demonstrates that the difference between sanity and insanity is often just a matter of context. The clipping comes from The Sydney Morning Herald - Dec 26, 1884. But I first saw the story over at Brian Chapman's Legends & Rumors blog. A correspondent of the Pall Mall Gazette writes: — "An Oxfordshire woman met with an experience a few days back which should act as a warning to intending visitors to lunatic asylums. The person in question journeyed to… Continue…
Posted: Fri Feb 28, 2014.   Comments (0)

Operation Cat Nip Confusion — In August 2011, hundreds of cats were rescued during a hoarding case, and then a team of veterinary students volunteered their time to spay and neuter the cats in order to prepare them for adoption. A photo of this mass spaying/neutering event (named Operation Cat Nip) ran in the Gainesville Sun. But about a year later that same photo began appearing on Twitter, stripped of any explanatory context, and accompanied by the caption: "Retweet if you say NO to animal testing." The…
Posted: Fri Feb 28, 2014.   Comments (4)

April Fool UFO Hoax — One problem is that the planned hoax is too late in the day. According to the rules of April Fool's Day, pranks have to be done before noon! If you do it after noon, then you become the fool. (Does no one care about the rules any more???) So it would be better to do this early in the morning on the 1st, rather than in the evening. RC Group Plans UFO Hoax A Group of RC enthusiasts plan a April Fools Day UFO hoax. This group of RC enthusiasts seem to have a secret plan to create an…
Posted: Thu Feb 27, 2014.   Comments (2)


Every day is Back to the Future Day! — A Tumblr blog titled "Today is the Day Marty McFly Went to the Future" posts a new photo every day, indicating that today is the day McFly arrives in the future, as indicated by the Delorean's onboard time monitor in Back to the Future Part II (1989). It's the latest take on the perennial return of Future Day (an ongoing internet prank in which people claim that the date of McFly's arrival is closer at hand than it really is). The actual date of McFly's arrival is October 21, 2015.
Posted: Thu Feb 27, 2014.   Comments (0)

Celebrity Salami — A new website has many people slightly puzzled. It claims to be producing artisanal salamis made from lab-grown meat from celebrity tissue samples. So it's kind of like a celebrity version of Manbeef.com (from way back in 2001) — except that it's celebrity beef and the human meat is grown using in-vitro meat production. Salon.com got a response from "Kevin" on the BiteLabs team who explains that "the site is partly a commentary on food culture, the ethics of meat, and 'the way…
Posted: Thu Feb 27, 2014.   Comments (1)

Error Day — The Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna is hosting a 3-day festival that will celebrate and explore the human propensity to screw up. They're calling it Error Day. Festivities begin on Feb. 28 and continue until Mar. 2. From the website for the event (which is mostly in Italian, but has a few pages in English): "Welcome errors, blunders, mistakes, miscarriages, misunderstandings, omissions, faults, failures, inaccuracies, misapprehensions, oversights, misprints, howlers, wrongs, gaffes,…
Posted: Tue Feb 25, 2014.   Comments (4)

Big Mango Disappears — The town of Bowen in Queensland, Australia is home to the world's largest mango statue. It's 33 feet tall, 26 feet wide, and weighs 7 tons. Yesterday, that mango went missing. Employees of the Bowen tourist information centre, adjacent to the statue, said they showed up for work and it was simply gone. CCTV footage revealed a mobile crane backing up to the statue in the night and taking off with it. Word quickly spread via social media of the missing mango. source: Twitter
Posted: Tue Feb 25, 2014.   Comments (0)

The Buckhead Neighborhood Coalition Against Justin Bieber — After Justin Bieber reportedly looked at a few houses in the Buckhead community of Atlanta, Georgia, a group calling itself the Buckhead Neighborhood Coalition formed to protest him moving to the area. And since the media loves to cover anything related to Justin Bieber, the protest group was soon making headlines, reported on by the BBC, CNN, Daily Mail, Time, Atlanta Journal Constitution, etc. Harold White, leader of the group, told CNN: "We're concerned he'll bring the wrong type…
Posted: Tue Feb 25, 2014.   Comments (0)

Loch Ness Chip Monster — Artist Prudence Straite makes works of art out of fish-and-chip shop food. Below is her version of the Loch Ness Monster. It's a chip monster, and it looks like the banks of the Loch are made from fried fish. [via Yahoo! News]
Posted: Mon Feb 24, 2014.   Comments (1)

New developments in afterlife communication — Some of the new developments include a device called the "soul phone," which is described as "an instrument that works like a telegraph through which people in spirit communicate." Also learn how to communicate with the dead via regular phones: "Brazilian researcher Sonia Rinaldi... has been helping people by making phone calls to the beyond since March 2001. The majority have been for parents who have lost their children. Sonia writes, 'With this technology controlled by the Beyond, the call is not from the Beyond. They enter our terrestrial phone calls.'" I guess that means you… Continue…
Posted: Sun Feb 23, 2014.   Comments (1)

The Wolf of Sochi — Another Jimmy Kimmel hoax. His crew built a replica of an Olympic Village dorm in their LA studio, then shot footage of a wolf wandering through its hallway. They had US luger Kate Hansen post the footage on YouTube, and to her Twitter account, claiming it was a wolf outside her room. A play on all the reports of stray dogs loose in Sochi. And, of course, the footage quickly went viral. The wolf was actually a North American timber wolf that Kimmel's crew hired (a rescue wolf named…
Posted: Fri Feb 21, 2014.   Comments (0)

17 going on 41 — Very odd. The controversy is that this guy, if the allegations are true, is too old to be playing in a youth league. And he really doesn't look like he's 17. But wouldn't a guy in his 40s actually be at a disadvantage playing against much younger guys? Lazio threaten legal action after claims Cameroon 17 year-old Joseph Minala is actually 41 The Telegraph Lazio have threatened legal action against anyone who questions the age of their 17-year-old Cameroonian player Joseph Minala. The…
Posted: Fri Feb 21, 2014.   Comments (1)

Tunnel beneath the Strait of Messina (an Italian hoax) — Italian social media was buzzing recently with word of the discovery of a narrow tunnel, over 2000 years old, running beneath the Strait of Messina (the body of water between the mainland of Italy and Sicily). The tunnel was believed to have been built by the Romans during the Punic wars (264-241 BC) as a passageway for troops. It was discovered by workers doing construction on a highway. But the story turns out to have come from an Italian fake news site called Dangerous News. One…
Posted: Fri Feb 21, 2014.   Comments (0)

Optical Illusion Cow — This cow illusion has been circulating since at least 2011. And here's the original, which, I believe, is a stock photo. Though I don't know which stock photo agency it's from.
Posted: Thu Feb 20, 2014.   Comments (0)

Frozen Venice — Trending recently on social media, a picture of "Venice Frozen". There hasn't been freezing weather recently in Venice. So yes, the picture is fake. Anyway, even if it did freeze in Venice, the ice there wouldn't look that clear blue. The photo is a composite created by Robert Johns. He posted it two weeks ago on his Instagram account. He created the image by taking ice from a photo of Lake Baikal (
Posted: Mon Feb 17, 2014.   Comments (1)

Egg Pareidolia — Landon Austin posts on Instagram: "Making breakfast one morning I accidentally created #TheEggsOfAmerica." Strange, because I actually think it looks like Jesus. Continue…
Posted: Mon Feb 17, 2014.   Comments (2)

Catching Up With Balloon Boy — The never-ending saga of Richard Heene, aka Father of Balloon Boy, continues. It's actually kinda sad. A guy who's completely destroyed his credibility, still giving interviews to the media, hoping to convince people he's telling the truth. Oprah Catches Up with "Balloon Boy" Flying Saucer Family; Richard Heene Insists "It Was Never a Hoax" Broward Palm Beach New Times "It was never a hoax," Richard Heene tells Oprah's cameras. "I took a guilty plea to save my family." He pled guilty…
Posted: Mon Feb 17, 2014.   Comments (0)

Did Chaucer Mention April Fool’s Day? — The Nun's Priest's Tale in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales tells the story of a vain rooster, Chauntecleer, whose vanity leads him to drop his guard while showing off how splendidly he crows. As a result, he almost gets eaten by a fox. But Chauntecleer outwits the fox that carries him away in its mouth by taking advantage of the fox's own vanity. He persuades the fox to stop and mock his pursuers. As soon as the fox opens its mouth to do so, Chauntecleer flies to safety up into a tree. The…
Posted: Mon Feb 17, 2014.   Comments (0)

Bigot Mom Hoax — THE LATEST BIGOTED NOTE HOAX: Deejays for a New York radio morning show aired a story about two gay dads who had sent out invitations for their daughters birthday party and had received back a note from the mother of one boy saying, "Tommy will NOT attend. I do not believe in what you do and will not subject my innocent son to your 'lifestyle.' I'm sorry Sophia has to grow up this way. If you have an issue or need to speak to me: [number erased]." Turns out the entire story was made…
Posted: Mon Feb 17, 2014.   Comments (0)

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All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.