Hoax Museum Blog: Animals

Do Dogs Commit Suicide? — In the past six months five dogs have fallen to their death off a bridge in Dumbarton, Scotland. This fact does not seem to be disputed. What is controversial is whether or not the dogs fell because they committed suicide. Or did they think they saw something and accidentally leapt? In the most recent case a woman claims that she was out walking her dog when it suddenly ran away from her "vaulted over the parapet and plunged 40ft to its death." Some animal behaviorists are dismissing…
Posted: Tue Mar 08, 2005.   Comments (96)

Big Dog — I've seen big dogs before. But this is ridiculous. There's no way it can be real. I say photoshop. (via Liquito)
Posted: Mon Feb 28, 2005.   Comments (47)

Elephant Toilet — A series of pictures (click to enlarge) shows an elephant using an oversized toilet. Supposedly this potty-trained elephant, named Diew, lives in an elephant camp in Thailand. His handlers have taught him and a few other elephants to use flush toilets in order to cut down on the waste problem. Of course, it's hard to know if the elephant is really using the toilet, or if it's simply sitting down on it and then pulling a cord. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that these images first…
Posted: Mon Feb 28, 2005.   Comments (12)

Hippo Eats Dwarf — I came across this peculiar news story about a hippo eating a dwarf. It's been floating around the internet for a while, though I'm not sure exactly how long. Google 'hippo eats dwarf' and you'll pull up a bunch of pages. There's even a band named Hippo Eats Dwarf. The article has been circulating as an image file of a scanned article (click the thumbnail), but here's the text of it: A hippopotamus has swallowed a dwarf in a circus accident in northern Thailand. "A dwarf, nicknamed…
Posted: Thu Feb 24, 2005.   Comments (61)


Oldest Cat in the World? — My cat is approaching 11. But Diane Sleeman's cat, Amber, is approaching 30. Or so Sleeman claims. If true, Amber would be the oldest cat in the world. However, Amber is missing most of her teeth, so researchers have no way to verify her age. I'd like to believe this is true, but it's a little hard to swallow. A 30-year-old cat would be like the equivalent of a 140-year-old person.
Posted: Wed Feb 23, 2005.   Comments (98)

The Gay Penguin Sex Test — Here's a story that I would have thought for sure was an April Fool's Day hoax, except that it's not April Fools. It involves four female penguins being brought from Sweden to the Bremerhaven Zoo in Germany in order to test whether the male penguins there are gay or straight. Apparently the males seem a little confused about their sexuality: "The males have been observed trying to mate with each other and trying to hatch offspring out of stones." So the zoo will add the females and see…
Posted: Mon Feb 21, 2005.   Comments (30)

Photos of Snouters — A Japanese artist, whose name (I think) is Takiwa, has an amazing collection of photographs of Snouters up on his website. Snouters, of course, is the popular term for Rhinogrades. If you have no idea what these creatures are, you can read more about them on the page I have devoted to them here. (via Liquito)
Posted: Mon Feb 14, 2005.   Comments (14)

Save Toby — If we all don't cough up $50,000 by June 30 then Toby, who happens to be 'the cutest little bunny on the planet', is going to die. His owner will kill him and eat him. Does this all sound familiar? Why, yes! It's a shameless rip-off of Save Bernd. Just as European movies are remade by Hollywood for American audiences, it now seems that European hoaxes are being remade for American audiences as well. However, the American version of the rabbit-killing hoax feels compelled to put a…
Posted: Wed Feb 09, 2005.   Comments (44)

Pigeon Religion — Pigeon Religion extolls the divine virtues of the oft-maligned pigeon. It's hard to tell if this is meant to be taken seriously. The text seems serious enough. Maybe. But the picture of a pigeon on the cross seems a bit over the top. However, I ran the phone number at the bottom of the page through a reverse phone directory and discovered that it was the number of the Companion Bird Club of Manhattan. Therefore, I'm concluding that Pigeon Religion is quite serious. (via Bifurcated Rivets)
Posted: Mon Feb 07, 2005.   Comments (2)

Catfish Licking, Part Two — About a week ago I linked to an article that discussed how Gulf Coast teenagers have been going around licking catfish, in the hope that it'll make them high. Now a follow-up article reveals the source of this strange behavior. It all started out as an April Fool's Day joke published in Sport Fishing magazine five years ago: OK, listen up catfish lickers. You've been punked. There's no hallucinogen in the slime. A Florida magazine editor said he made the story up five years ago for an…
Posted: Sun Feb 06, 2005.   Comments (3)

Snake Flossing — Here's another odd picture I got in my email (click image to enlarge). This one I happen to know is real. It's a picture of C. Manoharan, aka "Snake Manu". Threading snakes into his nose and out his mouth is his specialty. It's called 'snake flossing'. The snake in this picture is just a harmless garden snake, though apparently he also does the trick with cobras. Plus, Snake Manu also holds the Guinness World Record for most earthworms eaten. He's just an all-around Renaissance man.…
Posted: Fri Feb 04, 2005.   Comments (24)

Dyslexic Gerbils — I've always felt strongly that something should be done about the plight of dyslexic newborn gerbils, but thankfully I see that somebody has already taken steps to tackle this problem. It's the International Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Dyslexic Newborn Gerbils. "This organization, now in its fifth year of existence, is devoted to the plight of the helpless infant gerbils that come into this harsh world unable to learn, write, or even communicate with their families.  It is…
Posted: Mon Jan 31, 2005.   Comments (14)

Catfish Licking — Here's the question: is it possible to get high by licking a catfish? According to this article by Tony Bridges, teenagers have recently been seen hanging around at docks around the Gulf of Mexico, asking fishermen if they have any extra catfish so they can lick them and get high. Supposedly something in the mucus that covers the skin of certain kinds of saltwater catfish contains hallucinogenic properties. I've heard this is true about some species of frogs, but whether it also holds…
Posted: Mon Jan 31, 2005.   Comments (16)

Dog and Dolphin — Wm. Murray emailed me this interesting photo (click to enlarge). Can you guess if it's real or fake? Answer: Apparently it's real (when I first looked at it I just assumed it was fake). From Wm.'s email: The dog and the bottle-nose dolphin were pals who "met" about every week or ten days at the beach in front of the Meridian Club on Pine Cay in the Turks & Caicos. My wife and I vacationed there in May 1990 and took many pictures of this strange pairing. We were told that it had been…
Posted: Fri Jan 28, 2005.   Comments (13)

Fat Dog — Kentaro Mori of Liquito sent me this picture (click thumbnail to enlarge) of a very fat dog. He says that he found it on a Japanese website. My hunch would be that there's no photo trickery involved here. It really is a very fat dog. Probably comes from the same household as Munchkin the Monster Cat.
Posted: Mon Jan 24, 2005.   Comments (54)

Missing Monkey (looks like Olsen Twin) — The Tailspinning into Tomorrow Livejournal has posted a picture of a flyer put up by someone searching for their missing monkey. Here's the text of the flyer: Missing Monkey Last seen in diaper carrying blue 'blankie' looks like Olsen twin (circa 1985 Full House baby) Responds to nickname 'F123' If found call: ******* Monkey is NOT trustworthy I like how they specify that the monkey isn't trustworthy. But I'm wondering if the flyer might be an example of the classic weird-missing-pet…
Posted: Fri Jan 21, 2005.   Comments (30)

Tsunami Fish — An email has been going around showing photos of bizarre, supposedly never-before-seen deep-sea creatures that have been washing up on beaches because of the tsunami. Photos of the creatures can be seen on this Russian website. It's obviously a hoax since these photos have been floating around the internet for ages. One of them has even appeared on my site before. But the Practical Fishkeeping site has done everyone a service by identifying what all these sea creatures actually are.
Posted: Tue Jan 18, 2005.   Comments (7)

Rats a la Carte — The latest gross-out food email going around involves a Chinese restaurant in Atlanta supposedly caught accepting shipments of rats and mice. These rats would, I guess, be served to people who enjoy rodents as a delicacy. Some photos accompany the email (rats1, rats2, rats3). The email says that: After a full search of the kitchen, authorities found, packaged rats, mice, kittens, puppies and a large frozen hawk... The restaurant has locations off Peachtree Road and Alpharetta near…
Posted: Fri Jan 14, 2005.   Comments (13)

Coydogs — Coydogs. Are they real creatures, or just the stuff of urban legend? As the name implies, a coydog would be a cross between a coyote and a dog. But according to Chrissie Henner, a biologist at the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, they're an urban legend. She says that "there has never been any physical evidence of a half-dog, half-coyote animal." Not that it would be impossible for the two species to mate and produce an offspring, just very unlikely. Though Henner also…
Posted: Tue Dec 21, 2004.   Comments (230)

Find Bailey — Bailey is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. On November 8, 2004 he was stolen from a locked car located in a Beverly Hills parking structure. Bailey's owner, Elizabeth Hart, is desperate to get him back. And to aid in this effort she's created the most elaborate, slickly designed website you'll ever see for a lost dog. She's also issued a press release about Bailey, and is doing radio and TV interviews. I feel bad being suspicious about all this. After all, the poor woman probably…
Posted: Thu Dec 16, 2004.   Comments (46)

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