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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Animals
Cannibalistic Cats
Posted by The Curator on Mon Nov 29, 2004
I've recently discovered a good blog named The Rambler that delves into a lot of hoaxy material. Recently Mark (who writes The Rambler) posted a disturbing entry about some relatives of his who let their cats run out of control: They never cleaned the litterbox so the cats defecated all over the house. They particularly liked shoes and closets so getting dressed must have been like camping in Africa. My wife's cat makes so much noise when he's hungry that I can't imagine anyone not feeding one cat let alone 11, but they frequently let them go without food. The mother cat eventually turned cannibalistic and would wait behind furniture or random…
Categories: Animals Comments (54)
Diplocaulus Found
Posted by The Curator on Mon Nov 22, 2004
Professor Patrick Schembri, writing in the Sunday Times, reports of a new photo that's been making the email rounds showing a very strange looking animal captured in a bucket. Versions of the email variously claim that the animal was found either at Il-Maghluq in Marsascala, or in Bahrija. Schembri identifies the animal as none other than a Diplocaulus, extinct for 270 million years, which means that the photo almost definitely must be a hoax (either that or it's a major scientific discovery). He writes of the Diplocaulus: "The very distinctive head may have been an adaptation against predators, since the wide head would make Diplocaulus difficult to swallow, or it may have aided the animal to swim by…
Categories: Animals, Photos/Videos Comments (19)
Woman Breastfeeds Puppy
Posted by The Curator on Wed Nov 17, 2004
If this story was in some other paper, like the Weekly World News, I'd dismiss it as a tall tale, but the material on stuff.co.nz is usually fairly reliable. They report about a (human) mother who has taken to breastfeeding her puppy. What I find interesting is that the reporter took the initiative to interview an anthropology professor about what this woman is doing (or claiming to be doing), and got this interesting nugget of information: "Victoria University associate professor of anthropology Jeff Sissons said he was familiar with a practice among women from Papua New Guinea hill tribes who breastfed pigs, but he had not heard of any other instance of a human breastfeeding another species." Next…
Categories: Animals, Birth/Babies Comments (25)
Robotic Cockroaches
Posted by The Curator on Tue Nov 16, 2004
The Times reports on a group of European researchers who are developing a robotic cockroach. This tiny robot, dubbed InsBot, will infiltrate cockroach communities, assume a leadership role, and then lead the insects out into the light (and to their doom). The researchers hope that someday people will use these robo-roaches as a way of controlling roach infestations. This all sounds so bizarre that I'd assume it was a hoax if it wasn't reported in The Times. But I've got to assume they've done their homework and aren't trying to pull our leg. The researchers are also looking into robotic chickens, sheep, and guinea fowl. (via
Categories: Animals, Technology Comments (7)
Dog in a Shell
Posted by The Curator on Tue Nov 16, 2004
At first I thought these were real dogs... like some kind of mutant copy-cat version of Bonsai Kitten. But no, the dogs appear to be models. Still, it's a rather odd idea. I can understand buying a model of a dog (I've bought a few myself). But why stick it in a Philippine Tonna shell? On the other hand, if you're looking for a unique gift, this has unique written all over it. Could make a good wedding gift. (via Sect of Rama)
Categories: Animals Comments (29)
Glow-in-the-Dark Deer
Posted by The Curator on Tue Nov 16, 2004
Genetiate is a biotech company working on that one thing the world has been crying out for: glow-in-the-dark deer. It's such a bizarre project, that it screams hoax. The amateur quality of its website reinforces this impression. But I think it's real. Genetiate is a division of Geneticas Life Sciences. Those are the same people who, through yet another division, are creating the hypoallergenic cats. But why create a glow-in-the-dark deer? So that it will more easily be seen by motorists. The site gives this explanation: "By implanting the gene of a special jellyfish into deer, the transgenic NIGHTSAVE deer produced by GENETIATE (patent pending) have fluorescing…
Categories: Animals, Science Comments (20)
Phone-Eating Dog
Posted by The Curator on Tue Nov 09, 2004
From The Register comes a news report about a dog who swallowed a mobile phone. The owner of the phone only realized what happened when the phone started ringing... inside the dog's stomach. Now it seems to me that a) most dogs would not swallow something as large as a mobile phone, though it could happen; and b) the acid inside a dog's stomach would pretty quickly short-circuit a phone. Oh, and c) The Register says it got the news report from Ananova. And everyone knows how reliable Ananova is. (via Engadget)
Categories: Animals Comments (10)
Wolf Howls at Auroral Lights
Posted by The Curator on Tue Nov 09, 2004
I was going through old email when I came across this image of a wolf howling at auroral lights. The person who sent it to me wondered whether or not it's real. A photographer would have to be pretty lucky to catch a scene like that, but that doesn't mean the picture isn't real. My guess would be that it's a composite image... that the images of the sky and the wolf were pasted together for dramatic effect. But that's only a guess.
Categories: Animals, Photos/Videos Comments (14)
Catproof Your Computer
Posted by The Curator on Tue Nov 09, 2004
This software sounds like a joke, but I'm pretty sure it's real, in the sense that it's a product you can actually buy (whether or not it works is another question). It's PawSense, the software utility that catproofs your computer. "PawSense analyzes keypress timings and combinations to distinguish cat typing from human typing. PawSense normally recognizes a cat on the keyboard within one or two pawsteps." If it senses cat typing, it'll automatically block any further keyboard input and play a loud noise to scare the cat away. So this should deter those cats who like to sneak onto the computer when their guardian isn't looking and work…
Categories: Animals, Technology Comments (9)
Dog Thong Flatulence Filter
Posted by The Curator on Fri Oct 29, 2004
I realize that flatulence filters are real products (though I have had a lot of people tell me they thought they were a hoax). But I suspect that the Dog Thong Flatulence Filter has to be a joke. I mean, how well could it possibly work? It just doesn't seem large enough to fully contain and filter all the gas a dog can produce. And imagine having to strap it back on Fido every time he comes in from the yard.
Categories: Animals, Gross Comments (7)
Hypo-Allergenic Cats
Posted by The Curator on Thu Oct 28, 2004
I've been getting a lot of emails about Allerca, the company that claims it will start selling genetically engineered hypo-allergenic cats in 2007. It may be that they never manage to do what they claim they will do. Or at least, they never manage to do it in commercially viable quantities. But I'm pretty sure they're very serious about trying to do it. But I think they should lower the price a bit. At $3500 a pop, these cats are only going to be for the very rich, considering that you can pick up a cat for free at the pound, and as they themselves admit, female cats are far less allergenic than male cats anyway.
Categories: Animals, Science Comments (15)
Killer Whale Meets Dog
Posted by The Curator on Thu Oct 28, 2004
The picture below, which has been spreading around via email, looks like one of those things that's too fantastic to be true. But it's real. The whale is Luna, a killer whale that showed up in Nootka Sound, Canada back in 2001. Luna had lost contact with his pod and didn't seem to know what else to do besides hanging out in the sound, interacting with all the people there. This picture was taken at the docks off Gold River. Scientists want to reunite Luna with his pod, but this is being resisted by members of the Mowachaht-Muchalaht First Nations tribe who claim that Luna is the reincarnation of their late chief.
Categories: Animals, Photos/Videos Comments (22)
Lost Pet Scam
Posted by The Curator on Wed Oct 20, 2004
Occasionally you see news stories like this one about lost cats who are found hundreds of miles from home, having got themselves locked into moving vans by accident. But watch out. If you lose your cat, then later get a call from movers who say they've found your pet in their van, it can be a scam. As the Crimes-of-Persuasion site details, it's known as the Catastrophic Lost Pet Scam. Those movers don't really have your pet. They're just con artists trying to get you to wire them 'gas money' supposedly to help them return your precious baby to its home. But in reality, Snuggles ain't coming home. At least, not with them. Once they get…
Categories: Animals, Con Artists Comments (3)
The Center for Chihuahua Exploitation
Posted by The Curator on Mon Oct 18, 2004
If you're curious about how to go about exploiting chihuahuas, then the Center for Chihuahua Exploitation is the site for you. If you dig around the site a bit, you'll discover some interesting facts, such as this: "Most people don't realize that the chihuahua is not a true member of the canine family. In fact, it shares the same ancestor as common rats. This opens up new possibilities for the scientific community as chihuahuas can now legally be used in place of lab rats for experimentation." That reminds me of the old urban legend about the rat that's mistaken for a dog.
Categories: Animals, Websites Comments (3)
Eight-Legged Cat
Posted by The Curator on Wed Oct 13, 2004
Take a look at this picture. Is it real or fake? It kind of looks like two cats held up one behind the other. But it's not. The picture is real. It's Octopussy, the 8-legged cat. It's a cat that was born in Norway in 2001. Information about it can be found over at Messybeast.com: In 2001, I received an email detailing a conjoined kitten which was born in Østfold, Norway in April. Unlike the 1750 six-legged cat which was only doubled from the "waist" down, the Norwegian kitten was doubled from the neck down. It had eight paws, two tails and two chins and was part of a…
Categories: Animals, Photos/Videos Comments (16)
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