The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Animals
Glow-in-the-Dark Deer — 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…
Posted: Tue Nov 16, 2004.   Comments (20)

Phone-Eating Dog — 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…
Posted: Tue Nov 09, 2004.   Comments (10)

Wolf Howls at Auroral Lights — 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.
Posted: Tue Nov 09, 2004.   Comments (14)

Catproof Your Computer — 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…
Posted: Tue Nov 09, 2004.   Comments (9)


Dog Thong Flatulence Filter — 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.
Posted: Fri Oct 29, 2004.   Comments (7)

Hypo-Allergenic Cats — 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…
Posted: Thu Oct 28, 2004.   Comments (15)

Killer Whale Meets Dog — 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…
Posted: Thu Oct 28, 2004.   Comments (22)

Lost Pet Scam — 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…
Posted: Wed Oct 20, 2004.   Comments (3)

The Center for Chihuahua Exploitation — 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…
Posted: Mon Oct 18, 2004.   Comments (3)

Eight-Legged Cat — 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…
Posted: Wed Oct 13, 2004.   Comments (16)

Ostrich Skiing — I know that ostriches can't fly. But can they ski? After seeing this video, I'm almost a believer. The rational part of my mind says that it has to be fake, but I can't see how they're doing it. Some kind of cg probably.
Posted: Fri Oct 01, 2004.   Comments (12)

Seal-Hunting Tourism — Is Norway really going to start promoting seal-hunting tourism? Apparently it is, if this article in Aftenposten can be believed (and I don't see any reason not to believe it). Here in San Diego seals are treated pretty much like royalty, and seal-watching is a major tourist attraction, especially in La Jolla (advice for tourists: the seals at seal island are fun to watch, but they stink to high heaven). So the idea of shipping in tourists to hunt seals seems bizarre... a bit like…
Posted: Wed Sep 29, 2004.   Comments (33)

The Childhood Goat Trauma Foundation — Do you suffer from irrational fears, unexplained twitching, or insomnia? If so, then the root of your problems may be childhood goat trauma, probably experienced at a petting zoo. The Childhood Goat Trauma Foundation exists to help you. Their site contains a wealth of information. For instance, did you realize that some malicious goats have learned to climb trees and drop down onto unsuspecting people? Or that there have been reports of roaming urban goats at large? Personally I can't…
Posted: Tue Sep 28, 2004.   Comments (5)

Save Bernd — The opening statement says it all: "I swear by God, I will have this lovely rabbit for New Year's Eve Dinner if my account doesn't show a balance of at least 1'000'000 € by latest 31st Dec 2004!" Wow. It's cute rabbit blackmail. How low can you stoop? One million Euros is a lot. I'm not quite sure of the current exchange rate, but I think that's about a million dollars. But if somehow the world does band together and raise the ransom, then Bernd will be given to a bunny breeding farm…
Posted: Tue Sep 07, 2004.   Comments (35)

Dog Gives Birth to Kitten — Some guy in Cambodia is claiming that his dog has given birth to a kitten. As he says, "This animal cries like a cat, and its face is like a cat, but its feet are bigger than a cat's and look more like a dog's feet." Uh, yeah. It's feet look like dog's feet because IT IS A DOG! The guy is also insisting that anyone who wants to view the cat-dog thing first must pray to it. Unbelievable. Actually, the really unbelievable thing is that the media even bothers to report things like this.…
Posted: Thu Sep 02, 2004.   Comments (11)

Hogzilla Festival — Hogzilla, the 1000lb wild hog supposedly shot and killed in Georgia, has already had its fifteen minutes of internet fame. But now the small town of Alapaha, GA is hoping to extend the fond memories of Hogzilla just a little longer by making the dubious hog the centerpiece of their November festival. They plan to have a Hogzilla float, a Hogzilla information booth, and Hogzilla T-shirts. Maybe they should make Hogzilla fest an ongoing tradition. It could become like the iceworm festival
Posted: Tue Aug 31, 2004.   Comments (1)

The Mysterious Cabbit — What is a cabbit? It's a cross between a cat and a rabbit. They're as cute as rabbits, but as affectionate as cats. But according to Sarah Hartwell, who's written an extensive study about this animal over at MessyBeast.com, cabbits aren't real. Though having said that, they're not exactly tall-tale creatures either, like the jackalope or fur-bearing trout, because there have been documented cases of animals that look like cat-rabbit hybrids. But these apparent hybrids always turn out…
Posted: Thu Aug 26, 2004.   Comments (14)

Animal Psychics — I never realized that the pet psychic industry had grown so large. Should you have a need for someone to peer into your pet's thoughts, you now have a wide range services to choose from. There's Animalstalk.com, run by Barbara Morrison (her company motto is 'I talk to the animals!'). Then, of course, there's tv personality Sonya Fitzpatrick. But my favorite is Terri Diener, owner of Petspeak.com. She tells us that communicating telepathically with animals is "similar to turning on a…
Posted: Thu Aug 19, 2004.   Comments (9)

Dolphins Approaching — Here's an interesting picture that's going around via email. I can't tell if it's real or photoshopped, but I'm inclined to say that it's real. I can't see any obvious signs of photoshopping, and dolphins do like to surf waves. However, I wouldn't like to be those guys staring down a school of dolphins about to crash down on top of them (though the perspective probably makes the people appear closer to the dolphins than they actually were). It reminds me of this other (real) picture of…
Posted: Tue Aug 17, 2004.   Comments (29)

Frisbee Animals — Allison, who runs an ultimate frisbee company in Nottingham, just sent in these pictures of frisbee-playing animals. First we have Frisbee Croc. Yeah, Frisbee Croc is a pretty obvious fake, but it's a cool photoshop nevertheless. The image comes from the Northern Territory Ultimate Frisbee site. Next we have Frisbee Horse.    As far as I can tell, these Frisbee Horse pictures are real. The name of the horse is Namoniet. He's an Egyptian Arabian Stallion trained by Jay Evans.…
Posted: Wed Aug 04, 2004.   Comments (5)

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