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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Animals
The Substitute Zoo — Back in April 2012 I posted about the Dream Park El Janoob Zoo in the Gaza Strip, which was displaying taxidermied animals, because it couldn't afford living ones. Now we have the People's Park of Luohe in Henan, which has been thinking along similar creative lines. Instead of a lion in the African Lion cage, they've got a Tibetan mastiff dog in there. It does look vaguely similar to a lion, if you squint. However, it barks. Other substitutes include two rodents in the snake's cage, a…
Posted: Tue Aug 20, 2013.   Comments (1)

Testicle-Biting Danish Fish — It's true that a South American pacu, sporting "big crushing teeth," was caught recently off the coast of Denmark. But Professor Peter Rask Moller said he was only joking when he warned that these fish often attack male reproductive organs, mistaking them for tree nuts, and he regrets that the news release featuring his warning generated such concern. The reality is that pacus are vegetarian and there's no record of them attacking a human. But maybe Prof. Moller was only kinda joking,…
Posted: Mon Aug 19, 2013.   Comments (1)

Hippo Eats Man — Thanks to Tah for giving me a heads up about this article. The hippo didn't eat a dwarf, but it does give an idea about how it would feel to become hippo food. My favorite line is, "Time passes very slowly when you're in a hippo's mouth." Experience: I was swallowed by a hippo guardian.co.uk There was no transition at all, no sense of approaching danger. It was as if I had suddenly gone blind and deaf. I was aware that my legs were surrounded by water, but my top half was almost dry. I…
Posted: Tue May 07, 2013.   Comments (2)

The Argentinian Pet — I guess it's possible that con artists down in Argentina are giving ferrets steroids to increase their size, then fluffing up their fur and selling them as toy poodles, but as many people have already pointed out, this sounds an awful lot like a variant of the "Mexican pet" legend. Man gets shock of his life when he buys two toy poodles for $150 only to be told by a vet that they are actually GIANT RODENTS pumped up with steroids to look like dogs Daily Mail Gullible bargain hunters…
Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2013.   Comments (9)


The Roosterfish — Fred Freer sent in the following press release. I'll let everyone form their own conclusions about this "roosterfish." Fossil Find of the Century? Local artist and stonescaper, Fred Freer, discovers unique fossil in Chena Ridge hills. While teaching his sons the art and process of hand-splitting stone (for landscaping purposes), Freer Uncovered what seemed to be fossil remains of a birds head and beak. But upon further examination and cleaning the tail and fins of a fish also began…
Posted: Sun Mar 31, 2013.   Comments (2)

Ukrainian Attack Dolphins — Word got out this week that the Ukrainian military had lost three dolphins in the Black Sea after the dolphins swam away from their trainers, apparently to search for mates. The problem: these were trained attack dolphins "equipped with firearms." The source of the story was a document that appeared online that seemed to be a scan of a letter from the head of a Ukrainian military research institute to naval command warning of the dolphin escape. The story took off when it got picked…
Posted: Fri Mar 15, 2013.   Comments (0)

Dog Fight Hoax — Over in Perth (home to a couple of MOHers!) there's a rumor going around about an organized dog fighting ring that's stealing pets and using them in fights. The larger dogs are supposedly starved and turned into fighters, while smaller animals are used as "bait." A flier (below), posted on Facebook, is helping to spread the warning. People are also being warned that the pet thieves are tagging the homes of potential victims with red dots, as shown in this picture: However, the…
Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2013.   Comments (0)

Horse milk taking the gourmet scene by storm! — Horses, of course, do produce milk. And horse milk is considered a delicacy in some cultures. However, this site extolling the virtues of horse milk seems pretty clearly to be tongue-in-cheek: taste test show that consumers clearly prefer horse milk to dog and cat milk, and we know that consumers are tiring of ordinary bovine lactation.  Clearly, horse milk is no flash in the pan. As a gourmet food, horse milk is very expensive but worth the extra cost. Unlike cows, horses have only…
Posted: Fri Feb 22, 2013.   Comments (1)

The North American House Hippo — I don't care what the skeptics say. The House Hippo is real!
Posted: Mon Feb 18, 2013.   Comments (2)

Man fakes black mamba bite — Prosecutors say John Rosenbaum wanted to become famous as the man who was bitten by a black mamba snake and survived. Instead, he'll be famous as the guy who pretended to be bitten by a black mamba. But he really was bitten by a deadly snake (a cobra), so you have to give him credit for that! Man accused of faking bite by deadly black mamba news4jax.com John K. Rosenbaum Jr. of Jacksonville, Fla., is accused of touching off a desperate search for the snake in south Georgia after…
Posted: Fri Feb 15, 2013.   Comments (2)

Iran’s Space Monkey Mix-up — There's some monkey business going on in Iran's space program: Iran's Space Agency Confirms Reports on Launch Used Images of Two Different Monkeys thelede.blogs.nytimes.com A senior official at Iran's space agency confirmed on Saturday that state media reports on the launching of a monkey into the thermosphere had used images of two different monkeys. The official insisted, however, that the monkey had survived the journey and that Iran was not trying to cover up a failed flight...…
Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2013.   Comments (1)

Tortoise Survives in Closet for 30 Years — The latest news from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is that a tortoise was found alive after being locked in a closet for 30 years. The story goes that the Almeida family lost their tortoise, Manuela, 30 years ago. They looked everywhere for her, but eventually concluded that she had run away. But when the father of the family, Leonel, died recently, the kids (now adults) were clearing out his room, and there, in the closet, was Manuela. Somehow she was still alive. [telegraph.co.uk] How could…
Posted: Sun Jan 27, 2013.   Comments (2)

The Woman Who Gave Birth to a Horse — The Nigerian Nation reports that a woman gave birth to a horse during a service at the World Liberation Ministry in Edo State: It was gathered that the woman whose identity was not yet known started screaming during the prayer session and began to bleed from the vagina before the horse came out. The General Overseer of the church, Evangelist Silva Wealth, said he was still amazed at what came out of the woman. He told Journalists that during prayers a revelation came that there was a…
Posted: Tue Sep 18, 2012.   Comments (9)

The Great Emu Scam of 2012 — Indian newspapers are reporting the exposure of a major scam involving emu farming. Thousands of people were promised that in return for a modest investment in an emu farm, they soon would be earning thousands of rupees every month. They were led to believe this on the basis of the supposedly massive demand for emu meat and emu-oil cosmetics. The scam was exposed when investors realized that their monthly payments were failing to materialize. [thehindu.com, indiatimes.com]
Posted: Sun Aug 12, 2012.   Comments (2)

Angry Koala — When I saw this photo online a few days ago, I thought, "that koala looks pretty vicious." It didn't occur to me that the image might be fake. But the reality, I now know, is that the image is fake. Koalas don't have wolf-life jaws. The original photo (below) was taken in January 2009 by Flickr user Oz_drdolittle, who explains that the koala was wet because he had sprayed it with water: The poor thing was really hot. (We had a long heatwave recently). I had 3 hanging around the…
Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2012.   Comments (1)

The Giant Egg Hoax of 1986 — On April 13, 1986, at 5:15 AM, Douglas Arling of Warwick, Rhode Island went out to the chicken coop in his yard and checked on his 9-year-old Araconda chicken. To his astonishment, he found she had laid a massive egg measuring 5x3 inches, and weighing half-a-pound. As he watched, the chicken tumbled to the floor, apparently exhausted by the effort she had just gone through. Ruth Arling (Douglas's wife) with the giant egg and the chicken she thought laid it When word of the giant egg…
Posted: Sun Jul 15, 2012.   Comments (1)

The Cat That Crossed 3000 Miles To Come Home — In August 1951, a wire-service story appeared in numerous newspapers about a six-year-old cat named Tom that found its way back to its owners by walking across the entire United States. Mr. and Mrs Charles Smith lived in St. Petersburg, Florida, but in 1949 they had to move to San Gabriel, California. For some reason, they couldn't take their cat with them, so they made arrangements for the man buying their house to adopt him. Two weeks after the move, they got a call from the new…
Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2012.   Comments (11)

Photo of a Black Lion — A picture of a black lion has recently been circulating online. Black lions are not biologically impossible. In fact, there have been scattered reports of black lions over the centuries. However, the lion in this picture is actually a white lion colored black through photo manipulation. The original image of a white lion was posted at cutehomepets.com. It was then transformed into a black lion by "PAulie-SVK" and posted at deviantart.com earlier this year. From there it spread to…
Posted: Tue Jun 05, 2012.   Comments (5)

Bonsai Kittens available from ThinkGeek — Nettie has informed me that ThinkGeek is selling Bonsai Kittens. They're stuffed toys. Therefore, "No cats kittens or kittehs were harmed in the creation of this product." Still, it's seems to be like waving a red flag in PETA's face. They must figure that enough time has passed so that all the furor over bonsai kittens has calmed down. In fact, ThinkGeek also seems to have acquired the bonsaikitten.com domain name. I guess no one else wanted it. The last time I checked it had become…
Posted: Mon May 07, 2012.   Comments (7)

Does this cat really have a cat-shaped mark on its back? — Several pictures of a cat with a cat-shaped mark on its back have circulated online for a couple of years. There's also a version of the image with arabic writing on it, that's currently doing the rounds on facebook. I don't know the cat's name, but the cat has a Japanese owner who keeps a blog, ameblo.jp/usousopp, devoted to posting pictures of it. There are hundreds of pictures of the cat up there. And here's the strange thing. In the two pictures of the cat that are circulating,…
Posted: Fri May 04, 2012.   Comments (4)

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