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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Animals
Lion on the Loose in Gahanna? — Residents of Gahanna, Ohio have worriedly been following reports about a lion loose in their vicinity. Police have fanned out to search for the creature, but with no luck. Now some are beginning to suspect that the lion sightings were just a prank, perhaps engineered by local college seniors. Ohio is, of course, no stranger to non-existent wild beasts on the loose. Those with a long memory might remember the Paulding County Hyena that terrorized people back in 1858. But the greatest…
Posted: Wed May 05, 2004.   Comments (3)

Pets By Mail — If you can't make it down to the pet store, then just order a pet by mail. This seems to be an April Fool's day joke created by a Philadelphia radio station, as is revealed when you click on the 'order here' button.
Posted: Mon May 03, 2004.   Comments (3)

Four-Eyed Kitten — Recently a four-eared cat named Lilly has been in the news. Lilly and her four ears are quite real. They're the result of a genetic defect. By contrast, the four-eyed kitten shown in the thumbnail to the right doesn't seem real at all. The top set of eyes is exactly identical to the bottom set of eyes, indicating a cut-and-paste job. (Thanks to Alicka for the picture).
Posted: Wed Apr 14, 2004.   Comments (9)

Scary Spiders — If spiders scare you, then definitely look no closer at this picture of some spiders that a soldier in Iraq found in his sleeping bag. Yes, despite their size and ugliness, they're real. They're Camel Spiders.
Posted: Thu Apr 08, 2004.   Comments (29)


BBC Ducks the Issue — I just heard about this early April Fool's Day fumble on the part of the BBC. As the Times of London reports: "Declan Curry, the intrepid television hack, broke the embargo on a fascinating British Waterways study that revealed that ducks living on canals weigh, on average, about a pound more than those living on rivers. The slow-moving canal water, so the story went, provides less opportunity for the ducks to swim and as a result they piled on the pounds. Mr Curry and the BBC should…
Posted: Thu Apr 01, 2004.   Comments (2)

Mystery of the Three-Headed Frog — At the beginning of March a news story about a three-headed frog found in England swept around the internet. Experts warned that the appearance of such a mutation could be a sign of impending environmental problems. But science journalist Ray Girvan thinks we shouldn't be jumping to conclusions. To him the three-headed frog actually looks like three separate frogs clasping together, engaged in a well-documented frog mating behavior called multiple amplexus. He points out that the frog…
Posted: Sun Mar 21, 2004.   Comments (12)

Feline Bewilderment — If your cat has been feeling a little down lately, then you may need to hire the services of Confuse a Cat, Ltd., the world leaders in feline bewilderment. One of their highly trained technicians will come to your house and proceed to bewilder your cat, thus restoring it to its former self.
Posted: Tue Mar 16, 2004.   Comments (4)

Why you should not feed your cat table scraps — I don't know what it is about oversized domestic cats that's so endlessly fascinating, but I've got to admit that, as the owner of a rather corpulent kitty, I'm just as intrigued by this subject as everyone else seems to be. So anyway, first there was Snowball. Then along came Munchkin. And now the latest tubby tabby to do the email rounds is Scrappy, the Super-Sized Cat. This email comes with the subject line: Why you shouldn't feed your cat table scraps. I don't know if it's real or…
Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2004.   Comments (32)

Mountain Lion Email Hoax — Quite a few people have received this picture in their email showing a man holding up a giant (dead) mountain lion. According to the accompanying text, the lion was shot by the man near Leon, Kansas while he was out deer hunting, though different versions of the email list different locations. Is the picture real? It is. But the accompanying text is incorrect. According to this article on Buckmasters.com, the lion was actually shot near Seattle, Washington. The picture first appeared…
Posted: Fri Feb 06, 2004.   Comments (1)

Winston Churchill’s Parrot — Newspapers are reporting the story of Charlie, a parrot that is 104 years old, once belonged to Winston Churchill, and still swears at the Nazis. When I read about Charlie, I figured it couldn't be true. First of all, could a parrot really live that long? Well, apparently in rare cases they can. So that part of the story might be true. But there is a lot of doubt about whether Charlie ever belonged to Churchill. Churchill's family is denying that Winston ever owned a parrot. Charlie…
Posted: Tue Jan 20, 2004.   Comments (44)

Real Dog — Why own a living, breathing dog that you have to feed every day, when you can own a RealDog instead?
Posted: Mon Jan 12, 2004.   Comments (2)

Haggis Hunt — Here's an interesting hoax website, courtesy of Anson Kennedy. It's haggishunt.com, which punctures the common misconception that a haggis is a sheep's stomach stuffed with meat and oatmeal. In reality (according to this site) a haggis is an extremely rare animal hunted by the Scottish. The site offers many educational haggis facts, such as that the sound the haggis is most sensitive to is plaid rubbing on underpants (I never knew!). And definitely check out the Haggis Cam.
Posted: Mon Jan 12, 2004.   Comments (0)

Bum-Breathing Turtles — I received an email from Tammy who had an important question for me. "Is it true a turtle can breath out of his butt?" she wants to know. Dear Tammy, yes this is true. At least, I know it's true that some species of turtle, such as the Fitzroy River Turtle, can perform this amazing trick, but I wouldn't stick my neck out to say that every species of turtle can. Those turtles which can are known scientifically as 'bum-breathing turtles.'
Posted: Tue Dec 09, 2003.   Comments (0)

Sea Urchins Live Forever — One of the questions in my gullibility test is whether turtles ever die of old age. The answer is that they don't, and here's a BBC article about another species that shares this trait: the sea urchin. Apparently, unless urchins are killed off by predators or diseasey, they'll live forever.
Posted: Mon Nov 24, 2003.   Comments (0)

The Great Octopus Mystery — As a joke, a Peoria woman puts a baby octopus in her boyfriend's toilet. Her boyfriend gets home, finds an octopus in his toilet, and assumes it must have crawled there from out of the sewer. He calls the local paper and the city is soon caught up in the 'Great Octopus Mystery' until the girlfriend calls up and sheepishly confesses.
Posted: Sun Nov 23, 2003.   Comments (1)

British Giant Rabbits — A visitor named Patricia wrote to ask whether British Giant Rabbits are real, or whether this site devoted to them is just a joke. They're real, Patricia. And very cute!
Posted: Thu Nov 06, 2003.   Comments (10)

Marry Your Pet — Do you really, really love your pet? Then why not marry him or her? Go to MarryYourPet.com, and you can make it happen. Of course, the marriage isn't recognized by a court of law, which makes it somewhat of a hoax, but they really will sell you a marriage certificate, an 'I married my pet' T-shirt, or a wall plaque. They're all incredibly overpriced. If they offered the certificate for $5 instead of $20, they probably would do more business. They're trying to sell the wall plaque for…
Posted: Sun Oct 19, 2003.   Comments (4)

Primate Programming — From the company's website: "Primate Programming Inc. is dedicated to the advancement and gainful employment of non-human great apes within the United States information technology sector."
Posted: Tue Sep 30, 2003.   Comments (0)

Burmese Mountain Dogs — Burmese Mountain Dog: A page (also from the creators of the Mankato, Minnesota page) with some info about a rare breed of dog known as the Burmese Mountain Dog. You can examine this a long time and potentially not realize the joke, which is that the actual breed is the Bernese Mountain Dog (it comes from Berne, Switzerland). I guess a lot of people say Burmese instead of Bernese.
Posted: Wed Sep 24, 2003.   Comments (18)

Lake Michigan Whale Watching — Lake Michigan Whale Watching: One of the best guarded secrets of the Great Lakes
Posted: Sun Sep 21, 2003.   Comments (0)

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