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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Animals
Bouncing Bear
Posted by The Curator on Thu Apr 26, 2012
This is one of those photos that looks so surreal you'd think it has to be photoshopped, but it's real. It was taken earlier today in Colorado. Although it looks like the bear might be bouncing on a trampoline, it's actually falling onto a thick mat: Bear tranquilized in tree near Williams Village cuindependent.com The bear managed to climb up a tree near the dorms where it stayed for about two and a half hours. Wildlife officials were able to safely tranquilize the bear at 10:17 a.m. and the bear fell onto mats provided by the Recreation Center at approximately 10:28 a.m. "[The bear] was tranquilized by the…
Categories: Animals, Photos/Videos Comments (3)
The Taxidermied Zoo
Posted by The Curator on Mon Apr 23, 2012
This is a bit like something out of a Philip K. Dick novel -- The Dream Park El Janoob Zoo in the Gaza Strip can no longer afford to display live animals. And it's difficult to import animals into Gaza. So the zoo owner has decided to display taxidermied animals. An advantage of this is that zoo visitors can pet the animals, without having their limbs torn off, as might happen with live animals. Link: Al Arabiya
Categories: Animals Comments (3)
Breast-Sucking Turtles of Namibia
Posted by The Curator on Sat Apr 21, 2012
If you happen to be a young woman in Namibia, watch out for a middle-aged Indian man who may try to strike up a friendship with you. Before too long, he may whip out his breast-sucking turtle. It happened to Lina Sames (link: informante.web.na): Sames, a domestic worker, related how the mysterious man suddenly produced a live turtle, no bigger than the average grown up's hand and pressed the reptile against the victim's right breast. "It proceeded to suck, while at the same time growing bigger. I was then forced to drink blood from the turtle," a traumatized Sames said. And this has happened before! The folklore surrounding…
Categories: Animals, Urban Legends Comments (1)
The Annual Overland Whale Migration
Posted by The Curator on Tue Apr 03, 2012
I received an email from Peter Barss recounting a 1985 April Fool's Day hoax he was involved in. It's a great story, so I'll let him tell it in his own words: In 1985 the Bridgewater Bulletin had an April Fool's front page. Turn over the bogus page and there was the true front page with the day's news. One reporter created an image of a twelve foot starfish climbing out of the sea and up the side of a fisherman's building. Another wrote a story about an international airport that would be constructed just outside Bridgewater (Nova Scotia). That story made it to the provincial legislature where the Minister of Transportation stood and demanded why…
Post-Rapture Pet Adoption
Posted by The Curator on Sat Mar 17, 2012
For over three years, Eternal Earth-Bound Pets has been offering peace of mind to Rapture believers. Should the Rapture come, and the devout are whisked away up to Heaven, this service will take care of their pets that are left behind — for a small fee of $135 per pet. But now Bloomberg News is reporting that the business was all just a hoax concocted by Bart Centre, a retired retail executive in New Hampshire, in order to promote his book, The Atheist Camel Chronicles. Bloomberg quotes him as saying: The entire thing was a hoax. What we call on the Internet a poe, a spoof, a parody, a complete fiction.…
Categories: Animals, Religion, Websites Comments (2)
A Bullfighter Repents
Posted by The Curator on Wed Mar 07, 2012
The following photo and caption has recently begun to circulate online. It's all over Facebook. "And suddenly, I looked at the bull. He had this innocence... that all animals have in their eyes, and he looked at me with this pleading. It was like a cry for justice, deep down inside of me. I describe it as being like a prayer - because if one confesses, it is hoped, that one is forgiven. I felt like the worst shit on earth." This photo shows the collapse of Torrero Alvaro Munera, as he realized in the middle of his last fight... the injustice to the animal. From…
Categories: Animals, Photos/Videos, Sports Comments (4)
Woman-Turns-Into-Snake Rumor
Posted by The Curator on Tue Feb 21, 2012
Social networking sites in Nigeria have been ablaze with the rumor that a woman turned into a snake at the Hotel Excel in Warri. The proprietor of the hotel, Chief Moses Odeh, has been doing everything he can to put out the rumor, but once these stories get started, they acquire a life of their own. (informationnigeria.org) African rumors still have true strangeness to them. Here in America, the majority of twitter and facebook rumors are fake reports of celebrity deaths... which get boring after a while. It'd be kind of refreshing to see a rumor claim that Madonna or Lady Gaga didn't die, but instead turned into a snake.
The Buxton Mermaid
Posted by The Curator on Thu Feb 16, 2012
An old mermaid was recently found, stored in the archives of the Buxton Museum and Art Gallery, and a research team from the University of Lincoln decided to examine it. So far they've discovered that its hair is human, its upper body is constructed of wood and wire, its teeth are carved bone, and its eyes are mollusc shell. Future tests will determine what fish its tail came from. (link: BBC News) At first I thought it looked like the Bloomsbury Mermaid (pictured below). But no, they're definitely different mermaids. Though similar in design. (Thanks, Hudson!)
Categories: Animals, Cryptozoology Comments (6)
The Case of the Spray-Painted Bird
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jan 23, 2012
Back in 2009, bird watchers in New Zealand began reporting sightings of a red harrier hawk. There was speculation it was a new species. But in 2010 a hawk was found dead (hit by a car) that had been spray-painted red. So bird watchers realized there was no new species. There was just someone going around spray-painting birds. Suspicion eventually focused on dairy farmer Grant Michael Teahan after a video was uploaded to youtube showing Teahan beside a bird trap covered in red spray paint. Teahan denied the allegation, but last week a judge decided Teahan was lying. He'll be sentenced later this month. Links: stuff.co.nz,
Categories: Animals Comments (3)
Texas Roof Tiger
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jan 19, 2012
Add this to the 'Things on Roofs' file: Police in Houston, Texas received reports of a tiger sitting on the roof of an abandoned hotel. The animal was causing a bit of a traffic jam as drivers stopped to look at it. But upon investigation, it turned out to be a toy tiger. I'm assuming it was the work of a prankster, who's now out a pretty nice stuffed animal. Link: BBC News.
Categories: Animals, Pranks Comments (7)
The Fake Death of Cheetah the Chimp
Posted by The Curator on Sun Jan 01, 2012
As far as death hoaxes goes, this is a strange one, both because it involves a chimp and also because it's a fake death report of someone who died long ago. The story began last week, around Christmas, when it was reported that Cheetah, the chimp who played Tarzan's sidekick in the 1930s Tarzan films, had died at the ripe old age of 80. He had apparently spent the last decades of his life at the Suncoast Primate Sanctuary in Florida. The cause of death was kidney failure. I remember seeing the headlines about the death and thinking it was odd a chimp could live that long. And sure enough, primate experts…
Categories: Animals, Death Comments (1)
The Fraser Island Crocodile
Posted by The Curator on Tue Oct 25, 2011
The Telegraph recently listed the beach on Queensland's Fraser Island as among the most dangerous in the world. The reasons: sharks, jellyfish, strong rip currents, deadly spiders, the odd saltwater crocodile, and dingoes. But people around Fraser Island disagree. They don't dispute the presence of the sharks, jellyfish, rip currents, spiders, and dingoes. (Though they don't think dingoes are dangerous). But they do insist there are no crocodiles there, except for one — which is fake. One of the locals owns a fake, but realistic-looking crocodile that he sometimes puts on the beach. Back in 2006 this crocodile made headlines in the Fraser Coast Chronicle when it scared some…
Categories: Animals, Places Comments (4)
Cyclops Shark
Posted by The Curator on Mon Oct 24, 2011
An albino, one-eyed shark, an image of which started circulating online back in July, has been confirmed by scientists to be real. (Link: livescience.com). Which shouldn't have been a surprise. Like the case of Cy the one-eyed kitten (from back in 2006), the mutant shark suffered from cyclopia. According to messybeast.com, this is a genetic abnormality in which, "the eyes are fused into a single enlarged eye that is placed below the nose (the nose may or may not form, if it forms it resembles a proboscis)." One-eyed creatures are one of those phenomena that fit into the rule that sometimes truth really is stranger than fiction. In…
Categories: Animals Comments (3)
The Egg-Laying Dog of Vienna
Posted by The Curator on Mon Sep 26, 2011
Recently I read Jan Bondeson's new book, Amazing Dogs: A Cabinet of Canine Curiosities. Bondeson is one of my favorite writers because he's a master at finding incredibly obscure but truly bizarre oddities from history, and he doesn't disappoint in this book. I plan to discuss the book more in a future post, because he's collected a lot of urban legends and hoaxes concerning dogs. For instance, he reveals the story of Greyfriar's Bobby to be a hoax (LaMa has posted about this in the forum). But for now what I want to share is a story he mentions in his first chapter (page 11) about a dog that could supposedly lay eggs. He writes: …
Categories: Animals, Birth/Babies Comments (3)
Sussex Zebras
Posted by The Curator on Thu Sep 22, 2011
Unidentified pranksters broke into the Sussex Horse Rescue Trust in Uckfield, East Sussex and transformed "Ant" the donkey into a zebra by spray-painting stripes on him (express.co.uk). Ant wasn't hurt in any way, though the spray paint reportedly had a strong, unpleasant smell. The RSPCA condemned the prank: "It's shocking people would think it was funny to spray-paint a donkey in this way. We take reports of animals being painted very seriously." This prank immediately reminded me of the tradition of Tijuana Zebras, which I last posted about back in 2006. I noted then that the Tijuana tradition of painting donkeys to look like zebras was dying out, but…
Categories: Animals, Pranks Comments (2)
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