The Hoax Museum Blog
Killer Whale vs. Penguin
Posted by The Curator on Sat Aug 09, 2008
Posted by The Curator on Fri Aug 08, 2008
The internet was already home to dogcondoms.com, which I posted about back in 2005. But for someone out there, one version of the joke was not enough, because there is now also doggycondoms.com (registered in May 2008). It's the exact same joke, just more elaborately fleshed out. It looks like it's the creation of the humor website DailyContempt.com, which is also responsible for a slew of other hoax sites including (but not limited to) puppybeef.com, puppyprofits.com, and childtrader.com (which I posted about a few months ago).
The Fishing Lures of Faith
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jul 24, 2008
Not to be outdone by Christian fundamentalists, Islamic fundamentalists have come out with their own anti-evolution treatises. Among the most prominent of these is the Atlas of Creation by Harun Yahya. It's a long work (and more is on the way) consisting primarily of page after page of examples showing that modern-day species can be found in the fossil record. This is supposed to demonstrate that evolution hasn't occurred. Volume 1 contains the example of the Caddis Fly. The illustration in the book shows the modern-day fly in the foreground. Circled in red in the background is the fossil analogue, preserved in amber. (No, they don't look similar to me either).
Hippo Eats Zookeeper (almost)
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jul 16, 2008
It's not a hoax, but I feel compelled to note any news story even vaguely similar to Hippo Eats Dwarf. From the Rocky Mountain News: A veteran worker at the Denver Zoo suffered a hand puncture today when a hippopotamus chomped down during routine dental training. The woman keeper was bitten about 9:45 a.m. in the outdoor hippo exhibit as she and colleagues were doing desensitizing training on Mahali, a 5-year-old male, to make dental work more comfortable for the hippo. "Mahali was doing this training where we ask him to hold his mouth open…
Horse Theft Scam
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jul 15, 2008
Horse thievery used to be a huge problem. After the American Civil War it became so rampant in the West that it inspired the creation of a vigilante group that called itself the Anti Horse Thief Association. This group had, at one point, 30,000 members. But horse theft is something I thought became obsolete with the widespread adoption of automobiles. Apparently not. Authorities in Tennessee are warning of a modern-day horse theft scam. People are showing up at farms claiming to be from Horse Haven (a humane organization for horses). They say they're there to take away the horses. Horse Haven does occasionally seize horses, if the horses are being neglected or harmed,…
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jul 08, 2008
The BBC is on the hunt for a two-headed pheasant, after a photo of one, supposedly taken on the grounds of Himley Hall, near Dudley, was sent to them. The problem is, there are no one-headed pheasants living at Himley Hall, let alone two-headed ones. The BBC suspects a hoax: an artist from Birmingham said the bird looked remarkably similar one of her creations. Annabel de Vetten, who used stuffed birds for the works, gave one away as a present and another has gone missing. She said the one given away…
Sewer Horse 2
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jul 01, 2008
I came across another picture of a horse in a sewer. I guess when it rains sewer horses, it pours. The previous sewer horse was pretty implausible. After all, you had a horse sticking its head out of a sewer, and no one was even looking at it. This sewer horse is more believable. I could imagine a horse wandering around in an open field, which happens to back into an open hole. And at least the firemen are looking at this horse. However, the shadows seem wrong. The angle of light hitting the firemen looks slightly different than the angle of light hitting…
What is it?
Posted by The Curator on Sun Jun 29, 2008
I was working in my backyard this weekend, when I turned over a rock and discovered this creepy-crawly. Anyone have an idea what it is? I wasn't about to mess with it. Looked like it had a stinger on its tail. Update: Thanks to Robin Bobcat for identifying it as a Jerusalem Cricket. According to the San Diego Natural History Museum: "this nocturnal cricket is actually non-aggressive and possesses no poison glands, although its jaws can inflict a painful bite." Even if it's non-poisonous, I'm glad I stayed away from it. And it's still out there in my backyard somewhere.
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jun 17, 2008
The latest internet meme is Sewer Horse: "Sewer Horse is Watching You" I have no explanation for the image. Is it real or fake? I haven't got a clue. It seems a bit unlikely that a horse would end up in a sewer, but then he could be in a large underground tunnel that has an opening he's looking out of. Sewer Horse is so popular that he even has his own website.
Horse at School
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jun 10, 2008
I'm not sure if this is a prank, or just a case of bizarre willfulness. Staples High School in Westport, Connecticut warned a father and daughter not to bring their horse to school. They brought it anyway, so the school has charged them with breach of peace. From nbc30.com: Police were called Friday morning when a Westport man and his daughter walked a horse onto the campus of Staples High School, police said. School officials became concerned when a large group of students gathered near the horse and reported it, police said. School officials had previously warned the…
Posted by The Curator on Fri May 30, 2008
He looks too big to be real, but apparently he genuinely is a giant cow. His name is Chilli, and he lives at the Ferne Animal Sanctuary in Somerset. From the Daily Mail: Chilli dwarfs most horses, is the same height as a small elephant and casts a shadow over his cattle companions who are about 5ft in height "He now stands at 6ft 6ins from the floor to the top of his shoulder and he is massive when he holds his head up. "We have made an application…
Malaysian Sea Monster
Posted by The Curator on Thu May 15, 2008
In an email with the subject "Giant Fish - Caught in Malaysia? Apparently...," Joshua Penley asks: "What the HELL is this?!!?!?!?!?!?!?!" This sounds like a question for Big Gary, the museum's Deputy Curator in Charge of Fish. I would simply note that the guys in the photos don't look particularly Malaysian, making it a case of "real picture, fake caption." The bottom picture reminds me of a picture of a…
Posted by The Curator on Wed Apr 30, 2008
I recently received a nice letter from a reader in England: Dear Mr. Boese, I have enjoyed the Museum of Hoaxes greatly. I do not know if you want any more examples, but if not just throw this away. The Veterinary Record is the weekly journal of the Veterinary Profession, and I did the index for 36 years. So on 1st April 1972 I met some observations on the diseases of Brunus edwardii (Species Nova), Vet. Rec. (1972) 90, 382-395. It reads like a perfectly authentic scientific paper though the illustrations give the game away. So I suppose it…
PETA’s Million-Dollar Fake Meat Prize
Posted by The Curator on Thu Apr 24, 2008
PETA recently offered a $1 million reward to the first company that can produce In Vitro meat in commercially viable quantities by 2012. (AussieBruce posted about it in the forum.) But Daniel Engber, writing for Slate.com, explains why PETA's prize has so many strings attached that it's basically a bogus offer. 1) According to the contest guidelines, the fake-meat must be sold in stores to qualify for the prize. Engber writes: "Fake-chicken entrepreneurs have to demonstrate a "commercial sales minimum" at a "comparable market price"; in plain English, they need to move 2,000 pounds of the stuff at supermarkets and chain restaurants spread out across 10 states during…
Emory University Zebra Prank
Posted by The Curator on Thu Apr 24, 2008
Neil Steinberg's classic advice about college pranks was that "If at all possible, involve a cow." The zebra (named Barcode) that was found locked inside Seney Hall at Georgia's Emory University this morning is a novel substitute. From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Campus police were still trying to find out who put the zebra on the third floor of Seney Hall sometime Tuesday night... Putting animals inside Seney Hall has passed for a dry wit on the Emory at Oxford campus for decades... Bowen said it was unlikely the responsible…