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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Birth/Babies
The Egg-Laying Dog of Vienna — 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…
Posted: Mon Sep 26, 2011.   Comments (3)

A Fake Pregnancy Experiment — Here's a slightly different spin on the old fake pregnancy prank. (Reality Rule 1.1 in Hippo Eats Dwarf is "Just because a woman looks pregnant, it doesn't mean she is." As a social experiment, the Minnesota Organization on Fetal Alcohol made one of their operatives appear to be pregnant. Then they sent her to the state fair and had her stand around in full view drinking beer. They wanted to see if anyone would say something to her about how she shouldn't drink alcohol while pregnant.…
Posted: Thu Sep 08, 2011.   Comments (7)

Birth or Not — The Premise: A couple claims to be allowing the internet to vote on whether or not they'll have an abortion. This has been getting a lot of attention on blogs over the past few days, and by now it's been definitively proven to be a hoax. Kevin Hoffman points out what I think is the most telling piece of evidence. The couple registered the domain name birthornot.com over two months before the baby was supposedly conceived. Also, the man behind the site has been identified as Pete…
Posted: Tue Nov 23, 2010.   Comments (17)

Airbrushed Babies — According to The Telegraph, politicians and industry experts have been shocked (shocked!) to learn that magazines occasionally photoshop pictures of babies: The practice came to light in a BBC documentary, My Supermodel Baby. In footage of a photo shoot for the magazine, the casting director explained how the photograph of baby model Hadley Corbett, five months, was airbrushed: "We lightened his eyes and his general skin tone, smoothed out any blotches and the creases on his arms," he…
Posted: Tue Nov 17, 2009.   Comments (5)


Visit Denmark, and get a girl pregnant — As posted recently by LaMa in the forum, a video recently began to circulate that appeared to have been created by a Danish girl who was trying to find the father of her child. She said the father had been a tourist in Denmark. They had had a one-night stand a year ago. Turns out the video was actually created by Denmark's National Tourist Agency as part of a viral marketing campaign. The tourist agency has since issued an apology: Local media reported yesterday the woman is…
Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2009.   Comments (17)

Milkman Experiment — Swedish father Ragnar Bengtsson is pumping his breasts at three-hour intervals every day, in the hope that eventually he will start to lactate and be able to breastfeed his future children. If it works, he has no plans to breastfeed his 2-year-old son. The experiment is being filmed by Swedish TV8. Odds that he may produce some milk if he works at it long enough: pretty good. Odds that he'll produce enough to feed a child: close to zero. He could help his cause by starving himself,…
Posted: Fri Sep 04, 2009.   Comments (7)

Baby Glutton — I think the trend toward hyper-realism in dolls started in the 1970s with the introduction of Kenner's "Baby Alive" doll which ate, drank, and wet its diapers. The latest evolution of the trend is Baby Glutton, the breastfeeding doll. According to thingamababy.com: "Your child wears a colorful bra-like halter-top featuring flowers over the nipple area. When the doll is lifted to the flowers, it makes a suckling motion and sound." A little too realistic, perhaps? More links:
Posted: Tue Aug 04, 2009.   Comments (28)

Little April Rose — Recently a woman who identified herself only as "April's Mom" started blogging about how her unborn child had been diagnosed as terminally ill. And yet she had decided to go through with the pregnancy anyway. Her blog quickly became popular with the anti-abortion crowd. On Sunday "Little April Rose" was born, but died soon after. But skeptics noticed something strange about the picture of Little April that April's Mom posted on her site. Little April looked exactly like a reborn doll…
Posted: Fri Jun 12, 2009.   Comments (8)

Baby Brain — News from the frontiers of medicine: "Baby Brain" is a myth; that syndrome being the supposed decline in intelligence that women suffer while pregnant. A study led by Dr. Helen Christensen of the Australian National University in Canberra tracked 2500 women over ten years and "found no difference between their brainpower before and during their pregnancies." Baby Brain reminds me of Josh Whicker's 2004 Hoosier Gazette hoax in which he claimed that a five-year Indiana University study…
Posted: Mon Feb 09, 2009.   Comments (8)

Man names son “Carter Barack Obama Sealy” — A Broomfield, Colorado man got his name in the local newspaper for claiming he had named his new son Carter Barack Obama Sealy. He also said that his two other children were named Brooke Trout Sealy and Cooper John Elway Sealy. Supposedly he had a deal with his wife. She got to choose the kids' first names, and he got to choose their middle names. The children's grandmother spilled the beans on the father, notifying the paper that the names were not real. The guy's wife explained that…
Posted: Fri Nov 21, 2008.   Comments (5)

Brangelina Twins Photoshopped? — People magazine reportedly paid $14 million for the rights to publish the first pictures of the twin babies of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. But what the blogosphere is buzzing about is the suspicion that the cover photo of the twins was photoshopped. New York magazine seems to be the originator of this theory: In that cover photo, it looks like Vivienne Marcheline — clearly the Ashley half of this Olsen-like combo — is sporting a giant grin. She may even be laughing. Hold on. These…
Posted: Tue Aug 05, 2008.   Comments (10)

Gloucester Pregnancy Pact — There's one final news item I've received a lot of emails about in the past week -- and so deserves a place on the front page (though it's already in the forum). The Gloucester Pregnancy Pact. Seventeen girls at Gloucester High School are pregnant. According to Time magazine, they all made a pact to get pregnant and raise their babies together. From Time: School officials started looking into the matter as early as October after an unusual number of girls began filing into the school…
Posted: Tue Jun 24, 2008.   Comments (13)

Child Trader — If you're tired of your kid, why not swap him or her for another? Childtrader.com makes this possible. From the site: Child Trader is now the nations 4th largest child exchange network and as such, has brought happiness to more than 1623 American households who otherwise had very few options in creating a more loving family and home life when realizing their child wasn’t the right fit for them. Child Trader Child Exchange Network isn’t about not loving childing [sic]. Its about finding…
Posted: Thu May 15, 2008.   Comments (15)

Abortion as Art — Yale undergraduate Aliza Shvarts' senior art project has created a little bit of controversy. She has apparently created "a documentation of a nine-month process during which she artificially inseminated herself 'as often as possible' while periodically taking abortifacient drugs to induce miscarriages." That's just lovely. (Already posted by whoeverur in the forum, but so bizarre it warrants being on the front page.) Shvarts insists that her project was not designed for "shock value."…
Posted: Fri Apr 18, 2008.   Comments (15)

Sperm For Tickets — Donate your sperm and get a ticket to a music festival. That's the deal offered by Sperm for Tickets. Or rather, that was the deal. If you visit their site now, they state that the response far exceeded expectations, so they're temporarily calling a halt to the invitation. But I'm pretty sure the offer never was for real. Not that the idea of giving tickets in exchange for sperm is that outlandish. Instead, it's the delivery method that seems bogus. The site claimed donors could send…
Posted: Mon Mar 17, 2008.   Comments (1)

Faking pregnancy as a shoplifting technique — Detectives in Sarpy County, Omaha are warning local stores of a new shoplifting technique being used by a group of women. The women enter a store, fill up a cart with items, and then walk out. If stopped, they claim that they're giving birth. KETV reports: Detectives said that on Dec. 13, three women walked into the Bellevue Wal-Mart, filled a cart with items, then started to leave. Surveillance video shows a store officer stopped them at the door and asked for a receipt. That's when…
Posted: Mon Feb 18, 2008.   Comments (6)

Twins get married… or maybe not — Last week this story was EVERYWHERE. A pair of twins in Britain, who had been adopted into different families, met and fell in love... without realizing they were twins. They then got married, only to discover the terrible secret they shared. Their marriage was promptly annulled. When I first read about this, it sounded pretty fishy to me -- very much like an urban legend being reported as news -- but on a cursory reading of the story I also got the impression that there were officials…
Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2008.   Comments (15)

Quick Links: Dec. 12, 2007 — Sextuplet husband gets three years Remember that couple who pretended they had sextuplets last year? The guy has now been sentenced to three years in prison for violating the terms of his probation. His wife is still at large. Pregnant lawyer made up abduction "pregnant Ohio attorney Karyn McConnell Hancock confessed Monday to fabricating a story about being kidnapped by three people at gunpoint in Toledo last week." I'm going to start keeping track of these fake abduction cases. There…
Posted: Thu Dec 13, 2007.   Comments (4)

The Sound of Quintuplets Crying — When a Russian woman recently gave birth to quintuplets, it made news around the world. But BBC viewers who watched the footage of the babies might have thought something was a little odd. Why were the babies crying, even though they had respirators in their mouths? It turns out the cries were dubbed in: The BBC has admitted that it added the sound of crying to a report yesterday on the birth of a set of quintuplets. It is the latest in a series of rows over fakery to hit the…
Posted: Sun Nov 18, 2007.   Comments (7)

Cursed Japanese Kleenex Commercial — A commercial for Kleenex that aired in Japan during the 1980s became the focus of an urban legend. Derek Bassett last year described the legend on his blog Mohora: So the story is this commercial for Kleenex tissues was shown on Japanese TV back in 1986 or so. It features an actress in a white dress sitting next to a child made up to look like a baby ogre. There is a really creepy song in a foreign language that when researched, is actually an old German folk song with the words “Die,…
Posted: Mon Oct 01, 2007.   Comments (8)

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