The Hoax Museum Blog
Posted by The Curator on Tue Mar 22, 2005
I just received an email from Dave Simpson with the attached image. Dave says: Here is a photo of my son, Connor, on our backyard trampoline in Alabama. He was four months old at the time. Feel free to post it on your site. So I'm stumped. Obviously a 4-month-old infant couldn't bounce themselves up and down on a trampoline. So how was the picture taken? I have no idea.
Fetal Educator Strap
Posted by The Curator on Mon Feb 07, 2005
To you and me it may look like two tape players attached to a belt, but according to Dahlman Industries it's actually a 'Fetal Educator Strap', and they've managed to get it patented as such. What the patent doesn't mention is the type of sounds you should be using to educate the fetus. I'm curious if this will ever get made and if anyone will actually use it. (via Patently Silly, via J-Walk)
Cooking Your Placenta
Posted by The Curator on Sat Jan 15, 2005
I've heard a rumor that some women do this, though I didn't think it was true. But what was I thinking? There's always somebody who's going to try something out, no matter how gross it is. So anyway, if you have a hankering for cooked placenta, here are some recipes, including Roast Placenta (with red peppers and a bit of garlic) and Dehydrated Placenta (that would be like Placenta Jerky, I assume).
Woman, 59, Admits She’s Not Pregnant
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jan 05, 2005
Frances Harris surprised everyone for a second time. The first surprise was when this 59-year-old woman announced in November that she was pregnant with twins. And it wasn't the result of in-vitro fertilization, like that 56-year-old lady who gave birth to twins late last year. Harris said she just got pregnant. The second surprise (not much of a surprise really) was when she admitted yesterday that she just made up the pregnancy. Why did she do it? Her family is chalking it up to "personal issues that are still being evaluated". But to me the problem is clear. She's suffering from Southcott Syndrome, a medical condition whose name I coined myself. I define this condition as being when…
Self Selection of Diet by Infants
Posted by The Curator on Mon Dec 13, 2004
Is it true that infants have an innate sense of what food is good for them? That if left to their own devices they will naturally eat the food that their body needs? Well, in my admittedly limited experience young kids naturally gravitate towards a diet consisting exclusively of ice cream and cheerios. However, there apparently is an urban-legend-like tale floating around about a scientific experiment in which a doctor placed samples of food (of varying nutritional quality) in front of newly weaned babies. The babies were then allowed to pick whatever food they wanted from these samples without any adult intervention, and the babies chose to eat a well-balanced diet. Posters over at alt.folklore.urban tracked down the…
Lucina Sine Concubitu
Posted by The Curator on Thu Nov 18, 2004
Lucina Sine Concubitu translates roughly to 'pregnancy without intercourse.' Here's a site that uses a 'strange book' by this title published in 1772 as a launching-off point to explore the history of the subject. It's full of fascinating and odd details such as medieval church debates about exactly how the Virgin Mary was impregnated by the Holy Ghost: was it "by way of the ear, the gullet, the nose, by way of breathing into her God's breathe, hearing God's word, being Overshadowed by a Divine cloud, etc." Or the old Roman belief that mares can be made pregnant simply by "turning east and inhaling the wind from that direction." Or whether sperm can be carried on the wind.…
Woman Breastfeeds Puppy
Posted by The Curator on Wed Nov 17, 2004
If this story was in some other paper, like the Weekly World News, I'd dismiss it as a tall tale, but the material on stuff.co.nz is usually fairly reliable. They report about a (human) mother who has taken to breastfeeding her puppy. What I find interesting is that the reporter took the initiative to interview an anthropology professor about what this woman is doing (or claiming to be doing), and got this interesting nugget of information: "Victoria University associate professor of anthropology Jeff Sissons said he was familiar with a practice among women from Papua New Guinea hill tribes who breastfed pigs, but he had not heard of any other instance of a human breastfeeding another species." Next…
Foreskin Face Cream
Posted by The Curator on Thu Oct 21, 2004
Is there really a face cream that's made from the discarded foreskins of circumcised infants? It sounds like some kind of freakish urban legend, but the correct answer would be yes, there is such a product. It's called TNS (tissue nutrient system) Recovery Complex. However, I don't think they grind up the foreskins and mix them right into the face cream. Instead, I think the ingredients in the cream have somehow been bio-engineered from foreskins. Still, it might be a little bit offputting to the squeamish. Oh, and according to this article, the stuff smells awful.
Posted by The Curator on Thu Sep 30, 2004
The Pregnant Men website collects together a wealth of information about pregnant men. As the site boasts, "If it pertains to men being pregnant, you can be sure to find it here." It's very odd. Almost like a fetish site with people contributing stories and art about pregnant men. So I'm not sure if it counts as a hoax website because it doesn't claim that any man in particular has gotten pregnant. It just fantasizes about men in general being pregnant.
Posted by The Curator on Wed Sep 29, 2004
I'm late to the party with this image (all the other hoax-related sites have had it up for a couple of weeks), but hey, I was on vacation, and the picture's too good to ignore. Anyway, no one seems to be able to say definitively whether it's real or a fake... or even where it originally came from. It does seem pretty unbelievable that a footprint would be that well defined through the wall of the abdomen. Plus, the foot seems awfully long. And what are those weird bumps in the middle of the foot? But on the other hand, I've heard some women say that this is possible.
Dog Gives Birth to Kitten
Posted by The Curator on Thu Sep 02, 2004
Some guy in Cambodia is claiming that his dog has given birth to a kitten. As he says, "This animal cries like a cat, and its face is like a cat, but its feet are bigger than a cat's and look more like a dog's feet." Uh, yeah. It's feet look like dog's feet because IT IS A DOG! The guy is also insisting that anyone who wants to view the cat-dog thing first must pray to it. Unbelievable. Actually, the really unbelievable thing is that the media even bothers to report things like this. But wait, I'm posting about it too. So scratch that last remark.
British Miracle Babies
Posted by The Curator on Fri Aug 13, 2004
Birth hoaxes are always the weirdest. A religious guru in Britain, 'Archbishop Gilbert Deya,' has been convincing his female followers that they've been impregnated by Jesus. He then helps them to give birth to these 'holy ghost babies'. The catch is that the women aren't actually pregnant, though they now have a child on their hands. I've researched hoaxes a long time, but still it's hard for me to fathom how someone could be so gullible that they would believe they're pregnant (when they're not), and that they've given birth (when they haven't). The mind boggles. He's assisted one 56-year-old lady 'give birth' thirteen times in the past three years!!! You have to wonder what planet this lady…
Sperm Race TV
Posted by The Curator on Sat Jul 24, 2004
Reality TV shows just keep getting weirder and weirder. The latest one being developed in Britain (unless it's all a hoax, like Lapdance Island or Quarantine) is Sperm Race TV, in which a group of guys get to compete for the prize of fathering a child. Two finalists are chosen, one chosen by the mother on the basis of romantic attraction, the other chosen by the show's producers on the basis of 'genetic compatibility' with the mother. The two guys will then compete in a sperm race, filmed with special fiber-optic cameras, to see whose sperm can inseminate the mother's egg first. To me this sounds hoaxy on a number of different levels. First…
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jul 16, 2004
David Emery reports on this gross-out case from Durham, North Carolina. A family bought a package of chicken tenders from the store, took it home, and discovered what appeared to be the foot of a human baby tossed in with the chicken pieces. "It's breaded, and it's already cooked," police Sgt. Maurice Hayes said. Happily, the foot turned out to be a piece of dough molded into the shape of a foot.
The Woman Who Gave Birth to a Frog
Posted by The Curator on Sun Jun 27, 2004
The BBC is reporting that a woman in Iran has given birth to a frog. Doctors are speculating that a frog larva somehow got into her uterus while she was swimming, and then grew inside her to a full-sized frog. That seems very unlikely to me. What would a frog feed on inside a person's body? Wouldn't the frog suffocate? Actually, the brief article seems a bit ambiguous on whether it's definitely a frog that came out of her, or if it's a baby that looks rather frog-like. Either way, this case immediately reminded me of Mary Toft, the 18th-century English woman who gave birth to rabbits. Of course, Mary Toft didn't really give birth to…