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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Body Manipulation
The Case of the Microwaved Penis — Status: hoax The following incident caught my attention because it occurred in McKeesport, which is right outside of Pittsburgh. This is where my mother grew up. My grandfather used to be mayor of a small suburb of McKeesport called Liberty Borough. I visited it often growing up. McKeesport is also where Andy Warhol grew up. Sadly, the city has gone way, way downhill ever since the steel mills closed, as evidenced by this incident: Police in McKeesport said a woman who needed to pass a…
Posted: Fri Feb 24, 2006.   Comments (20)

Skinbags (bags made from human skin) — Status: Real bags (but not really made from skin) The front page of the skinbags site advertises that skinbags are "Organic objects, in synthetic human skin." That description isn't as clear as it could be, and could easily be misread to suggest that skinbags are actually made from human skin. Much of the rest of the site plays up this ambiguity. You come across passages such as this: What is it? Could it be human skin? One asks oneself, reaching out a hand in an attempt to touch it :…
Posted: Tue Feb 21, 2006.   Comments (17)

Stevie Starr, Professional Regurgitator — Status: Magic trick Stevie Starr calls himself a professional regurgitator. He's been doing his act for a long time, and is quite famous. (He's appeared on shows such as Jay Leno and Ripley's Believe it or Not.) But I just became aware of him through a video of one of his performances on Google Video, and I'm at a complete loss to explain how he does what he does. His performance includes some of the following tricks: He swallows sugar, followed by a glass of water, and then…
Posted: Tue Feb 14, 2006.   Comments (193)

Shot Glass Through Ear — Status: Real I'm assuming this photo of a guy with a shot glass through his ear is real because it was taken by a Reuters photographer (Jorge Silva) outside the World Social Forum in Caracas on January 25, 2006. The guy with the crazy ear piercing is "Venezuelan tattoo maker Constantino." So when he doesn't have a shot glass in his ear, his earlobes must hang down like big fleshy loops. That's got to be attractive. (And is that a spike through his nose?)
Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2006.   Comments (22)


Glasgow High School Offers Fake Tanning Lessons — Status: Fake tans in the news Deprived of natural sunlight by geography, students in Glasgow high schools have taken to popping down to the tanning salon between classes. This has become such a problem (with school officials worrying about students damaging their skin) that some high schools have begun offering lessons on how to get a fake tan: In the first of a series of such sessions, Lisa Fulton, a training expert with Fake Bake, will give pupils tips on how to apply fake tan next…
Posted: Wed Jan 18, 2006.   Comments (4)

Digital Plastic Surgery — Status: Online tutorial For those who still don't realize that all those beautiful models you see in magazines have benefitted from the aid of photoshop, the Swedish Ministry of Health and Social Affairs has created an online tutorial to demonstrate exactly how photo editors manipulate appearances. They write: The media world is becoming increasingly fixated on appearances. And the number of tricks used to achieve the increasingly exaggerated ideals is growing. Many models have…
Posted: Thu Dec 15, 2005.   Comments (10)

Penile Weight Lifting (A Follow-Up) — Status: Real I feel compelled to post something about this simply because I've posted about the sport of penile weight lifting before, expressing a few doubts about its reality. (I also had a few questions about the actual mechanics of the process). Inside Bay Area has this report of a recent demonstration of penile weight lifting in action: Grandmaster Tu Jin-Sheng, best known for his Iron Crotch, attached himself not once, but twice, to a rental moving truck and pulled it several…
Posted: Tue Nov 29, 2005.   Comments (59)

Fake Body Parts — Status: Real pictures, but of what? An Alex from Colombia sent me these pictures and the following note: I came across these images and sincerely speaking I have no idea what they are. Is there any logical explanation for such thing? I suppose that they are either stage props or someone with a very disturbed mind and undoubtedly very good skills in clay or meat modeling made them, staged them and took the pictures. Unfortunately I can't identify what's going on in these pictures any…
Posted: Thu Nov 17, 2005.   Comments (21)

15-Inch Waist — Status: Real The picture to the right has not been photoshopped (would that it had). That woman's waist really is that thin. She's Cathie Jung, who holds the title in the Guinness Book of World Records for the Smallest Waist on a Living Person: Cathie Jung's waist is about the same size as a regular jar of mayonnaise. She's been wearing a corset every day for the past 12 years, and she now wears one 24 hours a day. "I probably have around 100 of them," says the corset queen. The…
Posted: Wed Nov 16, 2005.   Comments (71)

Human Upgrades — Status: Hoax (probably an art project) I've received a couple of emails calling my attention to the Human Upgrades website. This group claims to be some kind of futuristic outfit offering bizarre DNA modification procedures such as Simplenose (giving people one large nostril instead of two), Simpletooth (fusing all the teeth into one long, continuous row), and other more sexually explicit modifications (some of the images are not safe for work). The site states that: Human Upgrades…
Posted: Fri Nov 11, 2005.   Comments (35)

The Silent Movie Actress Archive (Corporeal Memorabilia) — Status: Art Project The website of the SMA (Silent Movie Actress) Archive claims that: We are a small and dedicated organisation based in Baltimore, USA. Our aim is the ‘resurrection’ of actresses from the Golden era of silent cinema. To do this we are securing a large body of quality genetic material from a variety of sources which is subjected to rigorous testing to ensure its validity. Samples range from small tissue and blood samples to full bones and several preserved organs. Is…
Posted: Tue Nov 08, 2005.   Comments (4)

Wall of Fake Breasts — Status: Real Wall, Fake Breasts Retailers are always coming up with new gimmicks to help their customers. I'm surprised none of them have thought of this before (reported in the Hindustan Times): Men who want to woo their ladies by buying them sexy-scanty upper garments, but don't know their sizes, need not look confused anymore, as a designer in Netherlands has made their job much easier by creating a wall of fake breasts to help male shoppers buy bras that fit their wives or…
Posted: Thu Nov 03, 2005.   Comments (13)

Boy With 12 Fingers (and 13 Toes) — Status: True The photos of his hands and feet look like they were photoshopped to add an extra digit (kind of like this ad), but they weren't. Devender Harne was born with twelve fingers and thirteen toes. That seems like it would be pretty useful. It certainly helps him type faster. It may also earn him a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. (via J-Walk)
Posted: Thu Oct 06, 2005.   Comments (63)

How Smart Is Your Right Foot? — Status: True Below is an email that's going around. Maybe it's been circulating for years, but I received it for the first time today. It makes a claim that seems dubious at first. But, upon experimentation, appears to be true. At least, it's true for me. There must be a scientific explanation for this phenomenon. The question is: does it hold true for everyone? And is it possible to counteract this reflex through force of will? This is so funny that it will boggle your mind. And you…
Posted: Thu Oct 06, 2005.   Comments (86)

Soylent Green Collagen — If you live in the UK and you've ever had collagen injections for lip or wrinkle treatments, do you have any idea where that collagen has come from? According to this Guardian special report, it could come from skin harvested from the corpses of executed Chinese convicts. "The agents [for the collagen import firm] say some of the company's products have been exported to the UK, and that the use of skin from condemned convicts is 'traditional' and nothing to 'make such a big fuss…
Posted: Tue Sep 13, 2005.   Comments (12)

Skinny Women — Here are two images going around that feature skeletally skinny women. The image of the woman on the beach is captioned "I think I've changed my mind about 'fat chicks'" and the image of the woman walking is captioned "Implants last forever." They could be real, but given how easy it is to fake images like this (see Too Skinny), I suspect they're photoshopped.
Posted: Thu Aug 25, 2005.   Comments (32)

Real-Life Ken and Barbie Dolls — Steve Erhardt boasts that he's had over 30 plastic surgery operations, at a cost of over $250,000. These include pec, bicep, and butt implants. The results look a little creepy, but he claims to be happy with his new look, even though he really does look plastic. Another real-life Ken doll is Miles Kendall, who has spent about the same amount of money to transform his appearance. In terms of real-life Barbie dolls, there's Cindy Jackson, who describes herself as a "bombshell who wasn't…
Posted: Fri Aug 19, 2005.   Comments (22)

When To Stop Tanning — Here's a picture that I got in my email, which is appropriate for these hot summer days. Not to be negative about sun worshippers, but it's pretty gross. The woman's skin could have been made to look like that with photoshop, but I suspect the image hasn't been manipulated because I know that there are people whose skin really looks like this.
Posted: Wed Jul 20, 2005.   Comments (33)

The Tapeworm Diet — The Arizona Republic has raised an interesting question. Is it possible to use tapeworms as a diet aid? Won't the tape worm just sit in your stomach and consume all the extra food you eat, and after a while you can pull out the thing? The basic answer is no. This would not be a good idea. They go into some more details: While a tapeworm might take in some of the food you do, it would at the same time be taking in a lot of vitamins and other nutrients you need to stay healthy. Do you…
Posted: Fri Apr 22, 2005.   Comments (229)

Upgrade My Wife — What is it with this thing about begging for money to pay for plastic surgery? It's become the new online phenomenon, as if the most deserving people in the world are those who need a tummy tuck or boob job. As it happens the guy who created Upgrade My Wife is hoping to get both those surgeries for his wife. And he wants internet surfers to pay for them. He writes: I created this web site because my wife has been considering a tummy tuck and breast augmentation for quite a few years,…
Posted: Sun Apr 17, 2005.   Comments (14)

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