The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Body Manipulation
Latest Fashion Craze — I just received these pictures in my email. The subject line read: Latest fashion craze ---- think I'll pass!!!!!!!!!!!!! YIPES! Looking at them definitely makes me cringe, but I see no reason to think they're not real. They remind me of the sport of meathook dangling that I posted about last year.
Posted: Wed Apr 06, 2005.   Comments (96)

Curing Obesity Through Sterility — The website of the Pacific Northwest Medical Journal contains an article titled, "Curing Obesity through Sterility: California's Controversial Program Under the Microscope". According to this article San Francisco has a publicly funded program to allow obese men to get free vasectomies. The idea is to stop them breeding in order to eliminate the gene for fatness from the population. This cannot be real. I've never heard of such a program and can't imagine it getting funded. But if it's…
Posted: Wed Mar 30, 2005.   Comments (63)

Fan Death and Tongue Cutting — Fan Death is "the belief that if someone is sleeping in a sealed room (windows and doors are closed) with an electric fan on, they could die." The theory is that either hypothermia will get you, or the fan breeze will somehow form a vacuum around your mouth and suffocate you. Apparently many people in Korea believe this is true. Or at least, this is what Robin, the creator of fandeath.net, has concluded after living in Korea for five years. He writes: When I first heard about fan…
Posted: Thu Mar 10, 2005.   Comments (55)

Build a Better Caias — Caias Ward is a guy who used to weigh 315 pounds and then lost 100 pounds in a few months. As a result his skin got all loose and saggy. He's hoping to get plastic surgery to help tighten his skin, but the bill for the operation is $14,098, which he can't afford. So this is his solution: I need 7500 people to donate $2.32 so I can get my surgery. If people want to give me more, that's great, but $2.32 is the number I'm looking for from people. If you don't feel comfortable just…
Posted: Mon Mar 07, 2005.   Comments (85)


Bellybutton Showing — I just received this lovely image in my email (click the thumbnail to enlarge, and warning, it's a little gross). It comes with the caption: "Almost spring and girls start showing their bellybuttons." I have no idea if it's real or not. Sure, there are definitely people whose bellies hang way down. Bodies come in all sizes and shapes. But this woman appears to have one long tongue of flesh hanging straight down between her knees. So the anatomy is a little peculiar, which makes me…
Posted: Tue Feb 22, 2005.   Comments (49)

Magnehance — Dakota Therapeutics has issued a press release announcing their exciting new product: the Magnehance. It's "a new magnetic device for erectile enhancement." The mind boggles. I don't quite understand how this thing is supposed to be worn, and (perhaps thankfully) they don't offer any illustrations on their website. But the amount of pseudo-scientific jargon they deploy is quite remarkable: the Magnehance™ is constructed of a super-flexible form of the high-energy, rare earth magnet…
Posted: Thu Feb 17, 2005.   Comments (40)

Knuckle Cracking — I'm not a knuckle cracker myself. In fact, I hate it when people crack their knuckles. And I've frequently told people that cracking their knuckles would cause arthritis. After all, that's what everyone says. But according to this NY Times article (republished in the Arizona Republic) it's not true. It's an urban legend. Just reading this description of what causes knuckles to crack makes me cringe: The loud pop of a cracked knuckle is caused by synovial fluid, the thick lubricant that…
Posted: Wed Feb 02, 2005.   Comments (70)

When I Woke Up My Leg Was Gone — Here's a news story that bears an eerie resemblance to the urban legend about the guy who shares a drink with a stranger in a bar and wakes up to find his kidney gone. This news report involves a German professor who goes on holiday to Costa Rica and visits a hospital to have them check out his swollen left foot: When I got to the hospital they put me on a bed and I heard the word amputate. I tried to protest, but before I knew it they had given me drugs to black me out, and when I…
Posted: Thu Jan 20, 2005.   Comments (13)

Weird X-Rays — If this story wasn't in the NY Times, I wouldn't believe that it was true (though I do see that it's actually an AP story picked up by the Times). Patrick Lawler went to the dentist about a toothache and found out he had a four-inch nail lodged inside his head. It came from a nail gun he had been using a few days before. He hadn't realized that the gun had shot a nail inside his head! The x-ray of the nail inside his head (see thumbnail to right) reminds me of the x-ray picture (below)…
Posted: Thu Jan 20, 2005.   Comments (18)

Lawsuit Targets Anti-Aging Creams — A woman has filed suit against the makers of anti-aging creams, accusing them of lying when they say that their products prevent or even reverse aging. Of course, she's right, though I'm sure the companies will argue that they never blatantly say that their products reverse aging. Instead, they claim that they reverse the 'appearance of aging.' I've never studied the issue in any great detail, but my perception is that the high-priced beauty products really aren't any better for your…
Posted: Fri Jan 07, 2005.   Comments (12)

Victimless Leather — The Tissue Culture & Art (TC&A) Project at University of Western Australia has succeeded in creating Victimless Leather. This is a tiny leather jacket "grown out of immortalised cell lines which cultured and form a living layer of tissue supported by a biodegradable polymer matrix in a form of miniature stich-less coat like shape." It's perfect for a doll's house, or if you have a mouse that needs a leather jacket. I'm guessing this isn't a hoax, since it shouldn't be that hard to grow…
Posted: Tue Nov 30, 2004.   Comments (10)

Man Sells Wife’s Kidney — Here's an odd spin on the old urban legend about sharing a drink with a stranger at a bar and then waking up the next morning in a bathtub full of ice, without a kidney. How about, instead of just sharing a drink with that stranger, you also get married to him, and then he sells off your kidney. According to the Daily Times, Ashfaq convinced Zohra to undergo surgery so that the couple could have children, but instead had one of her kidneys removed and sold for Rs.200,000. Having no…
Posted: Fri Oct 22, 2004.   Comments (5)

Before and After Makeup — Here's an interesting series of pictures of models before and after makeup is applied (one, two, three, four, five, six, seven). To see the pictures you can also go to the main page of the Yossi Bitton Makeup School site and navigate through to the 'before and after' gallery, but beware of the annoying music. The after pictures have to be photoshopped. There's no way that makeup alone could conceal skin imperfections that perfectly.
Posted: Fri Oct 22, 2004.   Comments (89)

Foreskin Face Cream — 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…
Posted: Thu Oct 21, 2004.   Comments (24)

Breast-Enlarging Ringtones — Ringtones are no longer just for alerting you to an incoming call. Now a Japanese inventor has developed a ringtone that "promises to increase the breast measurements of those who listen to it." Incredible. The company offering this ringtone is Mediaseek, and they report that it's one of their top sellers. The inventor, Hideto Tomabechi, notes that "Most would think it's a lie, but the techniques involved in the process have been known for some time and are the result of research I…
Posted: Tue Sep 28, 2004.   Comments (15)

The Human Magnet — Malaysian farmer Tan Kok Thai claims that he's a human magnet. Anything will stick to him including plastic bottles, bananas, biscuits, books, remote controls, knives, tubes of toothpaste, and rocks. The pictures of him showing off of his ability are quite amusing, especially this one of him with a giant boulder stuck to his chest. It looks to me as if he's leaning quite far back, which alone could explain why the objects aren't falling to the ground. Friction could explain the rest of…
Posted: Mon Aug 16, 2004.   Comments (11)

Miss Plastic Surgery — The BBC reports that a "Miss Plastic Surgery" beauty contest will be held in China in October. All the contestants must have enhanced their appearance via cosmetic surgery. The inspiration for the event came after a woman was barred from a beauty contest on account of her surgical enhancements. What surprises me here is that China has beaten America to the punch on this one. Where is our Miss Plastic Surgery contest? I thought Fox would have dreamed up something like this ages ago.
Posted: Thu Aug 05, 2004.   Comments (6)

Baldwinization — Dr. Clive Boddicker is a plastic surgeon who's discovered the secret of true happiness. Happiness is looking like one of the Baldwin brothers. And his Baldwinization procedure makes this possible. It "results in the patient's perfect resemblance of the Baldwin brother of their choice." For top dollar you can get 'The Alec.' But if you're on a tight budget you might have to settle for 'The Daniel.' Both men and women can undergo the Baldwinization procedure. (via New Yorkish)
Posted: Tue Jul 20, 2004.   Comments (2)

Extreme Sport: Meat-Hook Dangling — Kids nowadays! What will they think of next? Reuters is reporting that a popular new pasttime amongst youngsters in the Florida Keys is to dangle themselves from meat hooks attached to bamboo tripods set up at the beach, and then just hang out that way for a while. Apparently the Coast Guard found "a young woman, her feet brushing the surface of the shallow water, dangled from the frame, hooks embedded firmly in her shoulders." I don't know. I thought I had come across some pretty…
Posted: Mon Jul 19, 2004.   Comments (48)

Fake Eunuchs Run Amok — Apparently there's a tradition in India that a eunuch can show up at a house after a birth or marriage and ask for money. But nowadays more and more fake eunuchs are elbowing in on this lucrative market... much to the annoyment of the real eunuchs. The fake eunuchs are also involved in a lot of other even more criminal activities: "From extorting money to robbing shopkeepers and passengers in trains, these fake eunuchs are running a parallel network." Honestly, I never knew there was…
Posted: Wed Jul 07, 2004.   Comments (8)

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