The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Body Manipulation
Curing Obesity Through Sterility
Posted by The Curator on Wed Mar 30, 2005
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 a hoax (which I assume it is), it's a curiously elaborate one. All the other articles on the site appear to be quite serious. Why go to so much trouble for one hoax article? When I did a search…
Fan Death and Tongue Cutting
Posted by The Curator on Thu Mar 10, 2005
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 death, I discussed it with my Korean friends and students. I was the foreign skeptic and they were…
Build a Better Caias
Posted by The Curator on Mon Mar 07, 2005
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 donating money, I'm willing to do a number of outrageous (or not so outrageous) things in order to earn…
Posted by The Curator on Tue Feb 22, 2005
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 think it's been photoshopped. But honestly, I have no idea.
Posted by The Curator on Thu Feb 17, 2005
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 known as neodymium iron boron, which is used extensively in magnetic therapy. Wow. The only thing that would top that is if it were made of 'patented IonXR nanoceramics technology' (but no, that's a different…
Posted by The Curator on Wed Feb 02, 2005
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 surrounds every joint. When the fingers are stretched or bent backward, the bones of the joint pull apart. This creates bubbles of air in the fluid, which subsequently burst. But as for…
When I Woke Up My Leg Was Gone
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jan 20, 2005
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 woke up I was at the departure lounge. My suitcases were by my…
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jan 20, 2005
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) that I have on my Hoax Photo…
Lawsuit Targets Anti-Aging Creams
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jan 07, 2005
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 skin than a cheap bottle of sunblock would be. Though, of course, the expensive stuff smells and feels better.
Posted by The Curator on Tue Nov 30, 2004
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 cells on a scaffold shaped like a jacket. But it would have been cooler if they had grown it large enough to fit a person.
Man Sells Wife’s Kidney
Posted by The Curator on Fri Oct 22, 2004
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 further use of her, he also divorced her.
Before and After Makeup
Posted by The Curator on Fri Oct 22, 2004
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.
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 Tue Sep 28, 2004
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 carried out in the '80s and '90s... I use sounds that make the brain and body move unconsciously. It's a technique involving subliminal effects." That sounds logical :-( If you're curious to know…
The Human Magnet
Posted by The Curator on Mon Aug 16, 2004
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 this mysterious phenomenon. But those are the boring explanations. I'm sure Tan Kok Thai is having far more fun by chalking it up to…