The Hoax Museum Blog
No Flesh-Eating Robots
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jul 20, 2009
About two weeks ago, rumors began to spread online about a flesh-eating robot created by the military. The robot, named the Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot (EATR™), would be a reconnaissance droid that could survive for long periods behind enemy lines by foraging for fuel. This fuel would include virtually any kind of biomass: twigs, branches, apple cores, stray cats, or even human bodies. The robot, it turns out, is real, but the claim that it will be able to feed on human bodies is false. The companies building the robot, Cyclone Power Technologies and Robotic Technology Inc., issued a press release addressing the rumor:
Snake Head with Broccoli
Posted by The Curator on Mon May 11, 2009
The latest case of the gross things found in food scam: A man dining at TGI Friday's claimed he found a rotting snake head in his side order of broccoli. But testing has now revealed that the snake's head was never cooked and must have been placed in the broccoli at some point after the cooking process. So foul play is now suspected. The guy who found the head claims he didn't put it there, and since he isn't suing the restaurant, he may be telling the truth.
Lots of Fake Whisky
Posted by The Curator on Thu May 07, 2009
Last July I posted about how radioactive fallout can be used to authenticate art. Isotopes released into the environment from nuclear bombs provide a way of determining if a work of art dates from before or after 1945. Apparently a similar process can be used to authenticate whisky, and experts are discovering that the whisky market is flooded with fakes. Researchers at the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit say, "So far there have probably been more fakes among the samples we've tested than real examples of old whisky." [Telegraph]
The Fake Acai Berry Diet Girl
Posted by The Curator on Wed Mar 25, 2009
Following up on Accipiter's post in the forum about the Acai berry weight-loss scam -- one of the interesting (and sleazy) things about the scam is the proliferation of fake diet blogs promoting these Acai berries. The sites go by names such as kirstensweightloss.com, rachelsweightloss.com, patdietblog.com, etc. etc. The sites have before and after pictures of the Acai berry dieters, but pictures of the same women appear on different sites... under different names. For instance, the woman below, depending on which site you visit, is named Kirsten Hunt, Ann Conrad, Daniella Conrad, Jenna Patterson, and a bunch of other names.
Posted by The Curator on Fri Mar 13, 2009
This brings back memories of Hufu (Human-Flavored Tofu). After coming into possession of some of George Clooney's sweat, which had soaked a gym towel he used, PETA president Ingrid Newkirk wrote to the movie actor to ask him if they could use his sweat to produce Clooney-Flavored Tofu (CloFu). She suggested it would be a way of encouraging people to eat more tofu. Clooney replied, "As a mammal, I'm offended." I'm a bit confused whether the tofu would taste like Clooney's sweat, or would it taste like Clooney's actual flesh? Either way, it sounds unappetizing. (Thanks, Big Gary!)
The Australian Spaghetti Harvest
Posted by The Curator on Mon Feb 16, 2009
Many thanks to Chris Keating, who has not only uncovered the long-lost Australian tribute to the BBC's Swiss Spaghetti Harvest hoax, but has posted it on youtube. The date when this was broadcast is still uncertain. Seems to have been in the early to mid-1960s. It aired on Melbourne station HSV-7. The presenter is Dan Webb. Whereas the BBC's original broadcast described the bumper spaghetti crop that the Swiss were enjoying, the Australian version develops the story further by telling the story of a group of Sicilian farmers who were brought to Australia in the hope of developing the Australian spaghetti industry. Everything went well until their crop was blighted by the dreaded…
Eating the world’s hottest pepper
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jan 14, 2009
Posted by The Curator on Tue Dec 23, 2008
From Cabela's you can buy actual Jackalope Sausage: The jackalope is nearly impossible to find, yet, we've successfully located the elusive animal and captured its wonderful flavoring. Jackalope (i.e. antelope, rabbit and beef) are mixed together and smoked slowly for mouth-watering results. An amusing gift for the skeptic and believer alike. Contains three 6-oz. "jackalope" summer sausages. Eating this would be kind of contrary to the idea of trying to Save the Jackalope. Nevertheless, I've ordered some to find out what it's like.
The Turkey-Tryptophan Myth, and why do big meals make you drowsy?
Posted by The Curator on Sun Nov 23, 2008
Thanksgiving is approaching, which means the "turkey makes you tired because it has high levels of tryptophan" urban legend shall once again be heard at tables throughout America. Baylor College of Medicine dietitian Rebecca Reeves debunks this legend in an interview with the Houston Chronicle: Q: So the tryptophan in turkey doesn't make you sleepy, right? A: I am not sure how (that) gained wide acceptance. The urban legend is that the tryptophan in turkey is what makes you sleepy on Thanksgiving. Yes, the amino acid tryptophan is present in turkey, and in certain doses it…
Anti-Theft Lunch Bag
Posted by The Curator on Fri Sep 12, 2008
Designed to deter sandwich thieves. Green splotches are printed on both sides: "After your sandwich is placed inside, no one will want to touch it." The bag was designed by Sherwood Forlee, who describes himself as "a designer with no design or art education." He also writes that he "calls himself a designer because it sounds hip and no one likes hanging around a nerd at a party." One of his other inventions is a "Vaginal Simulator," which isn't a sex toy. "Rather, it is one of the most advanced and effective tampon testing simulators."
Wine Spectator Hoaxed
Posted by The Curator on Fri Aug 22, 2008
Osteria L’Intrepido, a restaurant in Milan, Italy, was recently awarded Wine Spectator's Award of Excellence for its wine list. Problem is, Osteria L'Intrepido doesn't exist. It was a hoax restaurant created by Robin Goldstein (author of The Wine Trials) which he created to test the validity of Wine Spectator's award program. Goldstein's description of the hoax can be read here. Wine Spectator's response is here. If you don't know much about Wine Spectator's award program (as I didn't) this article in the NY Times provides some good background. Basically, the awards have long been recognized as a bit of a joke within the restaurant industry. Almost…
Fake Coffee with the News
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jul 23, 2008
Product placement has reached the TV news. On the desk in front of the anchors of Las Vegas's Fox 5 TV news sit two cups of McDonald's iced coffee. McDonald's is paying for the coffee to be there. But the best part: it's not real coffee. It's just a plastic simulation of iced coffee. From the Las Vegas Sun: The anchors aren’t even supposed to acknowledge them, McDonald’s reps explain. That’s part of their genius, my little lambs! They get into your mind without you knowing it. So…
Cell Phones Cook Popcorn
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jun 09, 2008
A youtube video purports to show popcorn popping when placed in between cell phones all ringing at once. Clearly fake. It's a new spin on the old joke about cooking an egg with two cell phones. The only question is how they got the popcorn to pop. My guess is there must be a heating element beneath the table.
Panic Buy Carrots
Posted by The Curator on Tue May 20, 2008
On May 15th thousands of people around the world went to their local grocery store to panic buy carrots. They were members of the facebook group called "On May 15th 2008, everybody needs to go out and panic buy carrots." From northernnews.com: What started out as a prank Facebook group called "On May 15th 2008, everybody needs to go out and panic buy carrots," with just a handful of the creator's friends as members, has exploded online and now has 231,000 worldwide supporters on the popular social networking site. British teen…
Posted by The Curator on Wed May 14, 2008
An ethics panel commissioned by the Swiss government has determined that the arbitrary killing of plants is morally wrong. From The Weekly Standard: A "clear majority" of the panel adopted what it called a "biocentric" moral view, meaning that "living organisms should be considered morally for their own sake because they are alive." Thus, the panel determined that we cannot claim "absolute ownership" over plants and, moreover, that "individual plants have an inherent worth." This means that "we may not use them just as we please, even if the plant community…