Hoax Museum Blog: Gross

Quick Links: Cow Intestines, etc. —
Truck Spills 40 Tons of Cow Intestines
The title is self-explanatory. Thanks to Big Gary for forwarding the story. He notes, "Nothing hoax-y about this; just more evidence that civilization is doomed."

Woman Fakes Heart Attack To Fight Off Intruder
The obvious problem with this tactic is that it relies upon the intruder being decent enough to help you out. What if you fake a heart attack, and the intruder just lets you flop around while he continues to rob your house?

Fake Blogging to Become a Crime in UK
Businesses that post fake glowing reviews of themselves online will potentially face criminal prosecution in the UK. The article notes: "Shortly before Christmas, the owner of the Drumnadrochit Hotel near Loch Ness admitted to posting a fake review of his own venue on the TripAdvisor site, calling it “outstanding” and “charming”. David Bremner said: “Maybe I shouldn’t have done it. But I don’t think it’s that big a deal.”" I've actually stayed at that hotel. It's a tourist trap -- dingy, overpriced rooms. Though there isn't that much to choose from around Loch Ness. (The Edinburgh gang might remember this hotel, because the bus to the Loch Ness Cruise left from the front of it.)

Anna Nicole Smith did not impregnate herself with her dead billionaire husband's frozen sperm
Claims to the contrary turn out to be a hoax. Though the idea sounded plausible.

Urination Rumors a Hoax
"The rumor that chefs at Texas Roadhouse urinated on an elderly woman's steak has been cleared up." Thank goodness for that. I'm so relieved.
Posted: Sun Feb 11, 2007.   Comments (14)

Rat Salad — imageTodd Haley, a Dallas Cowboys assistant coach, issued a lawsuit against McDonalds on Thursday. He alleges that his wife and au pair found a dead rat in their take-away salad this June.

The story goes that, on June 5th, Christine Haley and Kathryn Kelley ordered $14 of food, including the salad. They drove home, where they both ate some of the salad before uncovering a young, dead rat (pictured right, the rat has been digitally coloured to show up as blue).

The rat was determined to be a ‘roof rat’, a breed which live in the rafters and can pass on such diseases as bubonic plague and endemic typhus. The two women say they are haunted by this knowledge and fear they may have caught a disease. Mrs Haley was breastfeeding at the time, and switched to formula milk in case she passed illness to her child. She claims this caused her mental anguish.

Since eating salad that may have touched the rat and touching the dead rodent with their forks, the women have had difficulty keeping food down and can no longer go out to eat, the lawsuit states. They are forced to prepare their food "from scratch, allowing themselves to see each ingredient placed in the dish they are cooking," the suit states…
While neither woman has tested positive for any disease, both have been in counseling for the phobia and anticipate about a year more of therapy.

Tod Haley and the two women are suing the restaurant, the franchise owner and KLB Group for a minimum of $1.7 million in physical and mental pain and anguish.

(Thanks, Charybdis.)

Posted: Mon Oct 30, 2006.   Comments (62)

Finger Found in Subway Sandwich — Only 50 miles away from where the infamous Wendy's chili finger hoax was perpetrated last year, a woman has found what appears to be a finger in her Subway sandwich.

Health inspectors did not find that any staff had lost a digit, but the half-inch piece has been sent to a lab for testing.

A spokesman for Subway has said the company won't comment until the investigation is completed. He says, however: "The Subway restaurant chain takes every customer comment seriously. We don't know what the foreign object is yet."
Posted: Fri Oct 27, 2006.   Comments (11)

Quick Links: Cheese, Aliens, Urine, & Paris Hilton —
Mice Hate Cheese
The popular legend is that mice like cheese, but this legend is false according to researchers at the Manchester Metropolitan University and the Stilton Cheese Makers Association. "As part of a wider study into animals and food, they found that a mouse's diet is primarily made up of grains and fruit. It found that they would reject something as strong in smell and rich in taste as cheese. Dr David Holmes, an animal behaviourist from the university, said: 'Clearly the supposition of mice liking cheese is a popular premise.'"

15 Aliens Arrested in Roswell
A press release from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced that 15 aliens were arrested in Roswell, New Mexico. "Some of the aliens were in the process of painting these aircraft when they were arrested." Aircraft... or a spacecraft? I smell a cover-up.

Russian Urine Exporter
Need some urine from Russia? Evidently someone does, and where there's a demand there will usually be a supply. The urine comes in different varieties such as Sea Breeze, Hunter's Brew, and "Not Filtered, Original". I knew that drinking your own urine is a popular health fad, but I didn't know that drinking Russian urine is also popular.

Paris "Banksy" Hilton
image A Flickr photoset of the Paris Hilton CD doctored by guerrilla artist Banksy. The Banksy version of the CD is something I'd actually be interested in owning, and apparently a few of them are being auctioned. However, Warner Music is trying to prevent their sale.

Posted: Wed Sep 06, 2006.   Comments (20)


Infants-Blood — imageInfants-Blood is a website that claims: "Our uncompromising approach to quality means we offer simply the best infant's blood on the market today. Independent lab analysis proves it. And your taste buds will know the difference! "

They offer products in a number of categories - Bath & Beauty, Health & Nutrition, Premium Blood and Virgin's Blood.

It's pretty obviously a joke website. There are some wonderful quotes on it, including:
If Virgin's Blood provides us such wonderful benefits, what can we salvage from a failed virgin? Infant's blood! It seems so simple, so obvious, so right to us now – but in the 16th century this idea was nothing short of revolutionary! For all virgins are not infants, but all infants are virgins; and while it is true infants provide us much less blood than a fully-grown virgin, how much more potent and delicious that blood is! And thus began production of what today is Infants-Blood.info's most popular product line! Truly, as Professor Basarab notes, "It is no exaggeration to say that Elizabeth Bathory is the Newton of the blood sciences!"

The 'Did You Know?' section is pretty funny, too.

For anyone who is still concerned, it's worth noting that if you attempt to log in or 'view cart', you (unsurprisingly) get a page that says: Due to overwhelming customer response, we are currently experiencing extremely high traffic. Online ordering is temporarily unavailable. We apologize for the inconvenience.
To place an order, please contact one of our Customer Care Specialists at
infantsblood@yahoo.com.
We appreciate your business and thank you for letting us serve all your baby-blood-related needs. Please accept our apologies and a complimentary pint of fresh Virgin's Blood.

Posted: Wed Aug 30, 2006.   Comments (10)

Hair-Made Soy Sauce: An Update —
Status: Gross news
image Back in January 2004 I posted a short entry about a factory in China that had been caught making soy sauce out of human hair. I also mentioned the incident in Hippo Eats Dwarf (p.76). Now more gruesome details have emerged, published in the Internet Journal of Toxicology (link via Boing Boing):
In late 2003, there was an alternatively produced soy sauce named "Hongshuai Soy Sauce" in China. The soy sauce was marketed as “blended using latest bioengineering technology” by a food seasoning manufacturer, suggesting that the soy sauce was not generated in a traditional way using soy and wheat. The Hongshuai Soy Sauce was sold at a relatively low price in Mainland China and became very popular among the public. The people found its taste to be similar to other brands. Because of its low price, many catering services in schools and colleges decided to use this new product.
An investigation led by TV journalists then revealed why the soy sauce was so cheap. It was being manufactured from an amino acid powder (or syrup) bought from a manufacturer in Hubei province:
When asking how the amino acid syrup (or powder) was generated, the manufacturer replied that the powder was generated from human hair. Because the human hair was gathered from salon, barbershop and hospitals around the country, it was unhygienic and mixed with condom, used hospital cottons, used menstrual cycle pad, used syringe, etc. After filtered by the workers, the hair would then cut small for being processed into amino acid syrup. The technicians admitted that they would not consume the human-hair soy sauce because the dirty and unhygienic hair was used to make amino acid syrup. A quality monitoring staff also revealed that though the hair may not be toxic itself, it definitely consisted of bacteria and other micro-organisms.
Lovely. But what the article doesn't mention, but which I believe to be true, is that soy sauce isn't the only food product made out of this cheap hair-made amino acid powder. The stuff is also sold in large quantities to the bakery industry which uses it as a source of L-cysteine to make dough softer and more elastic. Think about that next time you're chewing on a bagel.
Posted: Fri Jul 28, 2006.   Comments (28)

The Kitten Killer of Hangzhou —
Status: Real (unfortunately)
A series of pictures showing a woman crushing a kitten to death with her stiletto heels is causing an uproar over in China. The pictures first appeared on the internet and have recently been published by some Chinese newspapers. The woman in the photos has been dubbed the Kitten Killer of Hangzhou, because the background scene has been identified as Hangzhou. I've been able to locate four of the pictures in the series, but I think there are a few more (far more graphic) ones. Here are the ones I found (I don't have larger versions):

image image
Image 3
(possibly disturbing)
Image 4
(possibly disturbing)

The big question is: Who is this woman? One theory is that the images come from a Japanese shoe advertisement. Another theory identifies the kitten killer as a "37-year-old woman from Hubei province with the internet identity 'Gainmas.'" The London Telegraph elaborates:

She had registered a website in Hangzhou and - the ultimate evidence - had bought a pair of stilettoes on eBay last year. She was also registered with QQ, a popular Chinese message service, where she wrote of herself: "I furiously crush everything to do with you and me." Before her QQ address went dead, its owner had several conversations. In one, she is coy, saying "So what?" when asked if the pictures are of her, and then, when asked again, replying: "In theory." When confronted by a reporter, she became defensive, saying: "Suddenly hundreds of people are on my QQ and cursing me. What's the problem if I crush cats? It's a type of experience. You wouldn't understand."

The Telegraph goes on to note:

No one seems to have suggested the serious possibility that the photographs could be a hoax - created by picture-altering computer software. But in the face of tight control of self-expression, young Chinese are seeking wildly different forms of sensation or satire on the state of society.

Without having seen all the pictures (and better quality ones), it's hard to judge whether or not they're real. But it certainly seems like this has already become the Chinese version of Bonsai Kitten (with the added twist that it may be real... in which case it's definitely disgusting).

Update: A "Crush" video is circulating around (you can find links to it in the comments, if you're interested) that makes it pretty clear the woman really did step on a kitten. Also, an article in the Shanghai Daily reports that the lady, and the guy who produced the video, have been identified. The producer, who is a camera operator at a TV station, has apologized. However, the woman, who works as a nurse at a hospital, has disappeared, leading to concerns that kitten commandoes may have abducted her (or something along those lines).
Posted: Mon Mar 06, 2006.   Comments (237)

Skinbags (bags made from human skin) —
Status: Real bags (but not really made from skin)
image 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 : a reflexive gesture. This is what is fascinating – like a game made to scare oneself.

But don't worry. It's not really human skin. Skinbags (as you learn if you search around the site a bit) are latex designed to look and feel like skin. They're made by Olivier Goulet. The skinbag line includes purses, handbags, jackets, overalls, and laptop carriers. It looks like they all have to be special ordered. You won't find skinbags down at The Gap. (Thanks to Timothy Hunter for the link)
Posted: Mon Feb 20, 2006.   Comments (17)

Mystery of the Manure From the Sky —
Status: Undetermined
A few months ago Timothy Rohn, of Richard Township, Michigan, went outside to discover his car covered in bird poop. Or maybe it was human poop. Or maybe something else entirely. Whatever it was, there was a lot of it. But he didn't worry too much about it. He just let the rain wash it off. But two months later, the same thing has happened again. Something up there really likes pooping on his car. The Saginaw News reports that:

Rohn said the substance definitely is excrement and, from what he could see Tuesday night, it may have contained toilet paper that had broken down in chemicals. He said he did not notice a blue or other chemical tint to the substance.

Rohn's only theory is that airplanes are discharging waste over his house, despite the lack of a chemical tint to the waste. It also seems weird that this only seems to be happening to him, not his neighbors. The police have no explanation. Here's the comment of the officer who investigated the mystery:

"It's manure, and it came from the sky. If it came from some kind of fowl, it had to be one heck of a large flock. To me, it looks like bird droppings but, man, it had to be an awful large flock of birds. It's all over."
Posted: Thu Feb 09, 2006.   Comments (12)

Fire Fart —
Status: Fake
image This video of a guy lighting a candle by setting his fart on fire is obviously fake. (Given that the video is one big fart joke, it's probably not safe for work, though it's otherwise work safe.) However, it seems that a number of people actually think it's real. To verify that it's fake, all you need to do is visit the url displayed on the film: sheepfilms.co.uk, which is the website of amateur filmmaker David Packer (aka Sheep). He has a lot of films starring himself that employ various special effects, such as fake fire farts.
Posted: Wed Jan 04, 2006.   Comments (7)

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 better than Alex from Colombia can. It looks to me like body parts being produced in a Hollywood special effects shop. But that's just a guess. At least they're obviously not real body parts.

image image
image image

Posted: Thu Nov 17, 2005.   Comments (21)

Fake Fly in Urinal —
Status: Strange, but apparently true.
A pair of images showing a urinal with a fake fly etched into the porcelain is doing the rounds. (I'd guess it's been circulating for at least two years.) The images are accompanied by this caption:

In Amsterdam, the tile under Schiphol's urinals would pass inspection in an operating room. But nobody notices. What everybody does notice is that each urinal has a fly in it. Look harder, and the fly turns into the black outline of a fly, etched into the porcelain. It improves the aim. If a man sees a fly, he aims at it. Fly-in-urinal research found that etchings reduce spillage by 80%. It gives a guy something to think about. That's the perfect example of process control.

Apparently this is true. Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam does sport fly urinals. (Though I'd be interested in getting first-hand verification of this.) The Straight Dope reports that New York's Kennedy airport is considering using the same fake-fly technology.

image image

Posted: Tue Sep 20, 2005.   Comments (39)

Gross Candy — The Strange New Products blog has word of two new gross faux foods. First there's Harry Potter's Cockroach Clusters from Cap Candy. "The juicy gummy underbelly is covered with a crunchy candy shell, just like real cockroach wings." Yum. I definitely have to try some of those. Then there's ABC Gum. The ABC stands for "Already Been Chewed." "ABC Bubble Gum is a brand new novelty bubble gum that has been formed to look exactly like a piece of gum that's ALREADY BEEN CHEWED!!" I would love to offer that to unsuspecting guests.
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Posted: Tue Sep 13, 2005.   Comments (11)

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 about'." The special report goes on to state:

Peter Butler, a consultant plastic surgeon and government adviser, said there had been rumours that Chinese surgeons had performed hand transplants using hands from executed prisoners. One transplant centre was believed to be adjacent to an execution ground. "I can see the utility of it, as they have access and no ethical objection," he said. "The main concern would be infective risk."

I think there have been several horror movies made with premises similar to this.
Posted: Tue Sep 13, 2005.   Comments (12)

Synthetic Fecal Fluid Patent — This 1994 patent for synthetic fecal fluid makes fascinating reading. I had never realized the diaper industry had such a pressing need for fake feces (to test their products), nor did I realize the lengths they had gone to in order to create substitutes:

It is not practical to use actual body fluids. As a result, synthetic materials and substitutes are used. Strange as it may seem, materials used in the past have included mashed potatoes, brownie mix, peanut butter and pumpkin pie filling.

I'll never look at mashed potatoes the same way again. But one issue the document doesn't address is this: to create synthetic fecal fluid I presume they had to compare their product against the real thing. That's a job I wouldn't want to have.
Posted: Thu Sep 08, 2005.   Comments (4)

A New Kind of Moisturizer — Ananova reports that an entrepreneur down in Mexico has started selling a line of semen moisturizer:

Porn star Lyn May, who is in her sixties, is behind the company producing the cream.
Mrs May swears that the Semen moisturizer is capable of erasing wrinkles and leaves skin soft.
She told Las Ultimas Noticias: "I select attractive young man and pay them for their semen that is mixed with honey and oats to create the moisturiser."


Okay, despite the fact that it's gross to be selling this stuff, I believe that it's an urban legend that semen would work as a moisturizer. A quick google search reveals that someone has tested this out (maybe NSFW because of the general content, but all the images are SFW) and found that semen is indeed NOT a good moisturizer.

Posted: Thu May 05, 2005.   Comments (26)

Celebrity Skin — Ever wanted to own a piece of a celebrity? What about a really personal piece? Celebrity Skin sells fecal matter, skin cells, bacteria, and urine (but no blood) from a variety of celebrities. The organization was "formed in 2003 by an anonymous collective of former Hollywood personal assistants". Unfortunately once you buy it, you have to keep it. There are no returns. Yes, this is a hoax. The black pitch press site describes it as one of its "failed projects and stray debris".
Posted: Tue Apr 19, 2005.   Comments (9)

Snake Flossing — image Here's another odd picture I got in my email (click image to enlarge). This one I happen to know is real. It's a picture of C. Manoharan, aka "Snake Manu". Threading snakes into his nose and out his mouth is his specialty. It's called 'snake flossing'. The snake in this picture is just a harmless garden snake, though apparently he also does the trick with cobras. Plus, Snake Manu also holds the Guinness World Record for most earthworms eaten. He's just an all-around Renaissance man. Below are some more pictures of him doing his snake flossing trick, taken from this article about him and his career. I think he'd be a great guest to have at a party.🐛Here's my favorite paragraph from the article I linked to:
it so happened that a snake went through his nostril and stopped somewhere close to the larynx and refused to move past it. May be it was stuck. It could not be pulled out through the nostril back also, as it was one of the deadliest varieties and pulling it out back through the entry point made Manoharan more vulnerable for a quick bite. He was left with no option. Either the snake bites him or he bites the snake. He chose the later option and bit it into pieces. And he had found another item that would strike terror among his audience. Eating them alive!

imageimage

Posted: Thu Feb 03, 2005.   Comments (24)

Poo Prank — The Sun reports on this very odd form of political protest:

GERMAN police are hunting for a gang who have been going around Berlin sticking tiny American flags into dog poo. Officers say they are baffled by the bizarre behaviour - which does not break any laws - and have stepped-up patrols to catch the gang.
Cops had initially thought the jokers were protesting about the war in Iraq, according to iol.co.nz. But the pranks continued throughout George W Bush's re-election leaving detectives without a clear motive.
Police spokesperson Reiner Kuechler said: "We have sent out extra patrols to try to catch whoever is doing this in the act. But frankly, we don't know what we would do if we caught them red-handed."
Park boss Josef Oettl added: "This has been going on for about a year now, and there must be 2000 to 3000 piles of excrement that have been claimed during that time."


It seems like the real criminals here are the people who aren't cleaning up after their dogs.
Posted: Wed Jan 19, 2005.   Comments (12)

RoboDump — image Here's an ingenious office prank. Kevin Kelm's coworkers were wondering all day about that guy who had been in the bathroom for hours. You could hear him groaning away on the toilet. Was it the CFO? No, it was RoboDump. As Kevin explains: "RoboDump is a robot. Sort of. And it poops. Sort of. Forever. A horrible, never-ending bowel movement complete with straining grunts, horrific gas, splashes, and pee sounds." (via Boing Boing)
Posted: Mon Nov 15, 2004.   Comments (4)

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