Hoax Museum Blog: Photos

Playing football as fire rages

The image shows a crowd sitting in bleachers calmly watching a football game, apparently unconcerned as a building burns to the ground behind them. The bizarre juxtaposition has led some people over the years to suspect that this image is fake — perhaps a result of darkroom photo manipulation. But in fact, the image is entirely real and was unstaged. more…

Posted: Wed May 13, 2015.   Comments ()

Manhole Cover on Stairs

This image has circulated online since at least 2013, and recently it's been doing the rounds again. Often it's given the caption, "Best Manhole Cover. Ever." Is it real or photoshopped? Honestly, I'm not sure. But my best guess is that it's a 'real' photo, but that isn't a genuine, functional manhole cover. more…

Posted: Sun May 03, 2015.   Comments (2)

The Composite Princetonian

On March 27, 1940, the front page of The Daily Princetonian carried a photo that it described as the "Composite Princetonian." It said the photo had been created by analyzing the photos of 2100 Princeton students, then selecting 12 who exemplified the varieties of types on campus. The photos of these 12 were combined into a single composite photo. The next day the truth was revealed. The composite photo was actually a doctored photo of Errol Flynn, minus his mustache and given a crew haircut.

Posted: Thu Apr 30, 2015.   Comments ()

Killer Whale Attacks Bear

Does this photo show a killer whale attacking a bear? No, it's just an April Fool photo hoax that's apparently still fooling some people.

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2015.   Comments ()


Posted: Thu Nov 13, 2014.   Comments (4)

Posted: Wed Nov 05, 2014.   Comments (1)

Posted: Wed Oct 15, 2014.   Comments ()

Posted: Tue Oct 07, 2014.   Comments (8)

Posted: Thu Sep 04, 2014.   Comments ()

Posted: Mon Jul 07, 2014.   Comments (4)

Posted: Tue May 13, 2014.   Comments (1)

Posted: Sat Apr 26, 2014.   Comments (1)

Posted: Wed Apr 16, 2014.   Comments (1)

Posted: Wed Apr 16, 2014.   Comments (1)

Posted: Fri Apr 04, 2014.   Comments (17)

Posted: Sat Mar 08, 2014.   Comments ()

Operation Cat Nip Confusion — In August 2011, hundreds of cats were rescued during a hoarding case, and then a team of veterinary students volunteered their time to spay and neuter the cats in order to prepare them for adoption.

A photo of this mass spaying/neutering event (named Operation Cat Nip) ran in the Gainesville Sun.


But about a year later that same photo began appearing on Twitter, stripped of any explanatory context, and accompanied by the caption: "Retweet if you say NO to animal testing."

The photo also had a watermark added, "Cause Animale Nord,"which is the name of a French animal welfare society.


Thousands of people obediently retweeted the photo, many of them adding messages expressing their disgust and disapproval, unaware that the photo had nothing to do with animal testing.

Like many viral photo fakes, this one has gone through cycles of being debunked, disappearing for a while, and then suddenly resurging in popularity. Right now, it's again in a popular phase.
Posted: Fri Feb 28, 2014.   Comments (4)

Optical Illusion Cow — This cow illusion has been circulating since at least 2011.


And here's the original, which, I believe, is a stock photo. Though I don't know which stock photo agency it's from.


Posted: Thu Feb 20, 2014.   Comments ()

Theodore Roosevelt Rides a Moose —

Theodore Roosevelt served as President of the United States for 8 years, from 1901-1909. He was, as Wikipedia notes, acclaimed for his "cowboy persona and robust masculinity." However, his masculinity was not so robust that he once rode a moose, despite what this photo appears to show.

In 1912, Roosevelt split from the Republican Party, after having become unhappy with its increasingly conservative policies. He then ran for President as head of the newly formed Progressive Party. After forming this party, Roosevelt exuberantly proclaimed, "I'm feeling like a bull moose!" For which reason, the Progressive Party was often referred to as the "Bull Moose Party."

Two months before the election, on Sep 8, 1912, the New York Tribune ran a set of humorous pictures under the headline "The Race For The White House," showing the three main presidential candidates astride the animals associated with their parties.


William Howard Taft was shown riding an elephant (for the Republican party). Woodrow Wilson sat on a donkey (for the Democratic party). And Roosevelt rode a moose (for the Bull Moose party).

All three images were fake. They had been created by the photographic firm Underwood and Underwood.

Close inspection of the Roosevelt image reveals the signs of fakery. The firm had extracted Roosevelt's image from a photo of him riding a horse and pasted it into a shot of a swimming moose. Scratch lines are visible around Roosevelt's leg, where the photo editor tried to simulate water ripples. Also, Roosevelt's image is more sharply focused than that of the moose.

But, of course, the image was not supposed to be mistaken for a real scene. It was clearly presented as political humor.

Roosevelt lost the 1912 election to Woodrow Wilson, and the image of him riding a moose disappeared into photo archives. But in the 21st Century the image resurfaced and began circulating online where many people assumed it depicted an actual event.

For instance, in March 2011, Cracked.com included the image in an article titled "18 Old-Timey Photos You Won't Believe Aren't Photoshopped." The author of the article wrote:
This picture is real, this scene existed, and yes, at one point in our history, you could have actually voted for this man.

We do not know if this was a publicity stunt, a routine hunting incident or seriously how our beloved President Theodore Roosevelt used to ride to work every day. All we know is that it was taken during the 1900 presidential election campaign and as far as we are concerned, virtually guaranteed William McKinley's re-election for as many terms as God gave him.

On that note, President McKinley was dead a year later.

Their information was incorrect in almost every detail except that McKinley did regain the White House in 1900, and he did die a year later.

However, Theodore Roosevelt definitely never rode a moose.

References:

Posted: Thu Jan 23, 2014.   Comments (3)

Posing with Mandela — The Mandela-themed hoaxes continue. Kenyan senator Mike Sonko recently posted to his facebook page a photo of himself posing with Nelson Mandela. It's such an awful photoshop job, that it's hardly even worth debunking. Still, for what it's worth, the original image that he doctored was one of Mandela posing with Muhammad Ali. [telegraph.co.uk]


Posted: Sat Dec 14, 2013.   Comments ()

Page 1 of 25 pages  1 2 3 >  Last ›