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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Photos/Videos
Sloth Family Portrait
Posted by The Curator on Thu Sep 12, 2013
Gapers Block offers the full story behind the famous "Sloth Family Portrait" revealing that yes, of course, the photo was intentionally staged. And no, it wasn't photoshopped in any way. And the sloth in the foreground was stuffed, not alive. The story, summarized, is that the couple in the photo are Jim and Debbie Gallo, owners of Shangri-La Vintage, a Chicago vintage clothes store. They found the stuffed sloth at an estate sale in the early 1990s, bought it, and then thought it would be funny to dress up in tacky clothes and wigs and get their picture taken with it at the local K-Mart. The Sloth Family Portrait, and later internet fame, was the…
Categories: Photos/Videos Comments (0)
The Beast of Trowbridge
Posted by The Curator on Wed Aug 21, 2013
A 71-year-old pensioner recently claimed to have caught a photo of the "Beast of Trowbridge" — a large black panther that supposedly roams wild in Wiltshire. The photo was genuine, but it wasn't taken in Wiltshire. Nor was the pensioner the photographer. Turns out it was actually taken in Lapeer County, Michigan and posted online six years ago. [mirror.co.uk]
Categories: Animals, Photos/Videos Comments (1)
The Very Tall Bride
Posted by The Curator on Mon Mar 18, 2013
The above picture has been doing the rounds in recent months, often with the caption "Very Tall Bride." The bride in the photo is Allyssa DeHaan, a collegiate basketball player at Michigan State University from 2006 to 2010. In real life DeHaan is very tall — 6 ft 9in. So could this photo be real? Well, no. When I first saw it, I thought perhaps she was standing on a box, perhaps for a gag photo. But some more investigation revealed her height in the photo is a result of good, old-fashioned photoshopping. The manipulation was done by a DeviantArt member going by the username lowerrider, who enjoys…
Categories: Photos/Videos Comments (1)
Aliens among us?
Posted by The Curator on Fri Mar 08, 2013
File this under Low Threshold of Belief. Several Southeast Asian news sites have recently published photos that supposedly document the presence of "extra terrestrial beings" here on Earth. For instance, the Visayan Daily Star ran a picture (below) of "Emily Santodelsis" posing with a small alien. Strangely, she insisted that she hadn't noticed the alien while the picture was being taken. She only spotted it later, when she looked at the photo. And back in January, the Bangkok Post ran a picture of an alien supposedly spotted on a beach in Thailand. The Open Minds UFO investigation site explains that the appearance of…
The Ref Vanishes
Posted by The Curator on Fri Mar 01, 2013
Washington Post photographer Tracy Woodward won an Award of Excellence for his image "State Champion" that he entered in the 2013 White House News Photographers Association ‘Eyes of History’ stills photo contest in the Sports Feature/Reaction category. But Woodward's editors at the Post noticed that the image had been altered since the time when it had first appeared in the paper. Specifically, Woodward had deleted the referee standing in the background. (Although you can still faintly see the outline of his pants.) It is a better picture without the ref, but such a major alteration violated the rules of the contest. So Woodward's award was rescinded. [deadspin] Check out the Hoax Photo Archive for other examples…
Categories: Photos/Videos Comments (3)
Watch For Falling Rocks!
Posted by The Curator on Mon Feb 18, 2013
Found on Facebook (via Not An Exact Science Show). The fact that there wouldn't be an English-language sign in a Russian-speaking area gives it away that it's fake, but it's a clever idea!
Categories: Photos/Videos Comments (2)
Bill Gates Money Giveaway
Posted by The Curator on Sat Feb 16, 2013
Below is a picture of Bill Gates that's been circulating on Facebook. Can anyone really believe they'll get $5000 if they share the photo? Or is it being shared as a joke? Since I'm feeling charitable, I'll believe the latter. The picture is a doctored version of a picture posted by Gates during a recent AMA on reddit. Note that in addition to changing the sign he's holding, the reddit toy on the desk behind him has been replaced by what looks like a sex toy. (via David Emery)
Iran’s new stealth fighter flies (with help from photoshop)
Posted by The Curator on Wed Feb 13, 2013
The Iranian news website Khouz News recently posted a picture of Iran's new stealth fighter, the Qaher F313. But The Atlantic Wire points out that the photo is actually a composite. The background is a photo of Mount Damavand from a stock-image site. The jet fighter was cut-and-pasted from a photo of what is apparently a plastic jet fighter (because it seems to lack exterior bolts or rivets) on display indoors. In Iran's defense, the photo could have been intended as a kind of mock-up of what the plane would look like while flying. But given the Iranian military's past history of…
Categories: Military, Photos/Videos Comments (1)
No smoking, drinking, skateboarding, dogs at mall
Posted by The Curator on Tue Feb 12, 2013
Ipswich City councillor Andrew Antoniolli posted on facebook that this would be the new sign at the Ipswich Mall — warning people, in a visually economical way, of all the things they couldn't do there. A local radio station believed him, but it was actually just a joke image downloaded from the internet. No idea what the original source of the image was.
Seriously Richview Collegiate
Posted by The Curator on Tue Feb 12, 2013
A picture of a letter detailing a blatantly racist policy supposedly adopted by a Toronto-area high school, Richview Collegiate Institute, was all over Twitter recently. The letter reads: Dear teachers and students, As of late the safety of our students' has been brought into question. Due to a frequent increase in student robberies and fights this letter has been sent out to inform students on safety precautions that are to be taken to protect their well being. Personal belongings are to be kept with you at all times. Do not leave any belongings in the change room as they may be stolen. In the halls avoid eye contact with African-American students. They have a higher…
Photoshopped Greek Mugshots
Posted by The Curator on Sat Feb 09, 2013
Over in Greece there's uproar over some mugshots of suspected bank robbers. Photos of the men being taken into custody show them badly bruised, but in the mugshots released by the police these bruises have disappeared, and the police admit that, yeah, they photoshopped the mugshots to remove the bruises. Critics say this was done to hide evidence of police brutality. The police say they did it to make the men recognizable. In the photos below, the pre-mugshot pics are on the left, and the photoshopped mugshots on the right. [nbcnews]
Man prosecuted for photoshopping
Posted by The Curator on Fri Feb 08, 2013
Over in Zimbabwe they treat photoshopping as a serious offense, especially if you decide to photoshop your head onto the body of Robert Mugage, as graphic designer Ronald Chikambure allegedly did. The official charge against him was "undermining the authority of the President." Apparently detectives were tipped off that Chikambure was displaying said photoshopped picture on the wall of his office, so they raided his office. They didn't find the picture on the wall, but they did find a copy of it on his laptop, and that was enough to land him in court. Unfortunately, a copy of the photo in question doesn't seem to have been released. I guess they don't have the…
The first (fake) photo from the Curiosity rover
Posted by The Curator on Mon Aug 06, 2012
The first image (above) transmitted by the Curiosity rover from Mars was kind of blurry and unexciting. So the folks on Twitter and Tumblr substituted a more dramatic shot (below). It's circulating with the caption: "NASA just landed a rover on Mars, this is the very first picture. This JUST happened minutes ago." It actually is a picture of Mars, but it was taken by the Mars Spirit rover in 2005. (link: gawker.com)
Categories: Photos/Videos Comments (1)
Angry Koala
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jul 27, 2012
When I saw this photo online a few days ago, I thought, "that koala looks pretty vicious." It didn't occur to me that the image might be fake. But the reality, I now know, is that the image is fake. Koalas don't have wolf-life jaws. The original photo (below) was taken in January 2009 by Flickr user Oz_drdolittle, who explains that the koala was wet because he had sprayed it with water: The poor thing was really hot. (We had a long heatwave recently). I had 3 hanging around the house that I watered twice a day while I was watering the garden.…
Categories: Animals, Photos/Videos Comments (1)
Orange Forest: real or photoshopped?
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jul 25, 2012
Without knowing the context, I would have guessed this picture had been digitally manipulated in some way. But it turns out it wasn't. NPR explains: it's a single image from a single place and time — the hills of western Hungary, six months after a devastating industrial accident. In late 2010, the waste reservoir of a Hungarian aluminum oxide plant burst, releasing millions and millions of gallons of caustic red sludge. The meter-high toxic mudslide quickly moved downhill through two nearby villages, burying buildings, poisoning fields and killing 10 people. Soldiers and volunteers shoveled the muck into trucks and hosed down the streets, but where the sludge had been, every…
Categories: Photos/Videos Comments (3)
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