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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Photos/Videos
About.Com Hoax Photo Test — David Emery has posted a 'real or fake' image quiz on his about.com urban legends site. The quiz includes many old favorites, but I still managed to get one wrong (the one about human remains inside a crocodile). I'm glad to see that he identified the picture of the spider in the Iraqi desert as real. This other hoax photo test that I linked to earlier claimed it was fake.
Posted: Wed Feb 16, 2005.   Comments (8)

Texas Tortilla and ‘An Amazing Photograph’ — Here are two more curious auctions on eBay (people keep sending me this stuff... probably because I keep posting about it). The first is a tortilla shaped like the state of Texas (item# 5557639562). The auctioner swears that "I have not cut it, clipped it, chewed it or changed it in any way. What you see is what came out of the bag." And I've got to hand it to him. It really does look like Texas. The current bid is only $1.99. What you're supposed to see in the other auction, however,…
Posted: Mon Feb 14, 2005.   Comments (22)

Snake Flossing — 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.…
Posted: Fri Feb 04, 2005.   Comments (24)

Bring Me A Beer — Here's yet another photo from today's email. This one I refuse to believe is real, although I can't see any evidence that it's fake. I've been to those beer festivals in Germany where the waitresses carry around huge numbers of beer mugs steins in each hand, and I never saw one with six large steins in each hand. At least, I can't remember seeing anything like that (the whole beer-festival experience is a bit blurry in my mind). However, I don't know how such a thing could even…
Posted: Wed Feb 02, 2005.   Comments (49)


View From Airplane Window — I'm receiving a lot of strange photos in my email today. This one comes with the caption: 'Holy Crap' Engine. I have no idea where it originally comes from. But I would guess that it's real. If it's photoshopped, it's a very good photoshop job. Click on the image to enlarge. Update: This is definitely a real photo. It was taken on July 13, 2004 aboard an AirTran flight from Atlanta to Orlando with 110 people on board. The left engine cowling came off soon after take off, but the plane…
Posted: Wed Feb 02, 2005.   Comments (10)

Nuns on Stools — I just received this photo in my email. I suppose those stools the women are sitting on are real enough, though I have no idea if the women are really nuns, or if the whole scene was staged. It looks to me like the picture was taken somewhere in Europe, based on the drinks and signs behind the bar. Update: I added the picture that Charybdis linked to, since it's evident they belong together in a series. It must have been some kind of 'nuns on stools' photo shoot. (click images to enlarge)
Posted: Wed Feb 02, 2005.   Comments (14)

Islamic Hostage Barbie Hoax — The Islamic Hostage Barbie Hoax as Instapundit has dubbed it (i.e. that hoax photo of a captured U.S. soldier) is now all over the blogosphere. It seems quite clear that it was an action figure in the photo, not an American soldier. But it's not clear to me where this photo originally came from. Where is this mysterious Islamic website that the picture was posted on? If we knew that it would be a lot easier to tell if it was meant as a joke, or as a serious (though absurd) threat.
Posted: Wed Feb 02, 2005.   Comments (14)

Dog and Dolphin — Wm. Murray emailed me this interesting photo (click to enlarge). Can you guess if it's real or fake? Answer: Apparently it's real (when I first looked at it I just assumed it was fake). From Wm.'s email: The dog and the bottle-nose dolphin were pals who "met" about every week or ten days at the beach in front of the Meridian Club on Pine Cay in the Turks & Caicos. My wife and I vacationed there in May 1990 and took many pictures of this strange pairing. We were told that it had been…
Posted: Fri Jan 28, 2005.   Comments (13)

Fat Dog — Kentaro Mori of Liquito sent me this picture (click thumbnail to enlarge) of a very fat dog. He says that he found it on a Japanese website. My hunch would be that there's no photo trickery involved here. It really is a very fat dog. Probably comes from the same household as Munchkin the Monster Cat.
Posted: Mon Jan 24, 2005.   Comments (54)

Weird X-Rays — 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)…
Posted: Thu Jan 20, 2005.   Comments (18)

Bill Gates Teen Idol — The Monkey Methods blog has posted pictures of a young Bill Gates supposedly posing for a Teen Beat photospread back in 1983. I'm willing to believe that the photos are real pictures of a young Bill. But I'm not willing to believe that they're from Teen Beat, not unless more evidence is provided, such as a scan of the article itself. Some of the people who have posted comments on the Monkey Methods blog have pointed out problems with the claim that these photos are from 1983. For…
Posted: Mon Jan 17, 2005.   Comments (24)

Still on Vacation! — I don't know if these pictures are real, in the sense of whether they really show tourists sunning themselves while people try to clean up tsunami damage around them. Maybe the pictures were taken at some other time, in a totally different context. But they certainly look like tourists trying to act as if nothing happened while all around them is a wasteland. Unbelievable.
Posted: Wed Jan 12, 2005.   Comments (47)

Tsunami Seen From a High-Rise — Snopes posted a photo (click to enlarge) that's going around accompanied by this text: Be sure and open the picture for a shock of your life to see what the tsunami looked like just before hitting Puket, Thailand. This picture is not a fake. It appears to have been taken from a hi-rise building window in downtown Phuket Thailand. The power of nature is hard to comprehend, especially the destructiveness of water. Snopes says the status of the picture is undetermined, but I'd have a…
Posted: Tue Jan 04, 2005.   Comments (47)

Real Tsunami, Wrong Ocean — A few days ago the Calgary Herald ran on its front page this dramatic photo of a tsunami wave crashing over a surprised group of people, along with the headline 'Tsunami death toll could pass 100,000'. The photo soon appeared elsewhere, such as on the start-up page of AOL. The problem is not that the photo itself is fake. It's not. It really does show a real tsunami wave. The problem is that it doesn't have anything to do with the recent Indian Ocean tsunami. As Nicole Bogdas of the…
Posted: Tue Jan 04, 2005.   Comments (4)

Soldier Cutting Grass Found — The Oregon Statesman Journal has an article about that photo of a soldier in Iraq tending a small plot of grass (which I posted here back in October). They identify the soldier as Warrant Officer Brook Turner stationed at Camp Cooke north of Baghdad. They even provide his email address in case you want to send him a happy New Year's message. Plus, they mention the Museum of Hoaxes in the article. The weird date on the photo which had everyone confused was apparently just a result of…
Posted: Fri Dec 31, 2004.   Comments (10)

A Christmas Ghost — Here's a new ghost photo that's begun to do the email rounds. To me it looks like a simple double exposure... but maybe it really is the ghost of Mary's Grandfather. In which case, sell him on eBay!! Here's the text that accompanies the photo. Click photo to enlarge (thanks to Jennifer for sending this to me): This picture is soo freaky..... My co-worker Mary that lives in stockton bought her sister a digital camera for X-mas. Her sister took a picture of their niece and if you look…
Posted: Fri Dec 31, 2004.   Comments (37)

Near Collision — Here's a picture that's doing the email rounds. The picture is real (no digital manipulation). The only fake part about it is that the perspective of the shot makes the two planes look like they're about to hit each other, while in reality they're 750 feet apart. The photo was taken at San Francisco Airport on August 15, 2004. The photo can be found on Airliners.net. The photographer, Ben Wang, has added this note to it: "The two planes appear to be touching! The 757 is on final for 28L…
Posted: Fri Dec 10, 2004.   Comments (24)

1954 Home Computer Claims Victim — There should be an award like the Darwin Awards, except instead of being given to people who die in stupid ways it would be given to people who display extreme gullibility. If there was such an award, Scott McNealy, CEO of Sun Microsystems, would be this week's candidate for it. During the keynote address at the Oracle OpenWorld Show he displayed a picture, supposedly from 1954, of what the RAND Corporation imagined that a home computer would look like in 2004 (see the thumbnail: click…
Posted: Thu Dec 09, 2004.   Comments (8)

Meteorite Strike or Hoax? — Wayne Pryde believes that he has taken the first photograph ever to capture the image of a meteorite striking the earth. He was taking pictures of clouds when he happened to get this photograph of what might be a grain-of-sand-sized meteorite hitting the Earth. But meteor experts aren't so sure. They're not yet crying hoax (Mr. Pryde swears that he hasn't digitally altered the photo), but they don't think the photo shows a meteor impact. However, they have no idea what else it might…
Posted: Wed Dec 08, 2004.   Comments (15)

Tank Silencer — Here's another photo that's doing the rounds on the internet. It's captioned 'Tank Silencer'. I have no idea what this device is actually used for, but somehow I don't think it's a tank silencer. So this would be a case of 'real picture, false caption.' Click image for larger version. (via Hell in a Handbasket)
Posted: Tue Nov 30, 2004.   Comments (26)

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