Hoax Museum Blog: Photos

Four-Eyed Kitten — Recently a four-eared cat named Lilly has been in the news. Lilly and her four ears are quite real. They're the result of a genetic defect. By contrast, the four-eyed kitten shown in the thumbnail to the right doesn't seem real at all. The top set of eyes is exactly identical to the bottom set of eyes, indicating a cut-and-paste job. (Thanks to Alicka for the picture).
Posted: Wed Apr 14, 2004.   Comments (9)

Fingers in Eyes — Alex Knight sent in a link to this picture from Yahoo! News, which is one of those images that looks fake, even though it's real (warning: the full-sized image may definitely make you cringe). It reminds me of the 'finger through the nose and out the eye' picture which was going around about a year ago, and which was definitely fake.
Posted: Tue Apr 13, 2004.   Comments (3)

Is this Baby Jessica? — Back in 1987 'Baby Jessica' became famous when she fell down a well and was saved following a dramatic rescue operation. Stuff Magazine is now featuring a photo of 'Baby Jessica' all grown up and posing by a well, but is that really Baby Jessica? Makeup and lighting will do a lot (as will digital touch-up work), but the woman in the photo doesn't look that much like Jessica as she appeared a few years ago in this picture. Here's a link to a hi-res scan of the Stuff article. Note that…
Posted: Tue Apr 13, 2004.   Comments (10)

Paranormal Photo Hoax Contest — Stephen Wagner, over at About.com, is sponsoring a contest to create a paranormal photo hoax. You have until April 30 to submit your entries. The prize is a copy of Monsters: An Investigator's Guide to Magical Beings.
Posted: Mon Apr 12, 2004.   Comments (3)


Scary Spiders — If spiders scare you, then definitely look no closer at this picture of some spiders that a soldier in Iraq found in his sleeping bag. Yes, despite their size and ugliness, they're real. They're Camel Spiders.
Posted: Thu Apr 08, 2004.   Comments (29)

Woman Killed by Frozen Urine — Kelli wrote in with a question about this strange photo showing a woman impaled by a long, yellowish-looking stick. The photo comes with an explanatory caption: This unfortunate woman was found dead on parkland in Yorkshire, England. She's believed to have been pierced by a shaft of frozen urine which had fallen from a leak in a toilet facility of an overhead plane. Kelli wants to know if it's real. Well, of course it's not. This photo has actually been floating around the internet…
Posted: Wed Apr 07, 2004.   Comments (7)

Fake Vacation Photo Generator — Inspired by an entry I wrote last year about a growing trend in Italy of taking fake vacations (i.e. people can't afford to go anywhere, so they just tell everyone they went away, while they really spend the whole time at home), Michaela Eaves has created this Fake Vacation Photo Generator, to help people embellish their fake vacation stories with fake vacation photos. Thanks, Michaela. This will come in handy on my 'trip' to Hawaii later this year.
Posted: Mon Apr 05, 2004.   Comments (2)

Photography and Photoshop — It seems like there have been quite a few articles lately on the growth of hoax photography wrought by photoshop. Now the New York Times has chimed in with an article on the subject.
Posted: Fri Mar 12, 2004.   Comments (0)

Bad California Weather — This picture is going around via email. It's not really a hoax at all. Just a joke. But since it's about Southern California, I couldn't resist sharing it. Here's the text that accompanies the email: With all the news on TV lately about the subzero weather and snow that the east coast and upstate NY areas are experiencing, we shouldn't forget that Southern California has it's share of devastating weather also. I've attached a photo illustrating the excessive damage caused to a home…
Posted: Mon Mar 01, 2004.   Comments (18)

Lies, Damned Lies, and Photography — "While photographs may not lie, liars may photograph." Paul Vallely has written a good article on the history of photographic fraud for the Independent.
Posted: Sun Feb 22, 2004.   Comments (1)

Princess Juliana Airport — This is a pretty amazing picture, and it screams 'Photoshop!' After all, where in the world would planes really land that close to sunbathers on a beach? It looks like the plane is landing right on top of them. Well, the place is Princess Juliana Airport in St. Maarten. And the airplanes really do come in that close to the beach. A collection of shots of planes landing at Princess Juliana is circulating as a powerpoint file via email. Jozee V sent the file along to me (Thanks, Jozee!).…
Posted: Fri Feb 20, 2004.   Comments (97)

Why you should not feed your cat table scraps — I don't know what it is about oversized domestic cats that's so endlessly fascinating, but I've got to admit that, as the owner of a rather corpulent kitty, I'm just as intrigued by this subject as everyone else seems to be. So anyway, first there was Snowball. Then along came Munchkin. And now the latest tubby tabby to do the email rounds is Scrappy, the Super-Sized Cat. This email comes with the subject line: Why you shouldn't feed your cat table scraps. I don't know if it's real or…
Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2004.   Comments (32)

Hanoi John, Part II — Now that photo of Kerry with Jane Fonda that I talked about in the previous post may have been fake, but this new photo that has just surfaced is undoubtedly real. (via Eschaton)
Posted: Tue Feb 17, 2004.   Comments (3)

Hanoi John — A doctored photo of John Kerry speaking with Jane Fonda (aka 'Hanoi Jane') at a 1971 anti-war rally has been making the rounds lately and getting a lot of attention. It was almost immediately debunked as a phony. As this Newsday article describes, the original photo was taken by Ken Light. The doctored version of it began popping up in conservative chat rooms a few weeks ago. As the political campaign heats up, I expect that many more photoshopped pictures of political candidates will…
Posted: Tue Feb 17, 2004.   Comments (1)

Mountain Lion Email Hoax — Quite a few people have received this picture in their email showing a man holding up a giant (dead) mountain lion. According to the accompanying text, the lion was shot by the man near Leon, Kansas while he was out deer hunting, though different versions of the email list different locations. Is the picture real? It is. But the accompanying text is incorrect. According to this article on Buckmasters.com, the lion was actually shot near Seattle, Washington. The picture first appeared…
Posted: Fri Feb 06, 2004.   Comments (1)

Tall-Tale Aviation Photo — Richard has written in with a question about the photograph (to the right) that's being sold as a print by The New York Times. It shows the sky above Portland, Oregon filled with biplanes. It was taken in 1920 by the photographer C.S. Woodruff. Richard questions whether the picture can possibly be real, and I think he's right to do so. First of all, the biplanes seem dangerously close to each other, all clustered together in a swarm. Second, by 1920 there were hundreds of biplanes and…
Posted: Sun Feb 01, 2004.   Comments (3)

Mexican Ghost — I just received this spooky photo from Katherine DeLong who explains that it's been making the rounds via email. The photo is accompanied by the following text: This picture was taken in one of the rooms of "Our Lady of Charity" hospital in Toluca, Mexico while one of the patients was asleep, the patient had been involved in a multiple car accident and the lady under the bed was the only one person who died in the same accident and taken to the morgue, the brother's patient captured…
Posted: Tue Jan 20, 2004.   Comments (11)

Posted: Mon Jan 12, 2004.   Comments (0)

Tall-Tale Postcards — The American Museum of Photography has a nice collection of William H. "Dad"�Martin's tall-tale photographs online. Martin made a fortune selling tall-tale postcards during the early twentieth century. He had a company called the Martin Post Card Company based in Ottawa, Kansas.
Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2003.   Comments (0)

New Stealth Bomber — Here it is. The first unclassified photo of the new F-22 Stealth Fighter Bomber. Invisible not only to radar but also to the human eye. (Thanks to Darren McEwen for the picture).
Posted: Tue Dec 09, 2003.   Comments (2)

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