The Hoax Museum Blog
The Patriarch’s Expensive Gold Watch
Posted by The Curator on Fri Apr 06, 2012
Sloppy Photoshopping: The Russian Orthodox Church recently posted a picture on its website of Patriarch Kirill during a 2009 meeting with Vladimir Putin. The photo wouldn't have caused any controversy — except that bloggers noticed a difference between the Patriarch's arm and the reflection of the arm on the shiny surface of the table. The reflection showed an expensive watch on his wrist. Oops. The watch was a gold Breguet watch valued at $30,000. Links: BBC, ABC News. (via Accipiter in the Hoax Forum) BEFORE AFTER
The Japanese Moon Melon
Posted by The Curator on Fri Apr 06, 2012
This picture and caption has been circulating around the internet recently: This a Moon Melon , scientifically knows as asidus. This fruit grows in some parts of Japan , and it's known for it's weird blue color. What you probably don't know about this fruit, is that it can switch flavors after you eat it. Everything sour will taste sweet, and everything salty will taste bitter, and it gives water a strong orange-like taste. This fruit is Very expensive. It costs about ￥16000 JPY (which is about 200 dollars). Unfortunately, as intriguing as the moon melon sounds, it's just the product of digital color effects.
A Bullfighter Repents
Posted by The Curator on Wed Mar 07, 2012
The following photo and caption has recently begun to circulate online. It's all over Facebook. "And suddenly, I looked at the bull. He had this innocence... that all animals have in their eyes, and he looked at me with this pleading. It was like a cry for justice, deep down inside of me. I describe it as being like a prayer - because if one confesses, it is hoped, that one is forgiven. I felt like the worst shit on earth." This photo shows the collapse of Torrero Alvaro Munera, as he realized in the middle of his last fight... the injustice to the animal. From…
Photoshopping the Classics
Posted by The Curator on Tue Mar 06, 2012
Italian artist Anna Utopia Giordano (great name... can that be the name she was born with?) has created a series of works that comment on the media obsession with photoshopping models to look thin and flawless. She's taken famous classical nudes and made them thinner. So Botticelli's Venus gets slimmed down for the beach, as does Francesco Hayez's Venus. The New York Daily News quotes her as saying: Art is always in search of the perfect physical form. It has evolved through history, from the classical proportions of ancient Greece to the prosperous beauty of the Renaissance, to the spindly look of models like Twiggy and the athletic look of our own time.…
What Was The First Ever Photoshopped Image?
Posted by The Curator on Fri Mar 02, 2012
The Daily Mail recently posted an article online about the early history of photo fakery. The Daily Mail doesn't exactly have a reputation for quality journalism, so it shouldn't be that surprising that the article starts off with an historical error. It claims that an image (shown below) of Abraham Lincoln posing in a 'heroic' stance "could be the first ever Photoshopped image." I understand the Daily Mail is using 'photoshopped' as a generic term to mean an image altered by darkroom tricks. But even so, the Lincoln image hardly qualifies as the first photographic fake. For one thing, the Daily Mail dates the image to 1860, but I believe…
The 1% Tip Hoax
Posted by The Curator on Thu Mar 01, 2012
Last week an image showing the "tip" left by a rich banker who had dined at a Newport Beach restaurant spread around the internet. The financial tip was slightly less than 1%, on a bill of over $100, but the patron also left a life-advice tip: "GET A REAL JOB". Naturally, the image provoked the customary rage reaction from netizens. The image originally was posted on a blog called "Future Ex-Banker" run by an anonymous blogger who said he worked in the corporate office of a bank for a boss who represented "everything wrong with the financial industry." He further claimed of this boss: So proudly…
Clayton Sotos, Fartographer
Posted by The Curator on Thu Feb 23, 2012
Someone has gone to a bunch of trouble to make it seem as if Dell produced an ad featuring "Visual Innovator" Clayton Sotos. The ad has high production values, and there's an accompanying website showcasing some of Sotos's work. The joke is that Sotos photographs people farting. Dell insists they're not responsible for the ad. They posted this statement on their twitter page: "This video is in no way affiliated with Dell, but it's great to see creative professionals get inspiration from using our products. Our dell.com/takeyourownpath program is all about celebrating people who take their own professional path. Regarding this parody, we consider imitation to be the sincerest form of flattery."
Should disclaimers be required for photoshopped ads?
Posted by The Curator on Thu Feb 16, 2012
Rep. Katie Hobbs has introduced a bill into the Arizona state legislature that would require advertisers to put the following disclaimer on advertisements if the image in the ad was "photoshopped" (link: zacentral.com): "Postproduction techniques were made to alter the appearance in this advertisement. When using this product, similar results may not be achieved." Similar legislation has been introduced in the UK and France, its purpose being to try to counteract the social pressure on people, particularly young girls, to feel the need to look perfect -- to remind them that the way models look in ads isn't reality. The problem, of course, is that every ad nowadays uses digital…
Beyonce had her baby. Satan is on Earth.
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jan 23, 2012
On Jan. 11, TMZ posted a photo of the sign outside the Beulah Hill Baptist Church, which apparently bore a nice message inspired by the recent birth of Beyonce's baby: "BEYONCE HAD HER BABY. SATAN IS ON EARTH." According to TMZ, the pastor at that church told them that vandals had placed the message there, and that it had been taken down promptly. However, the pastor, Rev. Curtis Barbery, is denying he ever told TMZ this. He gave an interview to the Fayetteville Observer in which he insisted the sign hadn't been vandalized and that the photo was a fake. He said, “It’s…
Sounds of the Apocalypse, aka Strange Sounds Heard Around the World
Posted by The Curator on Sat Jan 21, 2012
MadCarlotta sent me an interesting video: The premise of the video (which has over 1 million views) is that people around the world are hearing eerie groaning sounds that seem to rise up from the ground and echo through the sky. My first thought was that it sounds like the noise my tankless water heater makes on cold days. So if anyone in La Mesa is hearing eerie noises echoing through the neighborhood, I'm the culprit. Is the 'strange sounds' video a hoax? Seems to be. Some of the youtube comments point out that you can hear the exact same bird noises at three separate…
Mitt Romney gets a shoeshine
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jan 18, 2012
In recent days, a photo of Mitt Romney that appears to show him getting a shoe shine as his private jet waits has been spreading around the internet. It's been popular with anyone who doesn't much like Romney because it seems to capture the swanky lifestyle he enjoys as a 0.001 percenter. But, in reality, this photo is a case of 'real picture, false caption'. The picture dates to 2008 and actually shows Romney sitting for a security check before boarding a plane in Denver, Colorado. The guy in the red jacket is waving a security wand over Romney's shoe. Not giving him a shoe shine. …
The Navalny Affair
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jan 18, 2012
Supporters of Vladimir Putin have been caught in a flat-footed attempt at character assassination. Wanting to smear blogger Alexei Navalny, who's been a fierce critic of Putin's government, they created a picture showing Navalny meeting with the exiled oligarch Boris Berezovsky. The implication was that Berezovsky was funding Navalny. Then Putin's supporters published the picture in one of the party newspapers. But the picture was a clumsy fake. The original, undoctored version of the photo soon emerged, as well as numerous parody versions. Links: BBC, Daily Mail. The doctored versionThe original version Some newspapers are commenting that the stunt recalls how Soviet authorities routinely…
Evidence of Extraterrestrials in North Korea?
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jan 04, 2012
The Alien Disclosure Group (ADG) UK has posted a video on youtube in which they suggest that the funeral of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il may have been attended by extraterrestrials. Or very tall earthlings. One or the other. The ADG seems eager to see aliens in any mystery. But their video does highlight two legitimate items of strangeness from Kim Jong-Il's funeral. The first is that there apparently really was an extremely tall person standing in the crowd watching Kim Jong-Il's funeral procession. His identity is unknown. So perhaps it was an extraterrestrial. Or maybe it was Ri Myung Hung, the 7'…
Disappearing Political Cleavage
Posted by The Curator on Thu Sep 29, 2011
Usually when politicians become the victims of photo retouchers it's because they've become undesirable to someone in power, and so they're summarily removed from the photo. It's far less common for their images to be retouched in order to desexualize them. This is usually the fate of actresses and models. But this is what happened recently to Rathika Sitsabaiesan, a young Canadian MP. Her cleavage was erased from the image of her that appears on the House of Commons website. The National Post reports: Mark Austin of Old Barns, N.S., discovered the discrepancy this week and passed it to the blog contrarian.ca. He…
Obama vs. Perry: “Boys Will Be Boys”
Posted by The Curator on Tue Aug 30, 2011
Status: Real Photos, False Captions The political dirty tricks season is upon us again, and so we get the image above, which has recently been circulating around conservative blogs. (Thanks to Gayl for forwarding it to me.) Its intent is obvious: to show that Rick Perry was serious and heroic as a young man, whereas Barack Obama was a bit of a punk. The pictures themselves are real. The picture of Obama was taken in 1980 by Lisa Jack when both were freshmen at Occidental College in L.A. The picture of Rick Perry is undated, but must have been taken sometime between 1972 and 1977,…