The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Places
Fake Taj Mahal — A film director in Bangladesh has announced plans to build an exact replica of the Taj Mahal. He's going to use the same marble and stone as the original, but to save time he's using machinery (rather than thousands of peasant workers) to construct it. His reason for building it: "Everyone dreams about seeing the Taj Mahal but very few Bangladeshis can make the trip because it's too expensive for them." All of this has upset officials in India who have threatened to sue for copyright…
Posted: Mon Dec 15, 2008.   Comments (6)

World’s Largest Lamb Sculpture — Some guy named Bill Veall claims to have discovered the world's largest rock sculpture. It's somewhere in the Peruvian Andean mountains, and it's in the shape of a "sacred lamb". He says he found it by using satellite imaging techniques to search for ancient shapes and formations. I guess that rules out any possibility he's just seeing what he wants to see. (sarcasm) From Sky News: "Mr Veall, who studies the relationships between astronomy and archaeological monuments, has faced a…
Posted: Tue Dec 09, 2008.   Comments (25)

Waterboard Thrill Ride — Visitors to New York's Coney Island amusement park now have the opportunity to try the "Waterboard Thrill Ride." As the sign outside proclaims, "It don't Gitmo better!" According to Reuters: A man with a black hood pours water on the face of a prisoner in an orange jumpsuit strapped to a table... The scene using robotic dolls is an installation built by artist Steve Powers to criticize waterboarding, a simulated drowning technique the United States has admitted using on terrorism…
Posted: Fri Aug 08, 2008.   Comments (4)

The Smell of Fake Cigarettes — Now that the Dutch have banned smoking in bars, bar patrons have realized they can smell each other, and they don't like it. So a Dutch company, Rain Showtechniek, has created a machine that will create a fake tobacco smell. From The Telegraph: "There is a need for a scent to mask the sweat and other unpleasant smells like stale beer," said Erwin van den Bergh, a spokesman for the company... Unlike the real thing, the artificial tobacco smells do not have any health risks and does not…
Posted: Tue Jul 15, 2008.   Comments (10)


Uncontacted Brazilian Tribe — The Brazilian government released some dramatic pictures of one of South America's last remaining uncontacted indigenous tribes. It says it took the pictures to prove that the tribe existed, because there apparently were some people who doubted this. When I saw the pictures, I couldn't help but be reminded of the Stone Age Tasaday from the Philippines. The Tasaday were a tribe that was discovered in 1971. Unlike the Brazilian tribe (who are seen shooting arrows at the helicopter taking…
Posted: Fri May 30, 2008.   Comments (14)

Grand Teton and Wildflowers — The image to the right is available for purchase on webshots.com. The photographer is listed as Adam Jones. It's titled "Grand Teton and Wildflowers, Wyoming." The image has become quite popular and has slowly been circulating around the internet. One person on the webshots message board writes: What a wonderful blend of colours and God’s creation. At the present time I live in Beijing and in the smog I often look at this picture and remember how beautiful the world can be. But the…
Posted: Thu May 22, 2008.   Comments (14)

SpongeBob Vandalism — A chimney is all that remains of the cabin that used to be the home of the manager of the Forest Service tree nursery in Pike Forest. It's considered a historically significant remain. That didn't stop pranksters from refashioning it, with the help of some paint, into a monument to SpongeBob Squarepants. From gazette.com: Some people might find humor in a 10-foot tall likeness of the cartoon character SpongeBob Square-Pants painted onto a crumbling chimney in the middle of the woods.…
Posted: Wed May 21, 2008.   Comments (11)

Colorful Coastal Village — This looks like it would be a great place to visit. It's Cinque Terre in Italy. Unfortunately, it's not quite so colorful in real life. (via City Comforts)
Posted: Wed May 07, 2008.   Comments (6)

Eiffel Tower Observation Deck — Pictures have been circulating showing an expanded observation deck that is supposedly going to be added to the Eiffel Tower, transforming it into something resembling a giant mushroom. An article in the Guardian stated: Serero Architects of Paris has won the competition to redesign the structure's public viewing platform and reception areas. The winning design (above), which will be 276 metres (905ft) above the ground, will not require any permanent modification of the existing…
Posted: Fri Apr 04, 2008.   Comments (4)

Padded Lampposts Protext Text-Messagers — A few weeks ago a story was going around about a street in London where the lampposts had been padded in order to protect text-messaging pedestrians. Neo posted about it in the forum. The story sounded pretty ridiculous, and sure enough it turns out to have been a publicity-stunt hoax. The padding was placed on the lampposts by a pr firm, and it was only there for a day and a half. The Press Gazette reports: Journalists across the world reported that Britain’s first “safe text” street…
Posted: Tue Mar 18, 2008.   Comments (4)

Automotive Bermuda Triangle — In 2006 I posted about the road of non-starting cars in the town of Gosport, England. An unknown force on this road was preventing cars from starting. I don't know if Gosport ever solved its problem, but it seems that the neighborhood around the Empire State Building in New York City is experiencing the same issue. The New York Daily News reports: In the shadow of the Empire State Building lies an “automotive Bermuda Triangle” - a five-block radius where vehicles mysteriously die. No…
Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2008.   Comments (11)

The Unrecognised States Numismatic Society — The Unrecognised States Numismatic Society (USNS) describes itself as a "group catering to numismatists whose collecting interests largely focus on coins minted by groups purporting, pretending or appearing to be sovereign states, but which are not recognised as such by established governments." They've got examples of coins from a bunch of unrecognized nations, including the Principality of Sealand, Atlantis, the Confederation of Antarctica, and the Dominion of West Florida, which…
Posted: Fri Jan 25, 2008.   Comments (3)

Fictitious Countries — Elliot has posted five new articles in the hoaxipedia. His theme was fictitious countries. Or rather, countries of an ambiguous legal status. The Principality of New Utopia An island "country" in the Caribbean established in 1999 by Oklahoma businessman Howard Turney, who prefers to be known as HSH Prince Lazarus. The Dominion of Melchizedek A South Pacific island country, that happens to be entirely underwater. It was founded in 1987 by California father and son Evan and Mark…
Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2008.   Comments (14)

Phantom Tent City on Roof — According to a rumor that circulates among the population of South Carolina's Hilton Head Island, there's a group of Mexican immigrants living on top of one of the local supermarkets. It may be the Bi-Lo Supermarket, or the Port Royal Plaza, or the Harris Teeter. Supposedly this tent city of roof-living immigrants tapped into the store's electricity and even diverted the air conditioning system to cool their tents. The Island Packet News is pretty sure that the story of the rooftop…
Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2008.   Comments (6)

Phallus in Football Field — In the summer of 2004 pranksters used herbicide to trace the outline of a giant phallus in the football field located inside Harman-Geist Stadium in Northeastern Pennsylvania. When the grass died, the phallus became visible. Maintenance crews did their best to hide the phallus by painting it green, but eventually the paint wore away. And now the prank has succeeded in reaching an even wider audience, thanks to satellite technology. Overhead satellite imagery of the stadium -- and…
Posted: Thu Dec 06, 2007.   Comments (2)

Porthemmet Beach — The website for Porthemmet Beach advertises that it is the best beach in Cornwall. It also claims that it's the only beach in the UK to allow topless sunbathing. So how does one find this beach? These are the directions on the website: Porthemmet is very easy to get to from anywhere in Cornwall. Head north up the A30 until you see the signs. They are very clear, you can't miss it! It should be noted that there is a private joke in Cornwall whereby locals will pretend to not know where…
Posted: Thu Sep 27, 2007.   Comments (17)

Vernon, Florida — Joe Littrell forwarded me a St. Petersburg Times article, Dismembered Again, about the town of Vernon, Florida. It was so weird that I first I thought it was one of those joke articles, the kind that magazines such as the Phoenix New Times sometimes run. But all the references in it check out, so now I'm pretty sure it's real. Vernon used to be known as Nub City, because the main source of income for town residents was dismembering themselves in order to file insurance claims. People…
Posted: Tue Sep 04, 2007.   Comments (6)

New From Elliot: Brooklyn Bridge Scams — Elliot's latest addition to the Hoaxipedia details scams involving the Brooklyn Bridge. I like this one in particular: In 1886, not long after the Brooklyn Bridge opened, another famous scam was perpetrated by a Brooklyn bookie named Steve Brodie. According to the story, Brodie’s scam originated in a bet with a Brooklyn bartender named Chuck Connors. The bookie wagered Connors that he could jump off the Brooklyn Bridge and survive the fall. Steve Brodie ultimately won the bet and wound…
Posted: Thu Aug 30, 2007.   Comments (5)

Algeria’s River of Ink — The Proceedings of the Athanasius Kircher Society has posted an interesting geographical puzzle. An article, "The Story of Ink," in the 1930 issue of the American Journal of Pharmacy included the following statement: Iron tannin inks are sometimes formed naturally; such a phenomenon has been observed in Algeria, a country in northern Africa, where there exists a "river of ink." Chemical examinations of the waters of the streams combining to form this river revealed that one of the…
Posted: Fri Aug 17, 2007.   Comments (9)

The Bermuda Triangle of Cats — Cats are disappearing from the town of Stourbridge in the West Midlands. Up to 40 lost cats have been reported so far, all from the same small neighborhood. Metro.co.uk reports: The pets disappeared from just a few streets and no signs of any of them have ever been found. Some families lost as many as three cats, one after the other. But there is one resident who, like others in the town of Stourbridge, refuses to believe it's just a coincidence. 'It really is a bit of a Bermuda…
Posted: Tue Aug 14, 2007.   Comments (12)

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