The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Places
Quick Links: Jesus on Google Maps, etc. — Jesus on Google Maps Brian Martin claims that he saw the shape of Jesus in the clouds above Mount Sinai. (Thanks, Madmouse.) Cat Gives Birth to 'Puppy' Following on from the Japanese poodle scam hoax, this made me laugh. A cat in Zhengzhou, China has supposedly given birth to a litter of four, one of which looks like a poodle. There are no pictures to accompany the article, however. (Thanks, Robert.) Sexism in Tetris It seems a lot of people didn't realise the April 1st post on this…
Posted: Wed May 02, 2007.   Comments (6)

The Great Belgian Breakup Hoax — If I were going to draw up a list of the top ten hoaxes of 2006 (which I'm not because I don't have enough time), the Great Belgian Breakup Hoax would definitely have to be included in the list, sneaking in right before the end of the year. As has been widely reported, on Wednesday many people were briefly led to believe that Belgium had ceased to exist. An AP story summarized what happened: Suddenly and shockingly, Belgium came to an end. State television broke into regular programming…
Posted: Sat Dec 16, 2006.   Comments (29)

Bruce Lee Theme Park Patrolled by Mannequin Robots — There's word of a Bruce Lee theme park being built in China. Nothing particularly weird about that, and no reason not to believe it's true. Here's the weird part: According to local reports, the park will be patrolled by Bruce Lee “mannequin robots”, radio-controlled from within a giant statue of the late star. Also, there's going to be a rollercoaster "that emits the martial arts actor’s signature grunts and screams on high-speed bends." Sounds kind of cool. I'm guessing that the part…
Posted: Wed Nov 29, 2006.   Comments (9)

Nuclear Explosion Over Netherlands — Gerrit forwarded links to radar maps showing some extremely unusual cloud activity over the Netherlands. I managed to visit the radar sites myself in time to see the unusual clouds. However, the maps have since updated and are no longer showing the same activity. But I can vouch that, for a while, they really were displaying the sudden appearance of a mysterious ring of clouds around the Netherlands. Screenshots of the radar image have been posted here and here. Has anyone checked that…
Posted: Wed Sep 27, 2006.   Comments (28)


Quick Links: Man Bites Panda, etc. — Man Bites Panda A drunken tourist climbed in with Gu Gu the panda at Beijing zoo. When the startled panda bit him, he bit it back. "I bit the panda on its back but its fur was too thick," Mr Zhang recalled. He went on: "No one ever said they would bite people. I just wanted to touch it." Jerusalem - There's No Such City! According to a mistranslated sightseeing brochure, at least. The pamphlet, translated from Hebrew, should have read "Jerusalem - there's no city like it!". Dog With…
Posted: Fri Sep 22, 2006.   Comments (17)

New York Puppet Library — When I came across this page descriping puppet lending libraries—one in Boston and another one in New York— I thought it had to be a joke. Especially given the New York puppet library's location: inside a memorial arch. But apparently these are real. A google search brings up quite a few articles about the New York puppet library, including this one from Time Out New York Kids: A different kind of lending library makes its home in Brooklyn's Grand Army Plaza Arch. A small flock of…
Posted: Fri Aug 25, 2006.   Comments (5)

Top Thrill Dragster — The following pictures of an extreme roller-coaster have been circulating around via email. Yes, the roller-coaster is real. It's the Top Thrill Dragster at the Cedar Point Amusement Park in Ohio. On their website they've got some cool point-of-view videos of the ride in action. Appended to the pictures of the rollercoaster is this next one, with the caption: "And this last picture says it all..." I'd be willing to bet that isn't really a picture of…
Posted: Sun Aug 20, 2006.   Comments (16)

Teddy Tourism — Teddy Tour Berlin, run by Karsten Morschett and Thomas Vetsch, cater for those who can't themselves afford to tour the German capital, but want the next best thing. Expatica.com reports that customers send their teddies and the payment details to the company, who then take the bears around sites such as Brandenburg Gate, the Berlin Olympic Stadium, and remnants of the Berlin Wall. At each site, the visiting teddy is photographed in a snappy pose. "They aren't photo-montages…
Posted: Wed Aug 16, 2006.   Comments (10)

Quick Links, KFCruelty.com, etc. — Mr. KentuckyFriedCruelty.com Changes Name Last year Christopher Garnett officially changed his name to "Kentucky fried cruelty.com". (It was a PETA publicity stunt.) Now he's had enough and is changing it back. Anyone feel like changing their name to "Museum of Hoaxes.com"? I'll give you a free book if you do. (Thanks, Beverley) Thames Town, China The cobbled streets, Georgian houses, and Tudor-style pub might make you think you're in England. But you're really in Thames Town, a faux…
Posted: Tue Aug 15, 2006.   Comments (19)

The Road of Non-Starting Cars — If you park your car on Percy Road in Gosport, don't expect to be able to start it again. Residents of this road claim that "unknown forces" are preventing their cars from starting. They have to push their cars a few yards up the road before they'll start: Wayne Dobson, 38, first discovered the problem when he came home from work, parked up as usual and tried to use his remote immobiliser to lock his V-registered Land Rover Freelander, but got no response. When he later tried to start…
Posted: Tue Aug 15, 2006.   Comments (13)

Self-Watering Miracle Tree — Lucille Pope's oak tree has sprung a leak. Water is pouring out of it at the rate of a tenth of a gallon every minute, and no one knows where the water is coming from. It all started back in April when a little sap started oozing out of the tree. The sap progressed to a dark stain, that eventually turned into a steady trickle of water. Lucille Pope thinks it's some kind of miracle tree, and that the water has special healing properties. However, her son Lloyd says "I ain't with that…
Posted: Fri Aug 11, 2006.   Comments (34)

Weird Scottish Myths — The Scotsman has published an article on a number of slightly bizarre (well, very bizarre) myths about Scotland, ranging from Jesus holidaying in the Hebrides to Jerusalem actually being Edinburgh. Mostly avoiding the Da Vinci Code furore, the newspaper has given each theory their own marks out of ten on the probability scale. 0/10 - This whole theory seems as thin as extra-thin, thin crust pizza, that has been cooked very thin. It is hard to believe that the ancient Scots were busy…
Posted: Thu Aug 10, 2006.   Comments (6)

Ocean Dome — Status: Real place (fake beach) A couple of people have sent me these pictures of an artificial dome-covered beach.... located a few yards away from a real beach! Yes, it's a real place. This is Ocean Dome, located outside of Myazaki in Japan. Its motto is "Paradise within a paradise." David Boyle, author of Authenticity: Brands, Fakes, Spin and the Lust for Real Life (which is a pretty good book, by the way), has an article about it on his website. He speculates that it's possibly the…
Posted: Mon Jul 31, 2006.   Comments (10)

Feckenham’s Declaration of Independence — Status: Hoax Earlier this spring, while digging up an oak tree, residents of Feckenham (a small British village) discovered an 800-year-old scroll written by King Henry III. The scroll stated that the village should remain independent forever. This prompted the villagers to declare their independence from Britain, set up border-patrol checkpoints around the town, and lower the taxes on beer. The Ottawa Citizen reports: The scroll, of course, is a joke. The story started earlier this…
Posted: Mon Jul 24, 2006.   Comments (4)

Book A Fake Vacation — Status: Weird News The Los Angeles Times reports about a Russian travel agency, Persey Tours, that sells fake vacations: For $500, nobody will believe you weren't sunning yourself last week on Copacabana Beach, just before you trekked through the Amazon rain forest and slept in a thatched hut. Hey! That's you, arms outstretched like Kate Winslet on the bow of the Titanic, on top of Corcovado! Persey Tours was barely keeping the bill collectors at bay before it started offering fake…
Posted: Wed Jul 12, 2006.   Comments (23)

Bicycle-Eating Tree — Status: Real The bicycle-eating tree is probably familiar to most residents of Washington, since it's located on Vashon Island, Washington (and won a 1994 contest to select the most unusual places or events in the Washington-Oregon area), but it's new to me. Apparently someone, decades ago, left their bicycle leaning against the tree, and as the tree kept growing it enveloped the bike and now lifts it seven feet off the ground. I think it's amazing that a) the tree actually grew around…
Posted: Sat Jul 01, 2006.   Comments (48)

Religious Devotees Worship Phony Phallic Symbol — Status: Strange News Inside the Amarnath Cave, located in Indian-administered Kashmir, can be found the ice Shiva Linga, one of the holiest objects in the Hindu faith. Basically it's a large, naturally occurring, phallus-shaped ice stalagmite. Hundreds of thousands of Hindus make the pilgrimage to visit it each year, despite a high amount of terrorist activity in that area. (Wikipedia has an entry about it.) But this year the pilgrimage has been marred by allegations that the Shiva…
Posted: Fri Jun 30, 2006.   Comments (3)

Nigeria Warns of British Conmen — Status: Strange News Nigerian travellers have been warned by their government to watch out for conmen while in Britain: Fraudsters in Britain might pour tomato juice or other substances on your dress and then offer to help remove it, robbing you in the process, the information ministry warned in its first-ever travel advisory obtained by Reuters on Thursday. The conmen, who are mainly white, but also include east Europeans and north Africans, might also pretend to pick up an object from…
Posted: Wed Jun 28, 2006.   Comments (7)

Yellow Lines Become Wobbly — Status: Strange phenomenon The residents of Aqueduct Street have an unusual problem. Their lines are going wobbly. Specifically, the double yellow lines on their road. When the city laid down the lines earlier this month, they were straight. But now they've begun to take off in random directions. At first some suspected the work of a prankster, but apparently the truth is much more sinister: The lines are doing this of their own accord! This idea really appeals to me. Double yellow…
Posted: Wed Jun 21, 2006.   Comments (13)

Fake Happy Families Sell Homes — Status: Strange, but true California realtors have devised a new way to sell homes. They're hiring actors to play "happy families" during open houses: Attractive film and stage actors are cast in the roles of cheerful-looking parents and their angelic children, recreating scenes of domestic bliss that they hope will impress prospective buyers... With Hollywood just down the road, there is no shortage of photogenic and unemployed actors, for whom the alternatives are normally bit parts…
Posted: Tue Jun 06, 2006.   Comments (9)

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