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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Places
Ocean Dome
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jul 31, 2006
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 most artificial place on earth. Here's a short clipping: Ocean Dome is…
Categories: Photos/Videos, Places Comments (10)
Feckenham’s Declaration of Independence
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jul 24, 2006
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 spring as a way to involve locals in a…
Categories: Places Comments (4)
Book A Fake Vacation
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jul 12, 2006
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 vacations last year. Now it's selling 15 a month — providing ersatz ticket stubs, hotel receipts, photos with clients' images…
Categories: Exploration/Travel, Places Comments (23)
Bicycle-Eating Tree
Posted by The Curator on Sat Jul 01, 2006
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 the bike instead of pushing it over, and that b) in all that time no one…
Categories: Places Comments (48)
Religious Devotees Worship Phony Phallic Symbol
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jun 30, 2006
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 Linga has been faked. The BBC reports:
Categories: Places, Religion Comments (3)
Nigeria Warns of British Conmen
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jun 28, 2006
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 under a potential victim's seat to distract his attention while he robs him, it added. "Nigerian…
Categories: Law/Police/Crime, Places Comments (7)
Yellow Lines Become Wobbly
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jun 21, 2006
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 lines get fed up with being straight and decide to rebel. What we are seeing in Aqueduct Street might…
Categories: Places Comments (13)
Fake Happy Families Sell Homes
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jun 06, 2006
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 in television advertisements and waiting on tables. Centex recruited Jaason Simmons, 35, best known for his three-year stint as a…
Categories: Entertainment, Places Comments (9)
Inflatable Pub
Posted by The Curator on Sun May 14, 2006
Status: Strange, but real Speaking of fake Irish bars, now it's possible to have an instant fake British pub, anywhere you like. It's advertised as "the Worlds first fully functioning Mobile Inflatable Pub." This comes from the same people who brought us the world's first inflatable church. Ideally it should come with a bartender who fakes a British accent.
Categories: Food, Places Comments (3)
In Memory of Father Noise
Posted by The Curator on Tue May 09, 2006
Status: Believed to be a hoax Here's an interesting news report from Ireland: It has emerged that a joke bronze plaque found on Dublin's O'Connell Bridge has been there for three years. The plaque claims to mark the spot where a Father Pat Noise drowned when his carriage plunged into the Liffey, in suspicious circumstances, in 1919. But Dublin City Council says the priest is a fictitious figure, and wants the mystery sculptor to come forward. The plaque is arousing great public interest, and flowers and candles have been left on the bridge in memory of…
Categories: History, Places Comments (11)
Did Idaho Get Its Name As A Result Of A Hoax?
Posted by The Curator on Wed Apr 26, 2006
Status: Undetermined Following a post about how California got its name, Boing Boing added an interesting reader comment alleging that Idaho got its name because of a hoax: "When a name was being selected for new territory, eccentric lobbyist George M. Willing suggested 'Idaho,' which he claimed was a Native American term meaning 'gem of the mountains'. It was later revealed Willing had made up the name himself, and the original Idaho territory was re-named Colorado because of it. Eventually the controversy was forgotten, and modern-day Idaho was given the made-up name when the Idaho Territory was formally created in 1863." I had never heard this before, so I did a…
Categories: Literature/Language, Places Comments (11)
Giant Laser
Posted by The Curator on Wed Apr 19, 2006
Status: Real Found on Flickr: a cool picture of a giant laser beaming out of the MMT Telescope, on top of Mt. Hopkins in Arizona. The guy who took it, Filip Pizlo, says it's not photoshopped, and I'm willing to believe him, if only because when I was a grad student at UC San Diego there was a green laser beam similar to this visible in the sky over La Jolla almost every night. I never figured out where it was coming from or what the purpose of it was. It couldn't have been coming from the MMT…
Categories: Photos/Videos, Places Comments (18)
Fake Zebras Face Extinction
Posted by The Curator on Tue Apr 11, 2006
Status: News Thanks to Big Gary for sending me this story about Tijuana's fake zebras, which are facing extinction. The Tijuana zebras are donkeys painted to look like zebras. Tourists like to get their picture taken with them. It's a decades-old tradition. The Reuters article explains: "It all started in the 1930s when someone decided to paint the donkeys up with stripes so that they'd look better in black-and-white photographs," recalled Jorge Bonillas, a sprightly 75-year-old who has worked with the animals since 1941. But now tourism to Tijuana has been drying up because of fears about the…
Categories: Animals, Places Comments (8)
Welcome to Detroit
Posted by The Curator on Sat Apr 08, 2006
Status: Prank Columnist Tom Greenwood of the Detroit News reports that a sign has been spotted "attached to an authentic Michigan Department of Transportation post on southbound Interstate 75 at the Oakland/Wayne county line." It reads: Welcome to Detroit. We hope you survive. There's no word on how long this has been up, or for how long. Of course, fake road signs have been a popular prank for quite some time. There's the fake road sign project in Lyons, France, in which "105 street signs, realised by 47 worldwide artists, and just similar enough to real traffic signs…
Categories: Places, Pranks Comments (5)
Ballymena Boots Hang From Power Line
Posted by The Curator on Thu Apr 06, 2006
Status: Prank Power company workers in Ballymena (Northern Ireland) were amazed to discover five pairs of shoes hanging from a power line along the road between Larne and Ballymena. Ballymena Today reports: Electricity engineers could only look skyward in bemusement at the bizarre sight of the shoes and boots hanging from the line, baffled as to who, why and how this was done. The inspiration for the prank may have come from the fantasy film Big Fish. In the film, the most memorable scene occurs when the young Edward Bloom, played by Ewan McGregor, visits the town of Spector, where it…
Categories: Places, Pranks Comments (14)
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