The Museum of Hoaxes
hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive
   
The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Places
Fake Zebras Face Extinction — 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…
Posted: Tue Apr 11, 2006.   Comments (8)

Welcome to Detroit — 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…
Posted: Sat Apr 08, 2006.   Comments (5)

Ballymena Boots Hang From Power Line — 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…
Posted: Thu Apr 06, 2006.   Comments (14)

Leprechaun Loose in Alabama — Status: Undetermined Some residents of Mobile, Alabama are claiming that a leprechaun is loose in their neighborhood. It shows up in the branches of a tree at night. Apparently it can't be photographed, but the thumbnail shows an "amateur sketch" of what people say it looks like. The NBC 15 news broadcast that covered this interesting phenomenon reports that: "eyewitnesses say the leprechaun only comes out at night. If you shine a light in its direction, it suddenly disappears." Make…
Posted: Thu Mar 23, 2006.   Comments (51)


Fake Irish Pubs — Status: Ersatz Irishness Perfectly timed for St. Patrick's Day, Austin Kelley has an interesting article in Slate.com about the faux Irish pub revolution... i.e. how Irish pubs slapped together with off-the-shelf charm and quaintness have been popping up in cities all over the world. The term I've heard to describe this phenomenon (which Kelley doesn't mention) is To Irishise, meaning to transform a bar, with the help of interior design specialists, into a fake Irish pub. Kelley traces…
Posted: Fri Mar 17, 2006.   Comments (14)

Philippine Urban Legends (Jose Rizal was Jack the Ripper) — Status: urban legends An article from the Philippine Daily Inquirer records some Philippine urban legends: the "White Lady" of Balete Drive, Robina Gokongwei's "snake twin" lurking in department store dressing rooms, the elusive "kapre" that lives in an ancient mango tree near the Emilio Aguinaldo house in Kawit town, and Andres Bonifacio's love child from a place aptly named Libog (now Santo Domingo) in Albay province. None of those mean much to me. But most of the article is devoted…
Posted: Wed Feb 22, 2006.   Comments (190)

Mexican Row Houses — Status: Real This looks like a painting, or a picture of toy houses, but apparently it's neither. These are real houses. The picture was taken by a Mexican helicopter pilot. (I can only find his last name, which is Ruiz Oscar Ruiz.) He writes of this picture: "REAL PICTURE! 300+ low income homes in Ixtapaluca, complex has more than 10,000!" The link goes to his gallery of aerial photographs of Mexico City. This photo is nine rows down on the right.
Posted: Mon Feb 13, 2006.   Comments (32)

Painted Room Illusions — Status: Real These photos show rooms painted in such a way that, if you stand in the correct place, a pattern will appear. Despite looking photoshopped, they are real. The painted rooms are the creations of artist Felice Varini. On his website you can find more examples of his art if you search around long enough (and struggle through the incredibly bad navigation). Varini writes: The painted form achieves its coherence when the viewer stands at the vantage point. When he* moves out of…
Posted: Thu Feb 02, 2006.   Comments (11)

Flying Car on Google Earth — Status: Undetermined The Register has found what appears to be a flying car, captured by the satellite imagery of Google Earth. It's definitely either a flying car, a car parked alongside a dark-looking patch on the ground, a car-shaped object floating in the air... or maybe a UFO! The Register provides some screenshots of the object, but unfortunately no direct link. (Google Maps doesn't cover Australia, so you'll need the Google Earth program to see it). The mysterious object is…
Posted: Tue Jan 24, 2006.   Comments (69)

Campus Urban Legends — Status: urban legends The Auburn Plainsman (student paper of Auburn University) has a short article about campus urban legends. The ones they list are: Endowment from old lady bans sorority houses: This UL seems to exist on every college campus that doesn't have sorority houses. It states that some rich old woman left a large sum of money to the college on the condition that they ban sorority houses, because she considered them to be brothels. The more likely reality, among those…
Posted: Thu Jan 19, 2006.   Comments (33)

Rogue Paint Line — Status: Undetermined What is the meaning of a two-mile line of paint that stretches through central London? No one knows who put it there or why. The BBC reports: It begins on the pavement at a bus stop in Euston and only stops for roads, starting again on the pavement on the other side... Camden Council, Transport for London and electricity suppliers say they did not put it there. Theories include it being a drunken prank or street art. Maybe it's a message from aliens. But…
Posted: Mon Jan 16, 2006.   Comments (11)

House For Sale - Princess Caraboo’s Grave Attached — Status: A piece of hoax history for sale The Bristol Evening Post reports that the house adjacent to what is believed to be Princess Caraboo's grave in Bristol is up for sale. The asking price is a fairly reasonable £299,950 (about $530,000). (I reported back in 2003 that the gravesite was in danger of being paved over to make a parking lot, but I guess that threat was averted.) I can't find the Bristol Evening Post article online, but here's the property listing. (From the date of the…
Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2006.   Comments (7)

The State of Maddocha — Status: Fiction Olivia Bruce emailed me to ask: Where is this place...or does it just not exist? I'd be hard-pressed to say where exactly Maddocha is. (Its official website simply says that Maddocha was "a wide-open space that was discovered and then occupied by John Madly and his family.") So I'm going to go with option B. It just doesn't exist. A quick google search reveals that Maddocha seems to be the creation of Deartra D. Boone.
Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2006.   Comments (12)

Cooling Down With David — Status: Fake Maybe some city really did sponsor the urban art project depicted below. But I doubt it. It definitely looks photoshopped to me. There must be an original David-free version of this picture floating around somewhere. Update: The fountain is real. It's the Crown Fountain designed by artist Jaume Plensa in Chicago's Millennium Park. But the image of David is fake. The Millennium Park website explains: The fountain consists of two 50-foot glass block towers at each end of a…
Posted: Thu Dec 01, 2005.   Comments (8)

Big Foot High School — Status: Real I know of many high schools named after Washington, Lincoln, or other famous characters from U.S. history, but as far as I'm aware, there's only one Big Foot High School. It's located in Walworth, Wisconsin. However, it's not named after the Bigfoot monster. Instead, it's named after an Indian Chief: Big Foot Union High School is named after the Potawatomi Indian Chief Big Foot who lived along the banks of Geneva Lake until his tribe was relocated by the United States…
Posted: Mon Nov 28, 2005.   Comments (27)

The Palace of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan — Status: Email hoax (real pictures, fake caption)Bad: Falling for an email hoax. Worse: Using the hoax as the basis for your presentation to the local city planning commission, thereby displaying your gullibility to the entire public. As reported by the Muncie Star Press (no link), Don Love gets the award for doing the latter. He received an email containing a series of pictures of an opulent estate (shown below), with the caption: In case you're wondering where this hotel is, it isn't…
Posted: Tue Nov 15, 2005.   Comments (69)

Japanese Urban Legends — Status: Urban legends The blog of Mari Kanazawa has an interesting post about Japanese urban legends. Here are some of the highlights: Turbo Gramma: When you drive on the highway at a blistering speed gramma knocks on the car window. If you see her, you will have a car accident. Someone made a turbo gramma game. Touch the Red G-String: The delivery company trade mark of Sagawa is "Hikyaku", a traditional Japanese postman. Hikyaku wore a traditional red Japanese g-string Fundoshi! The…
Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2005.   Comments (7)

Grand Canyon Skywalk — Status: Real My wife emailed me this image, wondering if it was real. Yes, it's real. I think it's been circulating around for a while. It's one of those once-in-a-blue-moon kind of emails in which all the information is actually correct: New Grand Canyon Sky walk * Scheduled to open Jan. 1, 2006 Hualapai Indian Reservation * Juts about 70 feet into the canyon, 4000 ft above the Colorado River * Will accommodate 120 people comfortably * Built with more than a million pounds of…
Posted: Fri Nov 04, 2005.   Comments (47)

The Curse of Saint Edmund — Status: Unlikely A group of anti-development activists calling themselves the Knights of Saint Edmund have hit upon an unusual way of stopping a shopping center from being built in their hometown, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk. They're threatening to unleash the ancient Curse of St. Edmund upon the developers. Their website states that: On St Edmund's day, the 20th November 2005, a formal and public cursing ceremony will take place at Bury St Edmunds to once again summon the avenging saint…
Posted: Mon Oct 31, 2005.   Comments (18)

Loo With A View — Status: Real A photo is doing the email circuit, showing a bathroom that men who don't enjoy being watched as they 'go about their business' might not want to use. Yes, it is a real bathroom. It's located on the second floor of the Sofitel Hotel in Queenstown, New Zealand. Here's from a press release about the bathroom: Queenstown photographer Sheena Haywood shot the images of models from local agency Ican -- after Auckland model agencies turned down the job when they heard where the…
Posted: Fri Oct 28, 2005.   Comments (14)

Page 4 of 8 pages ‹ First  < 2 3 4 5 6 >  Last ›
All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.