The Hoax Museum Blog
Sea Captain Date—real or fake?
Posted by The Curator on Tue Feb 21, 2012
As far as niche dating sites go, you can't get much more niche than SeaCaptainDate.com. It describes itself as "the only place for Sea Captains to connect with men and women who share a love of the ocean." Now I'm willing to believe that there are niche dating sites out there, but SeaCaptainDate.com seems a little too weird to be real. Is it really just an elaborate joke? I'm not the first to ponder this question. The site first attracted attention back in Jan 2011, when articles about it appeared on nerve.com, time.com, and howaboutwe.com (among others). These sites expressed some doubts, but…
Posted by The Curator on Thu Oct 06, 2011
The Huffington Post reports that FakeGirlfriend.co is a texting service that has joined the ranks of fake-girlfriend providers: you need to save the Fake Girlfriend number into your phone under her fictitious name. Then, when you're out with friends or a woman you're trying to make jealous, just text that number. You'll shortly get a text and then a pre-recorded call. In a similar vein, Cloud Girlfriend is a service that allows you to create a fake Facebook girlfriend. I wrote a bit about the history of imaginary online girlfriends in Hippo Eats Dwarf. The…
Posted by The Curator on Wed Nov 17, 2010
The news from Italy is that Silvio Berlusconi has been engaging in some wild "Bunga Bunga" parties. Or so says a 17-year-old Moroccan belly dancer who attended one of these parties. No one is really sure what a Bunga Bunga party entails, except that Berlusconi apparently learned the practice from Muammar Kaddafi, and it has something to do with sex. On Slate.com, Brian Palmer explores the mystery of just what Bunga Bunga might be. The leading theory is that it derives from an old joke in which some western explorers are caught by a primitive tribe and offered a choice between Death or Bunga Bunga. I've actually…
Margaret Mead Redeemed?
Posted by The Curator on Mon Dec 21, 2009
A new salvo has been fired in the ongoing controversy about whether the anthropologist Margaret Mead was "hoaxed" during her research in Samoa in 1925. I've got a brief article about the controversy in the hoax archive. To summarize: Mead traveled to Samoa, interviewed some teenage girls about their sexual behavior, and concluded that Samoan culture had very relaxed, easygoing attitudes about sex. Almost sixty years later Derek Freeman challenged her findings and claimed that the teenage girls had told her wild tales, which she had been gullible enough to believe. Freeman's claims were partially based on the testimony of one of Mead's interviewees, Fa'apua'a, whom he tracked down in Samoa.
Wanted: Lap Dance Researcher
Posted by The Curator on Thu Dec 03, 2009
A help wanted notice recently appeared on the website of the University of Leeds for a research officer whose job would be to research "The rise and regulation of lap dancing and the place of sexual labour and consumption in the night time economy." Sounds like a hard job. But is it real? Gill, who sent me the link, writes, "It LOOKS like a hoax, it SMELLS like a hoax, but....?" I don't think it's a hoax. It's legitimately on the University of Leeds site, and sociologists definitely study the sex industry. Anyway, anyone who was thinking of applying is too late. The deadline was November 27.
Man propositions girl online; discovers its his wife
Posted by The Curator on Fri Nov 13, 2009
There's an urban legend about an unfaithful husband who strikes up an online relationship with a woman. He finally arranges to meet her, only to discover that his online lover is his wife. The BBC reports a story that's similar to this, but much seedier: A suspicious wife posed as a teenager online to catch her husband propositioning girls in a chatroom, Cardiff Crown Court has heard... The court heard that mother-of-two Mrs Roberts became suspicious about the amount of time her husband was spending in his study and of a message which popped up on their computer…
Viagra Corporate Headquarters
Posted by The Curator on Thu Nov 05, 2009
The title of this image, which has been circulating widely online since at least 2009, is a joke. The building shown is not really the corporate headquarters of Viagra. Of course, Viagra isn't a company. It's a drug manufactured by Pfizer, Inc. But the joke wouldn't work if the photo was titled "Pfizer's Corporate Headquarters." However, this isn't even Pfizer's headquarters. The building is actually the corporate offices of Swagelok Northwest, located in Portland, Oregon at 815 SE Sherman St. The company manufactures valves and fittings for gas and fluid systems. The topiary outside the building is real, as can be seen on Google Maps.…
Perverted Big Brother
Posted by The Curator on Thu Sep 10, 2009
Nine Turkish women thought they had signed up to participate in a reality show. Instead, they had fallen into the clutches of a pornographer, who kept them imprisoned for two months while selling naked photos of them on the internet. "The women were not abused or harassed sexually. They were told however, to fight each other, to wear bikinis and dance by villa's pool." Turkish police finally realized what was going on and freed them. [msnbc.com]
Shanghai Sperm Bank Offers Helping Hand
Posted by The Curator on Fri Sep 04, 2009
Pictures showing a Shanghai Sperm Bank that allegedly "gives men a hand" with sperm donations did the rounds last year, and now they seem to be circulating again. The deal is supposedly that if you agree to get a health check and abstain from sex and masturbation, then you can donate your sperm 4-5 times a month. You get paid RMB200 per session. The sperm bank is located in Ren ji Hospital, No 145 Shan Dong Zhong Lu, Building 1, 7th FL, near Fu Zhou Lu, Shanghai, China. Click here and here for the pics, which are potentially NSFW. The Shanghai Sperm Bank is real, but its…
Repentant cheating husband was a publicity stunt
Posted by The Curator on Wed Sep 02, 2009
Last week a man made headlines when he stood on a busy street corner in a suburb of Washington DC wearing a sign that read, "I cheated. This is my punishment." The man told reporters his wife had ordered him to wear the sign. When I first read this story I thought it sounded like a publicity stunt. Sure enough, a DC radio show, Hot 99.5 "Kane in the Morning," now admits they engineered the stunt. The radio station claims they did it as an experiment to see how much attention the stunt would receive from the media. (With RTL's Michael Jackson stunt, that makes two hoax experiments in one week.) When the…
Does Farrah Fawcett’s hair spell “SEX” in her famous poster?
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jun 25, 2009
In honor of Farrah Fawcett, let's revisit one of the major urban legends of the late 1970s: that the curls of Fawcett's hair, in her famous red-bathing-suit poster, spell out the word "SEX." This legend arose to explain the incredible popularity of the poster, which sold over 12 million copies (by some accounts). It was always a bit of a mystery why that image in particular became such a focus of popular fixation. After all, there were plenty of other posters of scantily clad attractive young women. The subliminal seduction theory offered a seemingly plausible explanation. The poster was so popular, according to this theory, because the brains of young…
Virginity restored six times?
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jun 18, 2009
I've posted before about hymen repair, aka Virginity Restoration Surgery. Inevitably, someone has taken what was a stupid concept to begin with and made it even more ridiculous by taking it to an extreme. Mosnews.com reports that a Russian woman, "Natalia K", restored her virginity a total of six times. Only a life-threatening infection stopped her: When the husband confessed he was upset about her losing her virginity before the wedding and with another man, Natalia decided to make things up for him. To celebrate their first year together as a married couple, she went to…
Cheating Hubby Caught on Street View
Posted by The Curator on Tue Mar 31, 2009
A recent article in The Sun (and we all know how diligent The Sun is about fact checking) claimed that a woman, while using Google Street View, spotted her husband's car parked outside another woman's home. Now she's filing for divorce! But Matt Platino, of the Idiot Forever blog, claims he hoaxed the sun into printing the story: I emailed The Sun, first with the email address firstname.lastname@example.org. I shot them a “frantic” note: Hey Sun, I need your help. One of my mates caught her husband cheating by using…
Wolverine Blow-Up Doll
Posted by The Curator on Fri Mar 20, 2009
A picture of a Wolverine toy with an unfortunately positioned blow-up valve has been doing the rounds. It's another case of satire mistaken as news. The picture originated on the satire site christwire.org, under the headline "Marvel Now Promotes Gay Agenda With Wolverine Toy." But once the image got loose on the web, its satirical origin was lost. Thus, the confusion.
Love in the age of Facebook
Posted by The Curator on Tue Feb 17, 2009
It's hard to tell how much of this story is genuine. Stuart Slann supposedly learned the hard way part of the truth of the old joke that on the internet the men are men, the women are men, and the children are FBI agents. In Stuart's case, Emma, the woman he thought he met on Facebook, was actually two guys playing an elaborate prank on him. Apparently they lured him into driving nine hours to meet Emma in Aberdeen, and then they revealed the truth to him. And since this is the age of YouTube, the pranksters also created a video (now widely viewed) to celebrate the humiliation of their victim.