The Hoax Museum Blog
Was Junior Seau’s death predicted on Craigslist? (of course not)
Posted by The Curator on Mon May 07, 2012
The death last week of former Chargers linebacker Junior Seau was big news here in San Diego. But then, as deadspin.com reports, a rumor began circulating that his death had been predicted on Craigslist. Specifically, on May 1, a day before Seau died, this post apparently was posted on San Diego Craigslist: The solution to this is simple. Someone must have edited the post after the fact to turn it into an accurate prediction. Either that, or Nostradamus has come back from the grave and is lurking around Craigslist. (But then, the prediction should have been in the form of a quatrain.)
New Research Suggests Link Between Welsh Rugby And Papal Deaths
Posted by The Curator on Mon Apr 23, 2012
In December 2008, two doctors published a study in the journal BMJ investigating what they called the "urban legend" that there's a link between Welsh rugby and papal deaths. Specifically, that "every time Wales win the rugby grand slam, a Pope dies, except for 1978 when Wales were really good, and two Popes died." They found that there was indeed a "borderline significant (P=0.047) association between Welsh performance and the number of papal deaths but no significant association between papal mortality and performance of any other home nation." But despite this weak association, they nevertheless dismissed the theory of the pope-rugby link as "nothing more than an urban myth, based largely on two…
The Great Pingpong Hoax of 1974
Posted by The Curator on Tue Apr 10, 2012
The Akron Beacon Journal tells the story of the Great University of Akron pingpong hoax: Local history: Fake pingpong team pulls off hoax at University of Akron in 1970s ohio.com The University of Akron table-tennis team created a national sensation in the 1970s by compiling a winning record without playing a single game. Submitting articles about a pingpong team that didn't exist, UA students pulled off an outrageous hoax against the Buchtelite newspaper... The writers peppered their stories with details about flagrant fouls and trying conditions: A foe threw ice chips on a table, a player hurt his knee, a coach got kicked out after protesting a referee's call, rowdy fans interrupted…
The Turd in the Olympic Ring
Posted by The Curator on Sat Apr 07, 2012
Brian Chapman reports the start of an interesting Olympics 2012 rumor on his Legends & Rumors blog: Enormous Olympic rings have started popping up in London. There's a set at St Pancras, another recently floated down the Thames, and a third set will be suspended at Tower Bridge. We're told that there's something special about one of the rings. Someone involved in their construction had a bit of a downer on the whole Olympics in London thing. So he took a shit inside one of the rings. And then had it welded shut.
A Bullfighter Repents
Posted by The Curator on Wed Mar 07, 2012
The following photo and caption has recently begun to circulate online. It's all over Facebook. "And suddenly, I looked at the bull. He had this innocence... that all animals have in their eyes, and he looked at me with this pleading. It was like a cry for justice, deep down inside of me. I describe it as being like a prayer - because if one confesses, it is hoped, that one is forgiven. I felt like the worst shit on earth." This photo shows the collapse of Torrero Alvaro Munera, as he realized in the middle of his last fight... the injustice to the animal. From…
Turning Yankee dirt into gold
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jan 18, 2012
Mark HaywardA pile of dirt may not be worth much money. But a pile of dirt that was once beneath Yankee Stadium could potentially have more value. Especially if that dirt was packed into key chains and other corporate gift items and then sold at a big markup in sporting goods stores. That was the pitch Mark Hayward used to convince a victim to give him $35,000 -- as an investment in this Yankee dirt scheme. As far as I can tell (the news report isn't really clear) Hayward never had the dirt in question. Eventually the victim got suspicious. And now Hayward is facing charges of first-degree larceny. Link:…
Did Dempsey load his gloves?
Posted by The Curator on Thu Sep 01, 2011
Brian Cronin has an article posted on the LA Times site discussing the question of whether Jack Dempsey "loaded" his gloves during his title fight against Jess Willard on July 4, 1919. Apparently this has been a lingering controversy in boxing ever since the fight itself, inspired by the fact that Dempsey didn't just defeat Willard, but absolutely pummeled him senseless, knocking him down seven times in the first round alone. There are two theories of how Dempsey might have loaded his gloves. The first is that Dempsey coated his hands with plaster of paris, so that he was essentially hitting Willard with cement blocks. But as Boxing Illustrated discovered when they tested this theory, plaster…
Is this fish a world record or a cheat?
Posted by The Curator on Mon Sep 21, 2009
From Wired.com: On September 5, Saskatchewan fisherman Sean Konrad caught a 48-pound, world-record rainbow trout. The fish came from Lake Diefenbaker, where trout genetically engineered to grow extra-big escaped from a fish farm nine years ago... Technically known as triploids, they’re designed with three sets of chromosomes, making them sterile and channeling energies normally spent reproducing towards growth. In 2007, on a message board of the International Game Fish Association, the angling world’s record- and ethics-keeping body, some fishermen argued that triploids were unnatural, as divorced from the sport’s history…
Golf Trick Shot
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jul 10, 2009
116-year-old Basketball Shoes
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jul 06, 2009
Two days ago Boing Boing posted about the discovery of a pair of 116-year-old basketball shoes: The shoes were manufactured by the Colchester Rubber Company which shut down in 1893. Vintage clothing dealer Gary Pifer paid 50 cents for them at an estate sale in Vista, California. From CafeTerra: "In a instant, I knew this discovery would be re-writing basketball and sneaker history, as these sneakers are 25 years older than the 1917 Converse All-Stars", added Pifer. The Colchester Rubber Co. was located in Colchester, Connecticut and was in…
The Panama Women’s Cricket Team
Posted by The Curator on Fri May 15, 2009
The latest viral hoax photos circulating online claim to show shots of the Panama Women's Cricket Team. It doesn't take a degree in Photoshop to realize these women's buttocks have been digitally altered. Fool Blogger has tracked down what appears to be one of the unaltered originals. The Fakes: The Real One: What I don't know is whether this actually is the Panama Women's Cricket Team. A google search for "Panama Women's Cricket Team" simply brings up these photos.
Posted by The Curator on Mon Mar 16, 2009
Too close to the real thing. Yachting Monthly reports that the April Fool it inserted into its current issue ruffled a few feathers: In our bid to insert some authentication into the prank about children competing in world sailing stunts we used the fictitious name: Ocean Youth Association. We did not foresee that by Googling this name - which according to Caroline White of the Ocean Youth Trust many people did - her own organisation and that of the Association of Sail Training Organisations came up. Both these organisations were then contacted by folks seeking clarification. Unfortunately, they don't seem to have the April Fool itself on their site.
Sixty-Inch Box Jump
Posted by The Curator on Mon Mar 16, 2009
The Atlantic Swim Hoax
Posted by The Curator on Tue Feb 17, 2009
A couple of people emailed me about this, though I think it's more a case of miscommunication rather than a deliberate hoax. A little over a week ago the media reported that 56-year-old Jennifer Figge had become the first woman to swim the Atlantic. But then people started to do the math, and realized that if she had really swum 2100 in 25 days, then she had performed a superhuman feat. Two days later the AP published a retraction, quoting Figge's spokesman who stated she swam only 250 miles, not 2100. Which is why it seems more like a case of miscommunication to me. Figge didn't appear to…
Who invented baseball?
Posted by The Curator on Thu Nov 06, 2008
The most well-promoted story about the invention of baseball is that Abner Doubleday invented it in Cooperstown, New York in 1839. This story was given the official stamp of approval in 1907 by Albert Spalding, who was head of a Special Baseball Commission established by President McKinley, charged with determining the true origin of the game. This is the reason the Baseball Hall of Fame is in Cooperstown. In Can We Have Our Balls Back, Please? (published in Great Britain this month) Julian Norridge argues for the British origin of baseball, pointing out that British references to baseball can be found as far back as 1755, and that