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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Sports
Conger Cuddling Contest Cancelled — Status: Real (weird news) If standing on a wooden platform as people hurl giant dead eels at you is your idea of a good time, then sorry, it's too late. The giant dead eel tossing contest held in the English village of Lyme Regis for the past 30 years has been cancelled. A lone animal-rights activist spoiled everyone's fun by complaining that the contest was disrespectful to the dead eel. It sounds to me like the guy may have been joking. (He sent his complaint via an anonymous email.)…
Posted: Mon Jul 31, 2006.   Comments (12)

Headless Gymnast — Status: Strange but real A strange photo can be seen on Yahoo! News Photo. It looks like this gymnast is headless, though, of course, that's just an illusion created by the angle of the camera. The gymnast is Katherine Coronel of Venezuela. The photo was taken by Martin Bernetti.
Posted: Wed Jul 26, 2006.   Comments (7)

Professional Staredown Contests — Status: Fictional Unflinching Triumph, a recently released movie, explores the little-known subculture of Professional Staredown contests (aka Staring Contests). You can view the movie in its entirety online (free and legal!), or view the trailer at YouTube. If you believe the movie, there really is such a thing as professional staredown contests. This illusion is strengthened by the website of the National Association of Staredown Professionals (NASP) and the website of Staredown…
Posted: Sun Jul 16, 2006.   Comments (11)

Concrete Soccer Ball Prank — Status: Prank I probably shouldn't be amused by this. After all, it could cause someone to really damage their toes: TWO people in Berlin are nursing bruised toes after kicking footballs that have been filled with CONCRETE. German cops are hunting the prankster who has been filling the balls with cement and leaving them around Berlin along with signs saying: "Can you kick it?" Six of the concrete stuffed footballs have been found so far, all chained to fences. A police spokesman said:…
Posted: Wed Jul 05, 2006.   Comments (9)


Shin Break — Status: Undetermined I've never seen anyone break a bone in real life. I've never even broken one of my own bones. So I don't have much to go on to decide if this clip of a kickboxer breaking his leg is real or fake. But it sure looks fake, especially the way his foot immediately resembles a limp sock once his shin breaks. But perhaps that's what a broken shin looks like.
Posted: Wed Jun 21, 2006.   Comments (27)

Giant Ball Crashed Into Building — Status: Photoshopped Here's a picture that's going around, just in time for the upcoming World Cup. Apparently this was created a couple of years ago for a Nike campaign in Mexico. However, the image is just a concept piece created by the JWT agency (i.e. it's photoshopped). This was never done in real life. Pity. It would be a pretty cool piece of urban art if it were real. (via Coolzor)
Posted: Sat Jun 03, 2006.   Comments (11)

Cordless Jump Rope — Status: Weird, but real The U.S. Patent Office recently awarded patent number 7037243 to Lester Clancy, inventor of the cordless jump rope. It's a jump rope without the rope. I guess you could call it an 'air rope'. However, it does have handles. Here's the description from the patent: An exercise apparatus is provided that simulates the effects of jumping rope, but does not utilize an actual rope. Two handles are provided similar in appearance to jump rope handles. At the end of the…
Posted: Wed May 31, 2006.   Comments (20)

Real-Life Fight Club for Techies — Status: Undetermined The Associated Press reports that software engineers in Menlo Park, CA, taking a cue from the movie Fight Club, have begun forming real-life fight clubs in which they pummel each other senseless after work: They may sport love handles and Ivy League degrees, but every two weeks, some Silicon Valley techies turn into vicious street brawlers in a real-life, underground fight club. Kicking, punching and swinging every household object imaginable -- from frying pans…
Posted: Tue May 30, 2006.   Comments (9)

Pat Robertson Can Leg Press 2000 Pounds — Status: Must be False (by reason of being physically impossible) Pat Robertson claims to be able to leg press 2000 pounds. If this is true, it would be a world record. Even more improbably, his trainer claims to be able to leg press 2700 pounds. I don't know when Robertson first posted this bizarre claim on his Christian Broadcasting Network website (it's included in a sales pitch for his "age-defying protein shake"), but it came to the attention of the blogosphere on May 22 when Clay…
Posted: Sat May 27, 2006.   Comments (38)

Naked Skydiving — Status: Hoax Here's an amusing article that deserves mention on Regret the Error (the weblog about newspaper corrections), if it isn't already there.Tabloid Aftonbladet has been forced to withdraw an article about naked Swedish skydivers, after it turned out that the paper had been the victim of a hoax. The article, headed "It's wonderful - but cold", described how Stockholm Skydiving Club had celebrated spring by jumping from a height of 4,000 metres in their birthday suits. The paper…
Posted: Fri May 12, 2006.   Comments (7)

Brain Gym — Status: Highly dubious Based on the description on the Brain Gym website, Brain Gym sounds like a pretty good idea. It's "a program of physical movements that enhance learning and performance in ALL areas." The program, which consists of 26 different exercises, is now being used in a lot of schools to help kids learn. Exercise can definitely improve mental acuity, so having kids do something like this would seem to make sense. But as Ben Goldacre revealed in a recent Bad Science column,…
Posted: Tue Apr 11, 2006.   Comments (18)

Story Rights to Purdue Basketball Hoax For Sale — Status: True. Make an offer! Back in December 2003 media outlets including ESPN and the San Diego Union Tribune ran a story about Purdue signing the wrong Jason Smith to a basketball scholarship. Due to a paperwork mix-up, Purdue had apparently given the scholarship to 5'6" Jason Smith computer geek, instead of 6'6" Jason Smith point guard. (Both Smiths attended the same school.) The story, it turned out, wasn't true. It was the fictional work of Josh Whicker who had posted it on his…
Posted: Wed Apr 05, 2006.   Comments (5)

Victoria’s Secret Basketball Prank — Status: prank Here's a prank that definitely rates as one of the more inventive (and cruel) student pranks of recent years. The set-up occurred a week before a NCAA game pitting UC Berkeley against the University of Southern California. USC's starting guard, Gabe Pruitt (pictured), met a UCLA coed named Victoria online. They traded messages via AOL Instant Messenger. She sent him her picture. He sent her his. They arranged to meet after the game on March 4. The sinker occurred during…
Posted: Fri Mar 17, 2006.   Comments (10)

85-year-old Woman To Climb Everest — Status: Hoax (mockumentary) Mary Woodbridge, from Greenfield, Great Britain, plans to climb Mount Everest, and she's taking her dachsund, Daisy, with her. Some might think her age will prove an obstacle (she's 85), but Mary is very confident in herself and has set herself some real challenges. She writes: I'm not really into this whole camping thing. So Daisy and I will choose a direct route from the Base Camp to the Top... We have decided to go without Sherpas. Poor guys! I can…
Posted: Wed Mar 08, 2006.   Comments (1)

World-Record Hoaxes — I received this email from Alanna Fraser: I am a development producer working at KEO Films in London. I'm looking into the possibility of doing a documentary/series on people who have faked world records/cheated/hood-winked people (either Guinness World Records or others). I came across your website when I was looking for info on this subject on the internet, and wondered whether you might be able to help me out with any advice or suggestions? I'd really appreciate any help that you…
Posted: Thu Feb 09, 2006.   Comments (22)

Inappropriate Cheer Photoshops — Status: Photo parodies The USC cheerleader caught (supposedly) giving an inappropriate cheer during the Rose Bowl is now being photoshopped into everything. A whole bunch of the images can be seen here. I suppose this was inevitable, especially the pairing of her and Touristguy.
Posted: Mon Jan 23, 2006.   Comments (14)

90 Million People Flush Toilet During SuperBowl Half-Time — Status: Undetermined According to Scott Tissue, during the halftime of the SuperBowl (or the Big Game as they call it, to avoid infringing on the NFL's trademark) "more than 350 million gallons of water will flush through our toilets as an estimated 90 million people use their facilities. That amount of flushing equals seven minutes of water flowing over the Niagara Falls." Actually, they admit that this is a legend, but they've created a website to cash in on the legend:
Posted: Fri Jan 20, 2006.   Comments (17)

90-year-old Kung Fu Master Does Finger Stand — Status: Fake Check out this video of Monk Hai-Tank (wmv file). He's 90-years-old, but he still has "finger skill." Which means that he can stand upside-down supported by only one finger. The video obviously has to be fake. I assume they're supporting him with invisible wires. Special effects like this are pretty standard in kung-fu movies. (via Ceticismo Aberto)
Posted: Thu Jan 19, 2006.   Comments (104)

The Inappropriate Cheer — Status: Undetermined A photo has been circulating showing a scene from the recent Rose Bowl in which a USC cheerleader seems to be celebrating a Texas touchdown. Snopes has posted the picture, but is skeptical of the claim that the cheerleader was cheering after a touchdown by the opposing team. They write: "the image appears to represent not a brainless cheerleader who couldn't tell that the other team had just made a touchdown, but a play that resulted in a close scoring call, with…
Posted: Mon Jan 16, 2006.   Comments (6)

Fake Fox Hunts — Status: Real hunt, fake fox Fox hunts on the day after Christmas (Boxing Day) are a British tradition. However, due to a recent ban on fox hunting, any (legal) hunts this year are going to have to be fake. Which has me a bit puzzled. What does a fake hunt involve? The UPI report, where I read about these fake fox hunts, simply says that: Although banned, thousands of fox hunters in Britain took to the trails Monday on horseback for the annual Boxing Day hunt, some of them chasing only…
Posted: Tue Dec 27, 2005.   Comments (9)

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