The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Folklore/Tall Tales
Japanese Poodle Scam Revealed as Hoax — The Japanese poodle scam - wherein thousands of gullible buyers were sold lambs instead of the dogs they were expecting - was first reported in UK Sun newspaper. The story went that rich women were buying cut-price poodles from a company named Poodles For Pets, and were astonished to find later that they were sheep. The story itself was immediately dubious (aside from being in The Sun, which tends to be somewhat lax in the fact-checking department), when you consider snippets like:
Posted: Wed May 02, 2007.   Comments (5)

Tall-Tale Postcard Gallery — The Wisconsin Historical Society has just posted a large collection of tall-tale postcards online, along with some accompanying history. Definitely worth checking out. Highlights include galleries devoted to two early masters of the tall-tale genre, William H. Martin and Alfred Stanley Johnson. It's also possible to buy reproductions of these prints through their website. The only thing I find regrettable is that their site is full of all kinds of warnings threatening people not to…
Posted: Thu Dec 21, 2006.   Comments (13)

Museum of Hoaxes Christmas Tree — We set up the Christmas tree in the house a few days ago, and in a flash of inspiration I figured, why not have some hoax-themed ornaments. So I created a few. All that was required was printing the pictures on card paper and cutting them out. I created a whole bunch. (I was procrastinating.) Pictured below (clockwise from top left) are the jackalope, fur-bearing trout, Bigfoot, Cottingley fairy, Nessie, and Touristguy. Nessie and Bigfoot kept fighting, so I had to move them apart. Now…
Posted: Fri Dec 08, 2006.   Comments (15)

Tall-Tale Creature Haiku — A few months ago one of the site-related projects I was working on was revising the Tall-Tale Creature Gallery. Before I got totally sidetracked by having to focus on my next book, I managed to add quite a few new creatures to it. I also added a feature allowing people to post haiku about the creatures, thus returning to the theme of hoax haiku first seen here two years ago. I didn't expect to get many haiku contributions. After all, I hadn't told anyone that I had updated the…
Posted: Sun Nov 05, 2006.   Comments (16)


Quick Links: Banana Phone, etc. — Banana Phone Disguise your mobile phone as a banana. Admittedly a pretty stupid product, and yet I want one. Too bad I'm one of the last people on Earth not to own a mobile phone. (via OhGizmo) 5Lb Fat Replica Amazon is selling a "A grossly dramatic replica of 5 lbs. of fat." However, gift wrapping is not available for this item, so you can't send it as a mean gift to someone you don't like. The one reviewer for this item gives it "Bonus points for the realistic blood vessels!" I…
Posted: Mon Aug 14, 2006.   Comments (12)

Long Live The Hodag — Status: New Book Kurt Kortenhof has sent word that his new book, LONG LIVE THE HODAG — The Life and Legacy of Eugene Simeon Shepard is now in print. For anyone interested in hoaxes, tall tales, and folklore, I figure it should be interesting. I've already ordered a copy. For those who don't know what the Hodag is, it's a creature native to Wisconsin. It's said to have the head of a bull, the back of a dinosaur, and the leering features of a giant man. You can still find it featured on…
Posted: Wed May 10, 2006.   Comments (2)

The Boonville Beer — Status: Tall-tale creature I've found another beer to add to my list of hoax-themed beers: Boonville Beer. Its label shows a picture of a bear with antlers. I was having a bottle of this beer (the outmeal stout) out on the patio this afternoon, saw the antlered bear, and got curious. A quick internet search revealed that the creature isn't actually a bear. The Anderson Valley Brewing Company website explains: It's not a bear. Bears don't have antlers. Of course not. Who ever heard…
Posted: Sun Apr 09, 2006.   Comments (2)

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)

The Fur-Bearing Lobster — Status: Real Science has long recognized the existence of the fur-bearing trout, which lives in the rivers and lakes of North America. Now its Pacific cousin has been found: the fur-bearing lobster (scientific name Kiwa hirsuta). According to the BBC, "A US-led team found the animal last year in waters 2,300m (7,540ft) deep at a site 1,500km (900 miles) south of Easter Island, an expert has claimed. Details appear in the journal of Paris' National Museum of Natural History." So what…
Posted: Wed Mar 08, 2006.   Comments (14)

Whopper Hopper — Status: Tall-Tale Photo It's good to see that people are still making whopper hopper photos. (via Daily Owned)
Posted: Fri Jan 20, 2006.   Comments (2)

Chuck Norris Facts — Status: Tall TalesI don't know when the Chuck Norris facts first appeared on the internet. Many of you might already be aware of them. But just in case you're not, they're worth a look. Here's a few of the facts: • Chuck Norris does not sleep. He waits. • The chief export of Chuck Norris is pain. • If you can see Chuck Norris, he can see you. If you can't see Chuck Norris, you may be only seconds away from death. Chuck Norris is aware of these "facts" being spread about him. So far,…
Posted: Fri Jan 13, 2006.   Comments (280)

Man Celebrates Christmas Every Day — Status: Probably a hoax Andy Park claims that he celebrates Christmas every day: Since "becoming Mr Christmas" in 1993, the 45-year-old electrician has eaten 109,500 sprouts. He devours 25 of them with a full roast-turkey dinner daily before watching a recording of the Queen's speech, sherry in hand... So deep is his love for Christmas that, over 12 years, he reckons he has consumed 4,380 turkeys (one a day), 87,600 mince pies (20 a day), 2,190 pints of gravy (half a pint a day),…
Posted: Sat Dec 17, 2005.   Comments (18)

Alibi Network — Status: Real In June 2004 the New York Times published an article about alibi networks, which are informal networks of people who will provide excuses for each other: Cellphone-based alibi clubs, which have sprung up in the United States, Europe and Asia, allow people to send out mass text messages to thousands of potential collaborators asking for help. When a willing helper responds, the sender and the helper devise a lie, and the helper then calls the victim with the excuse -- not…
Posted: Tue Nov 22, 2005.   Comments (4)

Dead Jackalope — In Jackalope news: a Minnesota woman found in her yard a dead rabbit with horns growing out of its head, exactly like a jackalope. A veterinarian declared that it had been infected by Shope papilloma virus, "a highly contagious disease that causes rabbits to grow things on their head and face that look like horns." The veterinarian's explanation is, of course, part of the continuing conspiracy to conceal the existence of jackalopes from the general public.
Posted: Wed Sep 07, 2005.   Comments (23)

Roommates, Roaches, and Armadillos — Here's an unusual urban legend that I haven't heard before. It involves a group of students at Texas A&M University who are sharing a house together. It's in the genre of 'roommate horror stories'. According to the story, one of the students is an entomology major and keeps a collection of giant Africanized cockroaches in a terrarium. But during a party the terrarium breaks and the roaches escape, only to start breeding like crazy in the house. To solve this roach problem the students…
Posted: Wed Mar 09, 2005.   Comments (15)

Photos of Snouters — A Japanese artist, whose name (I think) is Takiwa, has an amazing collection of photographs of Snouters up on his website. Snouters, of course, is the popular term for Rhinogrades. If you have no idea what these creatures are, you can read more about them on the page I have devoted to them here. (via Liquito)
Posted: Mon Feb 14, 2005.   Comments (14)

How To Escape From An Avalanche — Ananova comes through with another incredibly believable story, this time about a Slovak man who claims that he freed himself from being trapped under an avalanche by peeing his way out. Thankfully he had 60 bottles of beer with him to help him in this endeavor. He was sitting there, trapped in his car beneath the snow, so he cracked open a beer, and then the brilliant idea came to him: I can pee my way out! They quote this guy as saying: "I was scooping the snow from above me and…
Posted: Sat Jan 29, 2005.   Comments (22)

A Wooden Hand — Back in November I posted something about a guy who claimed to have a 'hand of corn' (i.e. an ear of corn shaped like a hand). This struck a chord with Mr. Starbucks (that's his screen name) who remembered that his Grandmother claimed to have once found a piece of wood naturally shaped like a hand. He's now found his Grandma's wooden hand and sent me some pictures of it. He says that, "In my opinion, I think it's a hoax. How would a piece of wood form into that shape?" But, come on, Mr.…
Posted: Thu Jan 27, 2005.   Comments (5)

Man Sells Left Nut on eBay — A guy from Texas is selling his left nut on eBay so that he can buy a tractor. Ha Ha. It's a peanut. But I think I see the face of Jesus on it.
Posted: Thu Jan 20, 2005.   Comments (13)

Waiting for Mr. Tsunami — I found this posted in the alt.folklore.urban usenet group: A while before the catastrophe, a local clerk in one of the countries hit by the tsunamis receives a warning note stating "Tsunami will reach you shortly!" - and, in response, sends a welcome crew to the local airport, to welcome and pick up the mysterious "Mr Tsunami", whom he expects to be an unannounced ministerial visitor or inspector. I don't understand why a clerk would have received a message warning him about the…
Posted: Fri Jan 14, 2005.   Comments (3)

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