The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Folklore/Tall Tales
The Fur-Bearing Lobster
Posted by The Curator on Wed Mar 08, 2006
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 is the purpose of the fur? Scientists speculate that "the 'hairy' pincers contained lots of filamentous bacteria... The…
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jan 20, 2006
Chuck Norris Facts
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jan 13, 2006
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, he has generously allowed their authors to live.
Man Celebrates Christmas Every Day
Posted by The Curator on Sat Dec 17, 2005
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), 26,280 roast potatoes (six a day), 30,660 stuffing balls, 219,000 mushy peas, 4,380 bottles of…
Posted by The Curator on Tue Nov 22, 2005
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 unlike having a friend forge a doctor's note for a teacher in the pre-digital age. …
Posted by The Curator on Wed Sep 07, 2005
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.
Roommates, Roaches, and Armadillos
Posted by The Curator on Wed Mar 09, 2005
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 set loose some baby armadillos (since armadillos eat roaches). But soon the armadillos start breeding, without making much of a dent in the roach population, until eventually the house is full of a lot…
Photos of Snouters
Posted by The Curator on Mon Feb 14, 2005
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)
How To Escape From An Avalanche
Posted by The Curator on Sat Jan 29, 2005
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 packing it down below the window, and then I peed on it to melt it. It was hard and now my kidneys and liver hurt. But…
A Wooden Hand
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jan 27, 2005
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. Starbucks! It's your Grandma. If she says that's how she found it, then as her grandson it's your duty to believe her. Anyway,…
Man Sells Left Nut on eBay
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jan 20, 2005
Waiting for Mr. Tsunami
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jan 14, 2005
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 tsunami. But I don't think it's worth trying to understand this, since it's obviously just a dumb joke.
Posted by The Curator on Tue Dec 21, 2004
The NY Times has an interesting article about the growing popularity of Festivus celebrations. Festivus falls on Dec. 23 and is celebrated by gathering around an aluminum pole, airing grievances, and having wrestling matches (among other things). It was introduced to the world by the Frank Costanza character on Seinfeld, but was actually invented back in 1966 by Dan O'Keefe, an editor at Reader's Digest. It looks like there's a good chance the celebration could seriously catch on and become a permanent fixture in the ever-growing galaxy of American holidays. I could do without the wrestling part of it, but if it offers another excuse to eat and drink, then I'm all for it. You can get Festivus…
Santa’s Female Reindeer
Posted by The Curator on Sun Dec 05, 2004
David Emery has posted an intriguing piece of netlore concerning the gender of Santa's reindeer. Here's the text of the email that's going around: According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, while both male and female reindeer grow antlers in the summer each year (the only members of the deer family, Cervidae, to have females do so), male reindeer drop their antlers at the beginning of winter, usually late November to mid December. Female reindeer retain their antlers till after they give birth in the spring. Therefore, according to every historical rendition depicting Santa's reindeer, every single one of them, from Rudolf to Blitzen ... had to be a female.
Do You Believe in Santa Claus?
Posted by The Curator on Thu Dec 02, 2004
A British psychiatrist, Lynda Breen, has concluded that belief in Santa Claus is actually good for the moral development of children. Apparently believing in the existence of a jolly red-suited man who "'knows if you've been bad or good' helps teach children the difference between right and wrong." As much as my first inclination is to make a sarcastic remark about this, I think I'm going to hold back since there's a whole slew of fantastic beings whose existence I find myself very reluctant to deny, especially when kids are around: jackalopes, Nessie, Roswell aliens, etc. Of course, none of these creatures offer any kind of moral example, so Dr.…