The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Folklore/Tall Tales
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.…
Posted by The Curator on Thu Nov 18, 2004
Here's a TV show I'd be interested in seeing: Hometown Tales. It's all about various hoaxy/folklore-type things that happen in communities throughout America. The show also has a blog. Unfortunately, I probably won't be able to ever see the program because it's only on public access channels in New Jersey. Well, if they ever make it to the San Diego area I could definitely find some hoaxy things to share with them, such as the landing spot on Mt. Palomar where George Adamski first made contact with the Venusian Scoutcraft (I think I'm one of the few people ever to check it out... It's now a baseball field). Or the Monster…
The Belly Button Plant
Posted by The Curator on Wed Oct 13, 2004
Vincent linked to this in the hoax forum, and I thought it was bizarre enough that I should post it here where I can add a poll to it. The story is that 'Stephan M' lost his clothes overboard while on a canoe trip, so he had to wear the same things for the next six days. When he got home he took off his sweater and discovered that a seedling had sprouted in his belly button lint. He took photos of it as proof. Now to me this seems like a joke. I think he just stuck a leafy twig in his belly button and started snapping…
Posted by The Curator on Tue Sep 07, 2004
Natalia is a "fun-loving, shoe-hoarding, chocolate-loving gal who likes to travel, flirt with cute guys, and hang out with friends." She also happens to be 90 feet tall. You can read all about her adventures on her blog, 90-foot babe. All I can say is that a) she gives new meaning to the term 'tall tale'; and b) she really puts Heather Haven in her place. (via the Hoax Forum)
Posted by The Curator on Tue Aug 31, 2004
Hogzilla, the 1000lb wild hog supposedly shot and killed in Georgia, has already had its fifteen minutes of internet fame. But now the small town of Alapaha, GA is hoping to extend the fond memories of Hogzilla just a little longer by making the dubious hog the centerpiece of their November festival. They plan to have a Hogzilla float, a Hogzilla information booth, and Hogzilla T-shirts. Maybe they should make Hogzilla fest an ongoing tradition. It could become like the iceworm festival held every year in Cordova, Alaska. Oh, and despite what this story claims, President Bush has not declared Aug. 23 as 'National Hogzilla Day.'
The Secret History of the Flying Carpet
Posted by The Curator on Tue Aug 10, 2004
In late July an essay appeared in the Australian literary journal Meanjin written by Azhar Abidi. It was titled 'The Secret History of the Flying Carpet'. The essay described the discovery of 13th-century Persian scrolls that suggested there was some truth to the old legends of flying carpets. Ancient Persian artisans had apparently discovered a process of boiling fibers in a magnetic clay before weaving them into a carpet. These magnetized fibers then floated above the ground, repelled by the Earth's own magnetism. According to the scrolls, the fledgling flying carpet industry was driven out of existence by horse and camel breeders worried about future competition. This all sounds pretty fantastic, and it obviously is. But nevertheless, Abidi's…
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jul 14, 2004
Jim sent in this picture of his grandfather posing with an ear of corn, along with this explanation: "My grandfather, Frank Weed, who died in 1949, worked on the railroad for years. He bragged to the other men about how big the Iowa corn was but they wouldn’t believe it. So my father took a picture of him, and of an ear of corn, then cut the negative, pasted the other into the hole and printed it. After that, the criticism of my grandfather’s exaggerations were silenced!" Thanks, Jim!