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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Folklore/Tall Tales
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)

Festivus — 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…
Posted: Tue Dec 21, 2004.   Comments (13)

Santa’s Female Reindeer — 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…
Posted: Sun Dec 05, 2004.   Comments (17)

Do You Believe in Santa Claus? — 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…
Posted: Thu Dec 02, 2004.   Comments (55)

Hometown Tales — 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…
Posted: Thu Nov 18, 2004.   Comments (1)

The Belly Button Plant — 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…
Posted: Wed Oct 13, 2004.   Comments (16)

90-Foot Babe — 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: Tue Sep 07, 2004.   Comments (4)

Hogzilla Festival — 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
Posted: Tue Aug 31, 2004.   Comments (1)

The Secret History of the Flying Carpet — 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…
Posted: Tue Aug 10, 2004.   Comments (6)

Big Corn — 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,…
Posted: Wed Jul 14, 2004.   Comments (4)

The Nullarbor Nymph — Thirty-two years ago the tiny town of Eucla, Australia, on the edge of the Nullarbor plain, became famous when a few of its residents first sighted the Nullarbor Nymph. The Nymph was a blonde, feral, half-naked woman who lived in the bush and ran wild with kangaroos. News of this wild woman quickly spread around the world. President Nixon was asked his opinion of her (reportedly his reply could not be repeated over the air), and the Loch Ness monster sent her a telegram. Sooner or…
Posted: Tue May 18, 2004.   Comments (1)

The Knee Trumpet — Musicians will appreciate this. It's a little known instrument, popular back in the Middle Ages, known as the Tromba Da Gamba, or Knee Trumpet. According to Virgilanti (who managed to acquire one of these rare instruments): "It was gaining a lot in popularity by the start of the 17th century but encountered a bit of a PR problem in 1619 when, according to the story, the pope (presumably Pope Paul V) saw the instrument being played by a woman. He was shocked at the suggestiveness of…
Posted: Tue May 18, 2004.   Comments (2)

Little-Known Attractions of Lynchburg Virginia — I've actually been to Lynchburg, Virginia, but somehow I missed the little-known attractions that it offers, such as the Fletcher Farm Rhino, the ABC Cemetery in which all the graves are in alphabetical order, Mags the headless cat (pictured), and the world's only car that runs on Kool-Aid.
Posted: Mon May 03, 2004.   Comments (5)

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