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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Urban Legends
Tom Jones’s Million-Dollar Chest Hair — Last week the Daily Mirror reported that 67-year-old singer Tom Jones had insured his chest hair for £3.5million: With tough tour schedules and big money at stake, It's Not Unusual for stars to insure their bodies. So it should come as no surprise to learn that Sir Tom Jones, 67, whose mop of luxurious curly brown hair has made him a hit with the ladies, has had his chest hair insured - for the princely sum of £3.5million! Top insurance house Lloyd's of London was approached about the…
Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2008.   Comments (2)

Urban Legend ER — I don't check out CollegeHumor.com very often, but I came across this short movie they put together called "Urban Legend ER," which I thought was amusing. It imagines what an ER might look like if all the most popular urban legends were real. Warning: It's a little gory in a few places. Update: Posted previously in the forum by Tobester.
Posted: Thu Jan 31, 2008.   Comments (8)

Video Game Urban Legends — Yahoo! Games has an article about urban legends involving video games. Though half the legends they list are true. Here's a summary: Donkey Kong was a mistranslation of Monkey Kong. False. Donkey Kong was the original title. "Donkey" was apparently meant to indicate stubborn stupidity. "Kong" was a reference to King Kong. Saddam Hussein tried to build a supercomputer out of Playstation 2s. False. The rumor was offered as an explanation for a shortage of Playstation 2s, but if an evil…
Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2008.   Comments (8)

Real-Life Kidney Thieves — A kidney transplant ring has been busted in India. Hundreds of poor people were forced into having their kidneys removed. ABC News reports that victims were promised a job, then taken to a private house and forced at gunpoint to sell their kidneys. One victim's story sounds just like the kidney-transplant urban legend: "I was approached by a stranger for a job. When I accepted, I was taken to a room with gunmen," Mohammed Salim told India's local NDTV television channel. "They tested…
Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2008.   Comments (4)


Twins get married… or maybe not — Last week this story was EVERYWHERE. A pair of twins in Britain, who had been adopted into different families, met and fell in love... without realizing they were twins. They then got married, only to discover the terrible secret they shared. Their marriage was promptly annulled. When I first read about this, it sounded pretty fishy to me -- very much like an urban legend being reported as news -- but on a cursory reading of the story I also got the impression that there were officials…
Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2008.   Comments (15)

Husband meets wife in brothel — This story sounds suspiciously like an urban legend being reported as news. It could, of course, be true, though the source (a Polish tabloid called Super Express) makes it difficult to fact check: WARSAW (Reuters) - A Polish man got the shock of his life when he visited a brothel and spotted his wife among the establishment's employees. Polish tabloid Super Express said the woman had been making some extra money on the side while telling her husband she worked at a store in a nearby…
Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2008.   Comments (6)

Phantom Tent City on Roof — According to a rumor that circulates among the population of South Carolina's Hilton Head Island, there's a group of Mexican immigrants living on top of one of the local supermarkets. It may be the Bi-Lo Supermarket, or the Port Royal Plaza, or the Harris Teeter. Supposedly this tent city of roof-living immigrants tapped into the store's electricity and even diverted the air conditioning system to cool their tents. The Island Packet News is pretty sure that the story of the rooftop…
Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2008.   Comments (6)

Has Ho, Ho, Ho Been Banned? — Last month a rumor began to circulate alleging that Santas were being banned from saying "Ho, Ho, Ho" because "Ho" is a slang term for a prostitute. As is often the case with such rumors, there was an event that triggered the rumor, but that event had been twisted and blown out of proportion in the course of being repeated. What really happened was that Westaff, a firm in Australia that trains Santas for appearances in shopping malls, had cautioned its trainees that many small children…
Posted: Mon Dec 10, 2007.   Comments (6)

Quick Links: Dec. 3, 2007 — Pie in Santa's Face "A 22-year-old University of Montana student was charged with assault Friday for shoving a pumpkin pie into Santa Claus’ face at a shopping mall while a teen sat on his lap." Save the Park Four students in the UK created a hoax website as a social experiment to test the influence of the media. Their website, savethepark.co.uk, claimed there were plans to build a 220,000 tonne waste incineration plant in a South London park. Within a few weeks their site had received…
Posted: Mon Dec 03, 2007.   Comments (4)

Searches for gold—Finds ammonia — Here's a case that could be described as what you get when you cross Mythbusters with the Darwin Awards. A 16-year-old boy living in the Tampa area heard a legend that a pipe that ran under the U.S. 301 bridge was filled with gold. Other people told him that it was actually an ammonia pipe leading to a fertilizer company. So the kid decided to test it out for himself and find out what the truth was: The anhydrous ammonia that flows through the pipeline from the port to fertlizer…
Posted: Sun Nov 18, 2007.   Comments (9)

The Dwarf in the Trunk — About four months ago (on June 3, 2007) this brief article appeared in the London Sunday Times: Police moved swiftly to foil a child kidnapping when a witness spotted a boy being locked in a car boot. Officers set up road blocks, flagged down a Mercedes that fitted the description, and opened the boot -where they found mechanic Klaus "Shorty" Mueller, 27, who had climbed in to find the source of a rattling noise. A spokesman for police in Bremen, north Germany, said: "It seems the…
Posted: Tue Oct 16, 2007.   Comments (7)

Cursed Japanese Kleenex Commercial — A commercial for Kleenex that aired in Japan during the 1980s became the focus of an urban legend. Derek Bassett last year described the legend on his blog Mohora: So the story is this commercial for Kleenex tissues was shown on Japanese TV back in 1986 or so. It features an actress in a white dress sitting next to a child made up to look like a baby ogre. There is a really creepy song in a foreign language that when researched, is actually an old German folk song with the words “Die,…
Posted: Mon Oct 01, 2007.   Comments (8)

Real-Life “Killer in the Backseat” — A real-life version of the "killer in the backseat" urban legend has been reported. Folklorist Jan Harold Brunvand gives the following description of this classic tale in his Encyclopedia of Urban Legends: "Would-be killer lurks in back, detected by motorist or gas-station attendant." In all versions, the intended victim is a woman. In the versions in which another motorist spots the assailant, the driver notices that the car or truck following her keeps blinking his lights or shifting…
Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2007.   Comments (9)

Neiman Marcus Cookie Giveaway — Today was the 100th anniversary of Neiman Marcus. The retailer celebrated by giving away free chocolate chip cookies in most of its stores, as a tongue-in-cheek nod to the $250 Cookie Recipe legend that has caused it so much trouble over the years. And if you missed the cookie giveaway, you can still download the recipe for its cookies free from its website. One of these days I'm going to have to try them out to see how they are. (via David Emery)
Posted: Mon Sep 10, 2007.   Comments (1)

Chinese Arrest Creators of Urban Legends — Joe Littrell forwarded an interesting story from the People's Daily Online. It reports that police in China have arrested or warned 60 people this year for spreading rumors or threats through text messages and the internet. Wow. If spreading urban legends was a crime here in America, just imagine how many people would be in jail. Some of the messages that rumormongers circulated: On July 11, a text message began circulating in Jiangsu, claiming victims of full-blown AIDS were spreading…
Posted: Wed Aug 22, 2007.   Comments (7)

Do babies born on buses get free rides for life? — About a week ago Lydia Irvin gave birth to a daughter while riding on a New York City Transit bus. Apparently it even specifies on the baby's birth certificate that she was born on a bus. So now Ms. Irvin is hoping that her daughter will qualify for free bus rides for the rest of her life. She'll just have to wave her birth certificate at a driver, and be able to go wherever she pleases. After all, according to urban legend that's the freebie that bus-born babies get. However, the…
Posted: Wed Aug 08, 2007.   Comments (2)

Wormburgers — An article in the Japanese Mainichi Daily News (which claims to be merely repeating a story that appeared in a magazine called Fushigi Knuckles) tells the story of the attempt to introduce Wormburgers in Japan. An Aomori Prefecture company, so the story goes, tried to market worms as food for human consumption because of the high nutritional value of worms: Instead of a beef patty, the Worm Burger used ground worms, cut the onions a little, added wheat flour, a runny egg and blended in…
Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2007.   Comments (10)

Yet another urban myth from Iraq — On the heels of the "American troops eat babies" myth comes the story of the Giant, Man-eating Badgers of Basra: Ferocious British badgers an urban myth in Iraq
Posted: Sat Jul 14, 2007.   Comments (7)

American troops eat babies? — Among the many difficulties American troops are encountering in Iraq (I won't get all political here by listing them), one is a little bit more bizarre than others. It seems that some Iraqis believe that American soldiers carry poison-tipped bullets and eat babies. Kinda tough to win hearts and minds when you're dealing with people who think you dine on infants, I would imagine. I wondered if this story itself was a hoax until I followed the link I found and saw that it lead to Stars…
Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2007.   Comments (17)

More Iraqi Urban Legends — I posted an entry back in 2004 about Iraqi urban legends regarding the American troops. Three years later the same urban legends still seem to be going strong over there. And a new article in Stars and Stripes lists some more: U.S. troops eat childrenU.S. servicemembers use poison-tainted bulletsAmericans peek through women’s clothing with X-ray sunglassesAmericans’ berets are dyed with bloodAmericans have a “cold pill” that they take so they do not get too hot in their gear The…
Posted: Thu Jun 21, 2007.   Comments (7)

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