The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Websites
The Malfunctioning Oil Rig Drink Dispenser Hoax — On June 7, an Occupy Seattle activist, Logan Price, posted a video online that appeared to show an embarrassing scene from a private party of Shell Oil executives. Price explained, on his twitter page, that he had managed to infiltrate the party, which was intended to celebrate the launch of Shell's Arctic drilling program, and which was hosted at the top of the Seattle Space Needle. The centerpiece of the party was a sculpture shaped like an iceberg, topped by a miniature oil rig…
Posted: Tue Jun 12, 2012.   Comments (0)

Earn Money Working at Home—Become an Envelope Elf! — The consumer affairs office of the state of Massachusetts has created a series of phony websites designed to teach people how to avoid online scams. The sites advertise products such as work-at-home deals, weight-loss products, and free trips. If anyone tries to order something from these sites, they're directed to a page identifying it as a scam and telling them how they could have spotted the scam. My favorite one is the "Envelope Elf" site. The SEC did something similar back in…
Posted: Fri May 18, 2012.   Comments (1)

Post-Rapture Pet Adoption — For over three years, Eternal Earth-Bound Pets has been offering peace of mind to Rapture believers. Should the Rapture come, and the devout are whisked away up to Heaven, this service will take care of their pets that are left behind — for a small fee of $135 per pet. But now Bloomberg News is reporting that the business was all just a hoax concocted by Bart Centre, a retired retail executive in New Hampshire, in order to promote his book, The Atheist Camel Chronicles. Bloomberg…
Posted: Sat Mar 17, 2012.   Comments (2)

Ghetto Hikes — The author of "Ghetto Hikes," which is a twitter feed and accompanying website, offers this description of it: I'm 28. I have a full time job leading urban kids (of all races) on nature hikes. I simply write down shit they say. It's kind of obvious that it's a parody in the style of "Shit My Dad Says," but the Village Voice confirms it isn't real: Looks like Ghetto Hikes is a parody account -- and an unfunny one at that. According to a just-released tweet, Men's Humor and Ghetto Hikes…
Posted: Fri Feb 24, 2012.   Comments (0)


Clayton Sotos, Fartographer — Someone has gone to a bunch of trouble to make it seem as if Dell produced an ad featuring "Visual Innovator" Clayton Sotos. The ad has high production values, and there's an accompanying website showcasing some of Sotos's work. The joke is that Sotos photographs people farting. Dell insists they're not responsible for the ad. They posted this statement on their twitter page: "This video is in no way affiliated with Dell, but it's great to see creative professionals get inspiration…
Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2012.   Comments (0)

Sea Captain Date—real or fake? — As far as niche dating sites go, you can't get much more niche than SeaCaptainDate.com. It describes itself as "the only place for Sea Captains to connect with men and women who share a love of the ocean." Now I'm willing to believe that there are niche dating sites out there, but SeaCaptainDate.com seems a little too weird to be real. Is it really just an elaborate joke? I'm not the first to ponder this question. The site first attracted attention back in Jan 2011, when articles…
Posted: Tue Feb 21, 2012.   Comments (3)

CLOO: The Socially Networked Toilet — The brilliant (or incredibly stupid) idea behind CLOO is to use social networking to make it easier to find somewhere to pee in big cities. The CLOO website explains: CLOO' is based on one simple truth— we all have to pee. Though in urban cities finding a clean, available restroom is difficult & frustrating. That’s where CLOO' comes in. CLOO' is a community of registered users who choose to share their bathrooms and make city-living easier, while earning a small profit. Using…
Posted: Thu Sep 08, 2011.   Comments (3)

Birth or Not — The Premise: A couple claims to be allowing the internet to vote on whether or not they'll have an abortion. This has been getting a lot of attention on blogs over the past few days, and by now it's been definitively proven to be a hoax. Kevin Hoffman points out what I think is the most telling piece of evidence. The couple registered the domain name birthornot.com over two months before the baby was supposedly conceived. Also, the man behind the site has been identified as Pete…
Posted: Tue Nov 23, 2010.   Comments (17)

GOP URL Shortener put to unintended use — Yesterday the GOP debuted its own URL shortener. Wired.com describes the results: Almost immediately after it launched yesterday, pranksters began using the service to link to controversial or ironically-intended websites such as the official site of the American Communist Party, a bondage website and a webpage advertising a sex toy in the likeness of Barack Obama. GOP.am started blocking such links apparently at some point Tuesday morning, and the GOP.am homepage is now offline.
Posted: Tue Dec 15, 2009.   Comments (1)

Mass: We Pray — Mass: We Pray claims to be a new video game that allows you to simulate going to church, without ever leaving home. Shacknews.com reports receiving a press release from Prayer Works Interactive, the maker of this purported product. An excerpt follows: Mass: We Pray is the first of many worship-themed games in development for Prayer Works Interactive. Just like with any videogame, families can use a television as a monitor to play. Then, they can use the CROSS, a proprietary, wireless,…
Posted: Thu Nov 19, 2009.   Comments (9)

MSNBC lists ten “heinous” internet hoaxes — MSNBC has posted a list of the "10 most heinous hoaxes on the Net." Though in the intro they admit they added in "a handful of amusing ones." Here's the list (minus their descriptions): Twitter/Facebook AMBER alert Bonsai Kitten Epilepsy Forum Raid Bigfoot's body Changing the value of pi Save Toby MySpace suicide 419 Nigerian money scams Work-at-home scams Facebook hoax on TechCrunch I don't think "Bigfoot's body" counts as a true internet hoax. Sure, people discussed it on the…
Posted: Mon Nov 09, 2009.   Comments (1)

The Manhattan Airport Foundation — The Manhattan Airport Foundation is a hoax site purporting to promote the conversion of New York's Central Park into an airport. Clues that the site is a hoax: a) it's registered anonymously; and b) the foundation lists its address as "233 Broadway, 58th Floor, New York, New York." 233 Broadway is the Woolworth Building, which only has 57 floors. Apparently, the Huffington Post didn't realize the site was a joke, and posted a link on its front page about the plan to build an…
Posted: Wed Jul 22, 2009.   Comments (4)

USB-Powered Chainsaw — A new hoax website advertises the World's First USB-powered Chainsaw: Current materials used on bodies of chainsaws are too heavy for office use. Lighter materials, however, could cause the vertical axis of the guide bar to shift when pressure is applied onto the saw chain. Research and development introduced several innovations to offer an optimal blend of tough plastic and lightweight alloy. It's said to be shipping in September. The real question is who created this page and why.…
Posted: Thu Jul 09, 2009.   Comments (12)

Little April Rose — Recently a woman who identified herself only as "April's Mom" started blogging about how her unborn child had been diagnosed as terminally ill. And yet she had decided to go through with the pregnancy anyway. Her blog quickly became popular with the anti-abortion crowd. On Sunday "Little April Rose" was born, but died soon after. But skeptics noticed something strange about the picture of Little April that April's Mom posted on her site. Little April looked exactly like a reborn doll…
Posted: Fri Jun 12, 2009.   Comments (8)

MomSourcing — MomSourcing: "You know you should call your mom on Mother's Day. But in today's fast-paced world, between work, hobbies, and "me time," it can be hard to squeeze in. We can help. Outsource your Mother's Day responsibilities to MomSourcing and let us make the call for you." According to Boing Boing, it's a joke. But I wonder how long before it proves to be a case of satirical prophecy.
Posted: Mon May 11, 2009.   Comments (1)

Wikipedia Hoax — Irish student Shane Fitzgerald conducted an experiment to test whether journalists blindly rely upon wikipedia as a source of information. Shortly after composer Maurice Jarre died, Fitzgerald placed a false quote on the wikipedia page about him, claiming Jarre had said: "One could say my life itself has been one long soundtrack. Music was my life, music brought me to life, and music is how I will be remembered long after I leave this life. When I die there will be a final waltz playing…
Posted: Thu May 07, 2009.   Comments (9)

Brain Ads — Some woman (who doesn't name herself) has realized that for years people have been reading her mind. "TV shows were following my daily thoughts and stores began bringing products I had been wishing for, it finally dawned on me that they were not just teasing me, they were actually getting more viewers and selling more products!" Instead of fighting this condition, she's decided to accept it and profit from it. For which reason, she's now accepting "brain ads." In return for a donation,…
Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009.   Comments (7)

Smell of Books — Hoax Website: The smell of books aroma spray. "Now you can finally enjoy reading e-books without giving up the smell you love so much. With Smell of Books™ you can have the best of both worlds, the convenience of an e-book and the smell of your favorite paper book. Smell of Books™ is compatible with a wide range of e-reading devices and e-book formats and is 100% DRM-compatible. Whether you read your e-books on a Kindle or an iPhone using Stanza, Smell of Books™ will bring back that…
Posted: Tue Apr 07, 2009.   Comments (6)

The Fake Acai Berry Diet Girl — Following up on Accipiter's post in the forum about the Acai berry weight-loss scam -- one of the interesting (and sleazy) things about the scam is the proliferation of fake diet blogs promoting these Acai berries. The sites go by names such as kirstensweightloss.com, rachelsweightloss.com, patdietblog.com, etc. etc. The sites have before and after pictures of the Acai berry dieters, but pictures of the same women appear on different sites... under different names. For instance, the…
Posted: Wed Mar 25, 2009.   Comments (31)

Computer Tan — Get a tan as you sit in front of your computer by logging onto ComputerTan.com: This technological breakthrough is enabled by converting the electrical impulse delivered to your pc into radiated factor-free UV rays. It's Tan-Tastic! The Times Online reveals that the site is actually a hoax created by the UK skin cancer charity Skcin "to raise awareness of skin cancer in the UK." However, within only 24 hours, 30,000 people had registered their interest in getting a "computer tan"…
Posted: Thu Feb 05, 2009.   Comments (6)

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