Hoax Museum Blog: Videos

Football Streaker Video

Grainy video of a streaker at a football game was posted online in late March and quickly went viral, with over 2 millions views in less than 2 days. But it turned out to be a stunt by DishLATINO, as revealed on their YouTube channel on April 1. The streaker was actually Mexican comedian Eugenio Derbez.

Posted: Fri Apr 03, 2015.   Comments ()

Color-Changing Paint for Cars

Videos circulating online show cars that are apparently able to change their color with the push of a button. more…

Posted: Tue Dec 16, 2014.   Comments (1)

Flying Horse in Saudi Arabia

A viral video shows what appears to be a horse flying in the sky over Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Some say it's the Buraq, the legendary flying horse that transported the prophet Muhammad. Others say it's the black horse prophesied in the Book of Revelation. Still others say it's a helium-filled balloon.

Posted: Fri Dec 05, 2014.   Comments (19)

Giant Eel

A pair of videos that seemed to show a giant "human sized eel" in New Zealand's Manawatu River went viral in the past week. It caught the attention of a viral video show, Right This Minute, who contacted the two young men (brothers Tim and Ray Hamilton) who filmed the footage and asked them for the right to air it on TV. At which point, Tim and Ray confessed that the footage was fake. They had filmed the eel in a bathtub and then composited that footage with shots of the river and Ray throwing bread at the imaginary eel.

Posted: Wed Nov 19, 2014.   Comments ()


Posted: Tue Nov 04, 2014.   Comments ()

Posted: Sat Oct 11, 2014.   Comments ()

Gigantic Tortoise Found on Mt. Etna —

A video circulating on Italian news sites shows what appears to be a gigantic tortoise being transported on a truck. An accompanying story explains that this tortoise "of colossal dimensions" was found recently at the base of Mt. Etna. A helicopter full of Japanese tourists spotted the creature. At first they thought it was a large, dark rock, until they noticed it was moving. The helicopter pilot alerted the earthquake authorities, who arrived and discovered that it was a gigantic tortoise. People were able to film the tortoise as it was loaded onto a truck and taken away to be studied.

None of this story is true. It comes from an Italian fake news site, Corriere del Mattino. A clue that the story is fake (in addition to the absurdity of the gigantic tortoise) is that it's authored by "Carlo Darvini" (i.e. Charles Darwin).

However, Corriere del Mattino didn't create the video, which actually shows the transportation of a piece of art by Kurdish sculptor Zirak Mira. (Although a soundtrack of Italian voices was added for effect.) The full video of the tortoise sculpture's transportation is on YouTube. [info from vitadamamma.com]


Zirak Mira's tortoise sculpture

This hoax recalls that image of a giant tortoise on a truck that was circulating last year. In that case, the image was actually a still from the 2006 Japanese monster movie Gamera the Brave.


Posted: Wed May 14, 2014.   Comments ()

High School Football Player Throws 40-yard Pass… To Himself —

Last week a Vine video of high-school football player Gary Haynes (of Manvel Texas High) throwing a 40-yard pass to himself went viral, sparking much discussion about whether the pass was real or fake.

In order to determine whether such a throw to oneself is possible some people have been performing all kinds of calculations trying to take into account vertical distance, acceleration due to gravity, weight of the ball, time from peak to ground, etc. The general consensus is that such a long self-pass would be extremely difficult, if not impossible.

But I don't think such calculations are necessary, because I don't see any reason to believe that the video shows anything other than the old "throw the ball off camera" trick... and then have someone else throw another ball back onto the screen so that it appears as if an amazing pass has been made. This is one of the oldest camera tricks there is in sports.

If Haynes produces a video in which the ball doesn't immediately go off camera, then I'll be more willing to take it seriously.

And, in fact, Haynes did repeat his stunt for his high school coach, who recorded it on a cell phone camera. The coach stood further back so that more of the trajectory of the ball can be seen. Sure enough, Haynes throws the ball and then catches it. But he doesn't throw it anywhere close to 40 yards. Looks more like 5 or 10 yards, which isn't very remarkable. This second video is included in a segment about Haynes produced by a Houston news team:


It's also worth noting that throwing a ball to oneself is an old joke in football, and has been featured in previous spoofs such as a) an old scene (from the 1990s?) in which wrestler "Mr. Perfect" throws a perfect pass to himself; and b) a Puma ad from 2013 in which Jamaal Charles of the Kansas City Chiefs threw a pass to himself. It was this ad, says Haynes, that inspired him to make his own video.




Posted: Wed May 14, 2014.   Comments ()

The Escherian Stairwell — Hidden away in a building at the Rochester Institute of Technology is a little-known marvel called the "Escherian Stairwell." It seems to defy the laws of physics, because when you walk up it, you arrive back at the same place where you started. Don't believe me? Just watch this video from RIT's "Can You Imagine" series in which it was featured.




Okay, so maybe the Escherian Stairwell is not a real thing. The real story here is that the video about it was created by Michael Lacanilao as an attempt to create a "modern myth." To get people believing that something impossible (such as an infinite loop stairwell) could actually exist.

Lacanilao hoped to expand the video into an even longer documentary about Rafael Nelson Aboganda, the (fictitious) architect who supposedly designed the stairwell. He ran a KickStarter campaign last year to raise funding for this project, but unfortunately the campaign didn't reach its funding goal.

But we still have the "Can You Imagine" video, and apparently it's fooled quite a few people since being uploaded to YouTube. Linda Besner, writing for Hazlitt, reports that, "[Lacanilao] had thought that people would see the video and be taken in for a maximum of 15 seconds before rational thought set in. Over the summer, he was taken aback by the flood of pilgrims showing up demanding to see the stairwell. “One couple was really, really angry. She told us that during her trip with her boyfriend they were arguing in the car about who would do the stairwell first. And they were both kind of scared like, 'No, you do it first, No, I don’t know if I want to do it first.'"
Posted: Tue May 06, 2014.   Comments (4)

First Kiss —

Director Tatia Pilieva recently released a video showing 20 strangers who were paired up and then asked to kiss each other. The video quickly went viral, with currently over 37 millions views on YouTube.

But now the video is being outed as a kind of hoax because while it is true that the people were all strangers to each other, they were also professional performers. And the whole video was an ad for clothes, paid for by Wren Studio which is promoting its "Fall 14 collection".

Amanda Hess writes for Slate:
The video peddles the fantasy that beauty can spring from an unexpected connection between two random people, but what it's really showing us is the beauty of models making out. It's like the hipster Bachelor. I doubt that millions of viewers would be so quick to celebrate a video of randos kissing if they were all less thin, hip, stylish, charming, and well-manicured.
 
In an interesting parallel, Robert Doisneau's famous 1950 photo of a Parisian couple kissing, titled "The kiss at city hall," was also staged by professional models. Doisneau revealed this in 1993 after a couple who claimed to be the pair in the scene sued him, seeking compensation for the use of their image.


Posted: Thu Mar 13, 2014.   Comments ()

HUVr Board — On March 3 a video appeared online (with an accompanying website) announcing that a company had created an actual working hoverboard (aka HUVr Board), of the kind seen in the 1989 movie Back to the Future II, using antigravity technology. The video immediately went viral, with over 3 million views already on YouTube.


As many have noted, the video is clearly fake. No one has created a working hoverboard. But it was an impressive fake. Especially noteworthy is the number of celebrities appearing in the video — including Christopher Lloyd, Moby, Tony Hawk, Terrel Owens, etc.


Which raises the question: why did someone go to the considerable expense of creating this video? What's the purpose of it?

A leading theory is that it may be a teaser for an upcoming Back to the Future sequel.

But apparently the comedy site Funny or Die was involved in the video's production, as discovered by sleuths who found that an LA wardrobe stylist mentioned in her online resume having worked on the video for that site.

So maybe the video is just a viral comedy bit for Funny or Die.


Posted: Wed Mar 05, 2014.   Comments ()

The Screaming Ghost in Room 209 —

The story here is that this video supposedly comes from security camera footage of a Sep. 14, 2003 paranormal event at a Wingate Hotel in Illinois. Though it wasn't until Sep 2012 that it was posted on YouTube.

Screaming was heard coming from room 209. But no one was checked into that room. So some guy named John (a security guard?) is sent to investigate. He enters the room and reports that the carpet has been ripped up, the shower is on, and all the furniture is turned upside down. But the room is empty! Also, as John enters the room, a ghostly figure can be seen exiting it.

Of course, we actually see very little of anything in the video, except for the ghostly image, which could be easily faked. We also hear the audio track. But again, that could easily be faked.

The biggest problem, however, is that it's apparently impossible for anyone to identify exactly which Wingate Hotel in Illinois this occurred at. The poster of the video explains that, "Due to legal matters, I am not allowed to say any more information regarding the exact location of this hotel. Please stop asking. Thank you!"

Following the rule that information is only as good as its source, this video has no identifiable source at all. So that suggests...

However, by googling "Room 209 Wingate Hotel" I found this recent negative review posted by someone who stayed in Room 209:

Carpet in room (209) was wet, foot stool was left on top of the cair, empty shampoo bottle from previous guest was still in the shower, a Coors Lite beer from the previous guest was found in the fridge.

It was Room 209 in a Wingate in Saskatchewan. But maybe the ghost is on the move!
Posted: Sat Oct 26, 2013.   Comments (34)

Telekinetic Coffee Prank — The video of the "Telekinetic Coffee Shop Prank" has gotten over 30 millions views on YouTube in 4 days. So it's definitely served its purpose, which is to promote the upcoming release of the Carrie remake.

A lot of people have questioned whether the customers in the coffee shop were real or actors. But according to Andrea Morales, the actress who played the telekinetic coffee woman, the customers definitely were real. She says in an interview with the NY Daily News, "We got some awesome reactions. Some people got really into it. A constructor worker actually came toward me to calm me down, saying everything was going to be okay." 


Posted: Fri Oct 11, 2013.   Comments (1)

The man inside the cube — A video recently uploaded to YouTube claims to document the living arrangements of "Dave," an artist who supposedly lives inside the Astor Place Cube in New York City. It doesn't take a lot of critical thinking skills to realize this is a joke. (The cube, in reality, is welded shut.) But it's an amusing concept.

The video is a viral marketing stunt for a site called Whil.com, which is mentioned at the end of the video. Honestly, I'm not sure what whil.com does. They claim to be "a brand about nothing" and encourage meditation. Whil was created by the guy who founded the Lululemon clothes company. So maybe it's all a roundabout way of promoting Lululemon.


Posted: Thu Oct 03, 2013.   Comments ()

Twerking Girl Catches Fire Hoax — On Sep 3, Caitlin Heller posted a video on youtube that she titled, "Worst Twerk Fail EVER - Girl Catches Fire!"

She further explained: "I tried making a sexy twerk video for my boyfriend and things got a little too hot 😊"



The video quickly went viral, accumulating 9 million views in less than a week, and getting airtime on numerous media outlets.

But last night, "Caitlin Heller" appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live, and the hoax was revealed. Her real name was Daphne Avalon. She was a stunt woman, and the entire video had been staged for Jimmy Kimmel Live.



Kimmel claims that his team didn't send it to TV stations or tweet it. He says, "we just put it on youtube and let the magic happen." I'm skeptical that they didn't do something to help spread the word, given the speed at which it attracted attention. But nevetheless, it was an amusing hoax.
Posted: Tue Sep 10, 2013.   Comments ()

Failed Marriage Proposal — Cadbury only made a half-hearted attempt to disguise that this clip is really an ad for their "Bournville" chocolates, which they're promoting with the tagline "Not So Sweet." Halfway through the clip, a small train chugs through the scene, and painted on its side is, "Bournville -- Not So Sweet."


Posted: Fri Aug 23, 2013.   Comments ()

Jumping Cow UFO Video — A video posted to youtube about two weeks ago shows a strange light in the sky near Stamford in the UK. Then it pans down to show a herd of cows, and then one of the cows kind of jumps up in the air.



So the cow must be jumping for one of these reasons:
  1. it's really happy
  2. it's being lifted up by the tractor beam of a UFO
  3. it's a CG effect
The answer, according to video analysts that the Huffington Post talked to, is that it's a CG effect. The Stamford Mercury speculates that the video was created to build buzz for an upcoming TV show.
Posted: Tue Aug 20, 2013.   Comments (1)

Marshmallow Farming — A video of a news segment about marshmallow farming in North Carolina recently appeared on youtube:


It looks like it was inspired by the BBC's famous Swiss Spaghetti Harvest April fool's day segment.

The reporter identifies himself as being from Channel 9 news in Iredell County. But there's no info about what year this first aired. So I sent the station an email to find out what they might know.
Posted: Thu Apr 25, 2013.   Comments (1)

Pig Rescues Baby Goat Hoax — Back in September 2012, a video was uploaded to youtube showing a pig rescuing a baby goat that was supposedly stuck in a pond at a petting zoo.


The video got millions of views on youtube and was widely aired in the media (including being shown on Good Morning America, the NBC Nightly News, and Fox News). Yesterday, it was revealed to be entirely staged.

It was created for a Comedy Central series, "Nathan For You," which is debuting this week (thus the timing of the reveal). The pig was directed toward the goat by means of an underwater plexiglass ramp.

The New York Times has a fairly long article about the video hoax, including comments from some media critics who take the news organizations to task for not questioning the video. Kelly McBride of the Poynter Institute says, "It really is embarrassing for the journalists who stumbled upon this and decided to promote it or share it with their audience. It's almost a form of malpractice."

Comedy Central has posted a follow-up video showing exactly how the original video was made.


Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2013.   Comments (1)

Car goes through ice on live TV —


Although this may appear to be footage from a newscast, it's actually a video purposefully designed to go viral, created by a Danish pr firm calling itself PublicAttack. On its youtube page you can find the same actor appearing in its other videos.

The car going through the ice is apparently a CG effect.
Posted: Tue Feb 19, 2013.   Comments ()

Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 >