The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Hoax Museum Blog
Hoaxes, mischief, and misinformation throughout history
Artist Prudence Straite makes works of art out of fish-and-chip shop food. Below is her version of the Loch Ness Monster. It's a chip monster, and it looks like the banks of the Loch are made from fried fish. [via Yahoo! News]
Posted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 Comments (1)

Some of the new developments include a device called the "soul phone," which is described as "an instrument that works like a telegraph through which people in spirit communicate." Also learn how to communicate with the dead via regular phones: "Brazilian researcher Sonia Rinaldi... has been helping people by making phone calls to the beyond since March 2001. The majority have been for parents who have lost their children. Sonia writes, 'With this technology controlled by the Beyond, the call is not from the Beyond. They enter our terrestrial phone calls.'" I guess that means you can talk to the dead on your iPhone. I wonder if there's an…
Posted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 Comments (1)

Another Jimmy Kimmel hoax. His crew built a replica of an Olympic Village dorm in their LA studio, then shot footage of a wolf wandering through its hallway. They had US luger Kate Hansen post the footage on YouTube, and to her Twitter account, claiming it was a wolf outside her room. A play on all the reports of stray dogs loose in Sochi. And, of course, the footage quickly went viral. The wolf was actually a North American timber wolf that Kimmel's crew hired (a rescue wolf named Rugby). Kimmel admitted to the hoax on Twitter, and then gave a full explanation on his Thursday night show.
Posted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 Comments (0)

Very odd. The controversy is that this guy, if the allegations are true, is too old to be playing in a youth league. And he really doesn't look like he's 17. But wouldn't a guy in his 40s actually be at a disadvantage playing against much younger guys? Lazio threaten legal action after claims Cameroon 17 year-old Joseph Minala is actually 41 The Telegraph Lazio have threatened legal action against anyone who questions the age of their 17-year-old Cameroonian player Joseph Minala. The Serie A club have even been forced to release his birth certificate, which they claim is "absolutely legitimate", following a report by Senagalese media that he…
Posted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 Comments (1)


Italian social media was buzzing recently with word of the discovery of a narrow tunnel, over 2000 years old, running beneath the Strait of Messina (the body of water between the mainland of Italy and Sicily). The tunnel was believed to have been built by the Romans during the Punic wars (264-241 BC) as a passageway for troops. It was discovered by workers doing construction on a highway. But the story turns out to have come from an Italian fake news site called Dangerous News. One of the tunnel photos came from an Aug 2011 Daily Mail article about the discovery of mysterious stone-age tunnels in Bavaria. [link:…
Posted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 Comments (0)

This cow illusion has been circulating since at least 2011. And here's the original, which, I believe, is a stock photo. Though I don't know which stock photo agency it's from.
Posted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 Comments (0)

Trending recently on social media, a picture of "Venice Frozen". There hasn't been freezing weather recently in Venice. So yes, the picture is fake. Anyway, even if it did freeze in Venice, the ice there wouldn't look that clear blue. The photo is a composite created by Robert Johns. He posted it two weeks ago on his Instagram account. He created the image by taking ice from a photo of Lake Baikal (taken by Daniel Kordan), and inserted it into a photo of Venice (taken by Luis Manuel Osorio Fernandez). …
Posted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 Comments (1)

Landon Austin posts on Instagram: "Making breakfast one morning I accidentally created #TheEggsOfAmerica." Strange, because I actually think it looks like Jesus.
Posted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 Comments (2)

The never-ending saga of Richard Heene, aka Father of Balloon Boy, continues. It's actually kinda sad. A guy who's completely destroyed his credibility, still giving interviews to the media, hoping to convince people he's telling the truth. Oprah Catches Up with "Balloon Boy" Flying Saucer Family; Richard Heene Insists "It Was Never a Hoax" Broward Palm Beach New Times "It was never a hoax," Richard Heene tells Oprah's cameras. "I took a guilty plea to save my family." He pled guilty to felony charges of attempting to influence a public servant and was ordered to pay $47,000 and serve 90 days in jail, and Mayumi pled guilty to a…
Posted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 Comments (0)

The Nun's Priest's Tale in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales tells the story of a vain rooster, Chauntecleer, whose vanity leads him to drop his guard while showing off how splendidly he crows. As a result, he almost gets eaten by a fox. But Chauntecleer outwits the fox that carries him away in its mouth by taking advantage of the fox's own vanity. He persuades the fox to stop and mock his pursuers. As soon as the fox opens its mouth to do so, Chauntecleer flies to safety up into a tree. The story is one of the most popular of Chaucer's tales, because of its playful humor involving talking barnyard animals, much like a…
Posted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 Comments (0)

THE LATEST BIGOTED NOTE HOAX: Deejays for a New York radio morning show aired a story about two gay dads who had sent out invitations for their daughters birthday party and had received back a note from the mother of one boy saying, "Tommy will NOT attend. I do not believe in what you do and will not subject my innocent son to your 'lifestyle.' I'm sorry Sophia has to grow up this way. If you have an issue or need to speak to me: [number erased]." Turns out the entire story was made up. The deejays explained that they were staging a publicity stunt to boost ratings "attempting to…
Posted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 Comments (0)

Philip Kadish, who's completing his Ph.D. in American Lit. at The City University of New York, notes that a 'neglected anniversary' recently passed by: the 150th anniversary of the Miscegenation Hoax of 1864, which, as he notes, was "one of the greatest and least remembered political media hoaxes in American history." The old hoax is certainly evidence that bigotry has always been a part of American politics. As Kadish notes, the hoax foreshadowed modern political hoaxes that play to bigotry, such as the claim that Obama is a Muslim. The race-mixing hoax that dogged Lincoln By Philip Kadish This year is the 150th anniversary…
Posted: Sun Feb 16, 2014 Comments (0)

During the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games on Feb. 7, there was a scene in which five giant snowflakes hanging in the air were supposed to expand to form the Olympic rings, followed by fireworks going off around them. However, one of the snowflakes failed to expand, and the fireworks never materialized. It was an embarrassing screw-up, since it was seen by millions of people around the world. And it quickly proved to be a focal point for hoaxes and parody. The Cover-Up People watching the games in Russia never saw the screw-up at all, because the Russian broadcaster Rossiya 1 quickly substituted footage from…
Posted: Wed Feb 12, 2014 Comments (1)

A "missing love" flyer has been posted at various NYC subway stations. A note at the bottom of it asks, "Please help me find my missing love by uploading photographs of possible suspects to instagram and twitter using the hashtag #missinglove." It seems romantic (and timed for Valentine's Day), and people have been Tweeting words of encouragement, hoping this woman finds her missing love. However, it may not be real. Or maybe it is. The person behind it is artist Maria Luisa Portuondo Vila who calls it an "art action" on the Facebook page she created for it. In response to people on…
Posted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 Comments (0)

People who keep track of Nessie sightings are disturbed because last year there were no good sightings of her. The sighting from last year that got the most attention was an admitted hoax, and the other sightings were just feeble. So what's going on? Some people are suggesting Nessie may be dead. Or maybe she's gone into hibernation. The year Nessie went off the radar The Herald (Glasgow) THE Loch Ness Monster failed to make a single "appearance" in 2013 - for the first time in almost 90 years. Last year there were just three possible sightings, but two were nothing more than waves or the…
Posted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 Comments (0)

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