The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Hoax Museum Blog
Hoaxes, mischief, and misinformation throughout history
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)

In Japan, it's a Valentine's Day tradition for women to give handmade chocolates (Honmei choco) to men they have romantic feelings for. This year there's a rumor circulating on Twitter, claiming that many young women are mixing their own blood into the chocolates, in the belief that this acts as a kind of love spell that will ensure their feelings are reciprocated. The rumor gets even more stomach-turning, because there are also claims of mixing menstrual blood, saliva, fingernail clippings, and pubic hair into the chocolates. Japancrush.com has posted many examples of these Tweets. Is there any truth to these rumors? That's hard to…
Posted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 Comments (0)

This brief article ran in the Feb 1938 issue of Popular Science magazine. Plumbers Use Alligators To Open Clogged Pipes Alligators kept as specimens at the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries aquarium in Washington, D.C., are being tried out as plumber's assistants to open up clogged pipes. Placed in a length of pipe that is stopped up with silt and sediment, the reptile digs his way through, opening up a small hole which water will widen by its pressure as it sweeps through. A clipping of the article was posted on the Modern Mechanix blog in April 2007, with the comment, "I guess we know now where that urban legend…
Posted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 Comments (1)

When Japanese composer Mamoru Samuragochi went completely deaf at the age of 35, he continued to compose music, explaining that he was able to do so because of his "absolute pitch." Some of his most popular works were composed when he was deaf, such as his Hiroshima Symphony No 1. On account of this, people began calling him the "Japanese Beethoven." But now he's admitted that when he started losing his hearing he relied on a "ghost composer" to help him create his works. Samuragochi would outline the basic concept of the work, and the other guy would produce the finished composition. Samuragochi didn't say who the ghost composer was, but the Japanese…
Posted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 Comments (0)

Found circulating online, as captioned in the title. Somewhat obviously photoshopped, particularly with the person jumping off the diving board at the front. But it's a cool idea. I believe the image originates from the site of Bolig Partner, a Norwegian home construction firm, which is urging people to "Realize your dream home in the New Year!" The ship itself is a VARD Offshore Subsea Construction Vessel. The house which was digitally placed on the ship's helipad comes from an image on the site of Ultimalt, a Norwegian paint company.
Posted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 Comments (1)

Back in 2010, Bosch refrigerators ran an unusual ad campaign to promote its VitaFresh technology which, it promised, could keep food fresh longer. They created fake plastic-wrapped cuts of dinosaur legs, mammoth steaks, and saber-tooth filets, and placed these meats in supermarkets throughout Germany. The idea was that this meat is really old, but it's still fresh. Check out the video below to see people's reactions.
Posted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 Comments (2)

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