The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Hoax Museum Blog
Hoaxes, mischief, and misinformation throughout history
Cow on hood of car
Posted by The Curator on Sat Dec 21, 2013
This image of a cow lying on the hood of a BMW began circulating online around January 2013. At first, the image didn't attract much attention. It circulated with captions such as ""Got Milk!", "Fail Safe Auto Alarm," and "The Ground Is Lava. LOL". But on Nov 18, 2013, the Surrey Roads Police department posted the image on its twitter account accompanied by the message: "Remember as days get colder animals are attracted to the warmth of cars so check wheel arches or other hiding places." This launched the image into the viral stratosphere, as it was soon…
Categories: Photos/Videos Comments (0)
Bigfoot on the toilet
Posted by The Curator on Fri Dec 20, 2013
For the Bigfoot collector who already has everything... but this. Or for someone who has a Bigfoot-themed bathroom. Available on etsy. It comes as a print of an "original oil and digital painting." Though it would be better if it were a velvet painting.
Categories: Art, Cryptozoology Comments (0)
Wanted: Imposter to study at Harvard
Posted by The Curator on Fri Dec 20, 2013
Four days ago an ad appeared on Craigslist (Pittsburgh) seeking someone to take their place at Harvard in return for $40,000/year. The ad has since been removed, but screenshots of it are still floating around the web: You must have either a 4.0 GPA in high school, or a 3.5 or higher GPA from a university to get hired for this. Your age does not matter, but you must be a male since I have a male name. I am looking for someone to attend Harvard University pretending to be me for four years, starting August 2014. I will pay for your tuition, books, housing, transportation,…
Categories: Identity/Imposters Comments (0)
Acme Worm Bouncer
Posted by The Curator on Fri Dec 20, 2013
Great name. Lousy product. Acme Worm Bouncer was widely advertised in the 1920s and 30s, with guarantees that it would quickly free farm animals of "blood-sucking, profit-stealing parasites." But the stuff was actually mostly charcoal. Governmental authorities eventually filed suit against Acme Feeds, Inc., the company that made the stuff, charging them with "misleading representations regarding its efficacy." [via The Quack Doctor] Misbranding of Acme Worm Bouncer. U.S. v. 5 Bags of Acme Worm Bouncer. Default decree of condemnation and destruction. The labeling of this product bore false and misleading representations regarding its efficacy in the conditions indicated below. On February 2, 1940, the United States…
Categories: Health/Medicine Comments (0)
Abu Sharmouta and the Gag Name Prank
Posted by The Curator on Thu Dec 19, 2013
The classic example of the "gag name" prank is to tell a reporter your name is "Haywood Jablome" — and hope the reporter doesn't think too long about what phrase that name sounds like. Haywood Jablome digging out a snowdrift. Fargo Forum - Dec 27, 2009 An older example: back in 1930, students at Cornell made headlines by getting politicians to praise the legacy of one "Hugo N. Frye" (you go and fry), supposed founder of the Republican party in New York state. A more recent version of the prank occurred earlier this year when San Francisco station KTVU reported that the pilots of the crashed Asiana…
Categories: Pranks Comments (2)
New York City Urban Legends (according to People magazine)
Posted by The Curator on Thu Dec 19, 2013
People magazine recently posted an article that it titled "N.Y.C.'s 8 Craziest Urban Legends Debunked." But that title is misleading, because it turns out the article only lists 3 urban legends, and then the writer must have been unable to find anything else when doing a google search for "New York urban legends," because the other 5 things on the list are random bits of NYC trivia and paranormal speculation. I guess I shouldn't have expected anything more from People magazine. To save everyone the trouble of having to read the article, the 3 urban legends the writer managed to come up with were: Pennies thrown from the top…
Categories: Places, Urban Legends Comments (0)
Haunted Whitstable Shop
Posted by The Curator on Thu Dec 19, 2013
Back in July, security camera footage of supposed paranormal activity in a Whitstable shop (boxes floating off shelves and hovering in the air) did the rounds on paranormal websites. Turns out the paranormal activity was manufactured by a pair of magicians for a new UK TV show, The Happenings. The premise was to try to convince a town "via trickery and fakery" that it's haunted. Doubtful News points out that the show didn't do very well in the ratings. Therefore, "more saw the You Tube video of the hoax without ever knowing the truth behind it!"
Categories: Paranormal Comments (0)
The Belen Miracle Window
Posted by The Curator on Wed Dec 18, 2013
Here's a case of pareidolia from 1927. That was the year Mrs. Baca of Belen, NM glanced up at the window that had recently been installed in the attic of her family's house and noticed "an image of Christ ascending into heaven" on the windowpane. [miracles of intervention blog] Soon thousands of people were flocking to see the "miracle window". The Christ figure could only be seen during daylight, and only from the ground. If you stood in the attic, the window looked perfectly transparent. The image survived attempts to clean the window, even when it was cleaned with gasoline. But puzzlingly, the image resisted being…
Categories: Pareidolia Comments (0)
Man emerges from Y2K bunker after 15 years
Posted by The Curator on Wed Dec 18, 2013
The news of Norman Feller's emergence from his underground bunker has gone viral. The story is that Feller went into the bunker shortly before January 1, 2000, convinced that the Y2K virus was going to bring about the collapse of civilization. He finally came out because he was curious if the world really had ended. However, the source of the story is the CBC's satirical This is That radio show. The show has a history of these spoof pieces that get mistaken for real news. The last one that went viral was their piece three months ago about the Youth Athletic Association that had decided to eliminate the ball from its soccer program in…
Categories: Journalism Comments (2)
Do sharks dislike the taste of human flesh?
Posted by The Curator on Wed Dec 18, 2013
Dr. Daniel Bucher, a shark expert at Southern Cross University, says that the notion they do is just a myth. So if you have a pet shark, go ahead and feed them fresh filet-o-human. Oh no ... sharks DO like the taste of human flesh The Logan Reporter According to Southern Cross University shark expert Dr Daniel Bucher it is not true sharks don't like the taste of human flesh. He said there was no evidence to support this claim, which he believed gained acceptance to allay people's fears of shark attack. "Normally they eat fish, but they don't mind red meat if they can get it," he said.…
Categories: Animals Comments (1)
The Myth of Holiday Suicide
Posted by The Curator on Tue Dec 17, 2013
According to urban legend, the holiday season sees a spike in suicides. But Scientific American notes that November and December actually have the lowest rates of suicide. The reason is perhaps because "The increased emotional and social support during holiday time temporarily dims the feelings of despair and anguish for many depressed children and adults." But unfortunately the holiday lull is followed by a peak of suicides in the Spring: "As winter thaws into spring, there is the hope for renewal that if not delivered can set into motion agitation and despair."
Categories: Death, Urban Legends Comments (0)
Have you lost a jackalope?
Posted by The Curator on Tue Dec 17, 2013
Police in Edmonton recently launched a pinterest page on which they display "unique" lost and stolen items they've acquired. If anyone recognizes an item as their former possession, and can provide "specific details" that identify it, they'll be reunited with it. One of the items is the mounted head of a jackalope. I wonder what kind of specific details they need to identify this? I could say that it enjoys whiskey and is sometimes called the "warrior rabbit." But I don't think that's what they're looking for.
Categories: Folklore/Tall Tales Comments (2)
The War on Christmas! Looks like some people are taking seriously this spoof National Report article about a 9-year-old kid being suspended for wishing his atheist teacher a Merry Christmas. National Report is one of the many satirical news sites that are now online. Although you have to search its site for a while before finding its disclaimer ("National Report is a news and political satire web publication"), because they don't post it on the bottom of every page, which can easily lead people to believe its stories are real.
Categories: Religion Comments (1)
Christmas Tinner Update
Posted by The Curator on Mon Dec 16, 2013
Thanks to "anonymous" who posted a comment to my recent post about "Christmas Tinner" (the entire Christmas day meal in a tin), alerting me to this video in which "steviejacko" has a can of the stuff, opens it up, and eats it. This suggests that, at the very least, someone created a prototype of this product. In the youtube comments, steviejacko says: "The one shop where it is available in basingstoke is sold out, it was done as a trial to see how much interest there was, it wont be available now for 2 weeks and even then it will be pretty scarce."
Categories: Food Comments (1)
Santa in Kinky Boots
Posted by The Curator on Mon Dec 16, 2013
Macy's decision to include the cast of the broadway musical Kinky Boots in its Thanksgiving Day parade was criticized by some conservative groups — since Kinky Boots features drag queens, and (so the conservatives argued) this made it inappropriate for the children watching the parade. But instead of being repentant, Macy's seemed to be doubling-down on its support of Kinky Boots when a flyer started to circulate online announcing that Macy's would be having an event in its kids department hosted by a Santa in kinky boots: "Bring your whole family to see Santa wearing a glittery addition to his traditional outfit!" Both Harvey Fierstein (who stars in Kinky…
Categories: Pranks Comments (0)
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