I was planning on taking a hiatus from posting until February, but this one
is too good to pass up. Thanks to everyone who emailed me about it.
Back in the 1970s Elaine Murphy noticed an unusual condition, Guitar Nipple, described in the British Medical Journal
. She suspected it might be a hoax, which inspired her to invent a similar bizarre condition, Cello Scrotum, which she detailed in a letter to the journal. She got her husband to send the letter in his name.
Thirty years on the couple noticed someone had referenced their report, and so they decided it was time to come clean.
Coincidentally, there is a medical condition called Violin Deformity
. It's the name plastic surgeons use to describe excessively wide hips.
And, of course, the Murphys were not the first scientific spoofers. I've reported previously on one Dr. Egerton Yorrick Davis who wrote a letter to Medical News
back in 1884 describing "an uncommon form of vaginismus"
. He claimed to have treated a couple who became locked together during intercourse as a result of a vaginal spasm. The letter was a hoax, and its true author was Sir William Osler
I'll begin regular posting again on Monday.