The Hoax Museum Blog

Man Catches Fur-Bearing Trout

Wisconsin-resident George Weber says he was fishing in the Menomonee River when he caught this unusual fish. He showed it to a wildlife official who first told him it was a fur-bearing trout. But then the official offered an alternative, scientific explanation. He said it could be a trout infected with an extreme case of Saprolegnia, or cotton mold, which is a fungal infection that can grow on fish and looks like white or grey fibrous patches. However, I'm not buying the Saprolegnia explanation. I think that's a genuine fur-bearing trout. [via Doubtful News]

Posted: Mon May 11, 2015.   Comments (1)

USS Los Angeles lifts navy ship into the air

A 1931 photo in the Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung showing the US Navy airship "Los Angeles," blown by a gust of wind, lifting a ship into the air, was just an April Fool's Day hoax. But it was inspired by a very similar real incident. more…

Posted: Sat May 09, 2015.   Comments (0)

140-year-old Tortoise Wears Son As Hat

The Internet claims that this image shows a 140-year-old tortoise wearing her 5-day-old son as a hat. Is this true or false?

Posted: Thu May 07, 2015.   Comments (0)

‘Poo in Beards’ Goes Viral

By now the 'poo in beards' story that went viral earlier this month has been thoroughly debunked. But what people may not know is that there was a very similar media scare about germs in beards over 100 years ago, in 1912.

Posted: Wed May 06, 2015.   Comments (0)


The All-Female Clockwork Oranges Gang

Were these women members of one of the most feared of all London's street gangs in the 1880's, a group of female toughs known as the Clockwork Oranges?

Posted: Wed May 06, 2015.   Comments (2)

The Naked Office

Did a San Francisco company really boost morale by having its employees work in their birthday suits for a month? more…

Posted: Mon May 04, 2015.   Comments (1)

Nepal Quake Victims Photo

A widely shared photo has been identified as a young boy in Nepal comforting his sister following the deadly earthquake. But the photo was actually taken in Vietnam in 2007. more…

Posted: Mon May 04, 2015.   Comments (0)

Burger With a Side of Fries

Do Mr. Burger and Mr. Fries really have tombstones next to each other? more…

Posted: Sun May 03, 2015.   Comments (0)

Manhole Cover on Stairs

This image has circulated online since at least 2013, and recently it's been doing the rounds again. Often it's given the caption, "Best Manhole Cover. Ever." Is it real or photoshopped? Honestly, I'm not sure. But my best guess is that it's a 'real' photo, but that isn't a genuine, functional manhole cover. more…

Posted: Sun May 03, 2015.   Comments (2)

The Composite Princetonian

On March 27, 1940, the front page of The Daily Princetonian carried a photo that it described as the "Composite Princetonian." It said the photo had been created by analyzing the photos of 2100 Princeton students, then selecting 12 who exemplified the varieties of types on campus. The photos of these 12 were combined into a single composite photo. The next day the truth was revealed. The composite photo was actually a doctored photo of Errol Flynn, minus his mustache and given a crew haircut.

Posted: Thu Apr 30, 2015.   Comments (0)

Killer Whale Attacks Bear

Does this photo show a killer whale attacking a bear? No, it's just an April Fool photo hoax that's apparently still fooling some people.

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2015.   Comments (0)

Edward Mordake—A Mystery Solved

Edward Mordake is said to be an Englishman who was born with a second face on the back of his head — a face that eventually drove him mad. But was he a real person? I say no. I argue that he was actually the literary creation of the 19th-century poet Charles Lotin Hildreth. more…

Posted: Fri Apr 24, 2015.   Comments (5)

The Origin of the Word Canard

'Canard' is the French word for duck, but in both French and English it can also mean a false or absurd story. According to one theory, the word acquired this meaning on account of a 19th Century experiment involving cannibalistic ducks. But is this theory true, or is it itself a canard? more…

Posted: Tue Apr 21, 2015.   Comments (2)

Oomedoodle Bird

The Oomedoodle is a legless bird native to Australia. It is so named because of the distinctive cry it makes every time it lands on its exposed nether regions: "Oomedoodle! Oomedoodle!" They're said to be highly intelligent and make great pets because of their facility with language (even better than that of parrots). However, owners should be warned that their language tends to be vulgar.

Posted: Mon Apr 20, 2015.   Comments (0)

Touching wires means instant death and prosecution!

Throughout the 20th century, a brief story ran repeatedly in newspapers about a sign at a power plant that read, "To touch these wires means instant death. Anyone disregarding this notice will be placed under arrest." The story was most likely an urban legend masquerading as news. There's no good evidence that this sign ever hung anywhere. more…

Posted: Fri Apr 17, 2015.   Comments (3)

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