The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Hoax Museum Blog
Hoaxes, mischief, and misinformation throughout history
Vinland Map
Posted by The Curator on Wed Nov 26, 2003
According to a new study, the Vinland Map (that map of North America drawn by ancient Vikings) may be genuine.
Categories: History Comments (0)
State Seal of Kahlifoania
Posted by The Curator on Tue Nov 25, 2003
Apparently the great state of California, in which I live, has adopted a new state seal, as can be seen below.
Categories: Politics Comments (0)
Art Forgery
Posted by The Curator on Mon Nov 24, 2003
MyStudios.com has an interesting History of Art Forgery (via Fiendish Is The Word). Plus, they challenged 20 contemporary artists to create works in the style of past masters, and you can see the results here.
Categories: Art Comments (0)
Sea Urchins Live Forever
Posted by The Curator on Mon Nov 24, 2003
One of the questions in my gullibility test is whether turtles ever die of old age. The answer is that they don't, and here's a BBC article about another species that shares this trait: the sea urchin. Apparently, unless urchins are killed off by predators or diseasey, they'll live forever.
Categories: Animals Comments (0)
The Great Octopus Mystery
Posted by The Curator on Sun Nov 23, 2003
As a joke, a Peoria woman puts a baby octopus in her boyfriend's toilet. Her boyfriend gets home, finds an octopus in his toilet, and assumes it must have crawled there from out of the sewer. He calls the local paper and the city is soon caught up in the 'Great Octopus Mystery' until the girlfriend calls up and sheepishly confesses.
Categories: Animals, Pranks Comments (1)
Piltdown Man
Posted by The Curator on Sat Nov 22, 2003
Dr. Miles Russell argues that Charles Dawson had to be the sole perpetrator of the Piltdown Hoax, since Dawson had a long history of creating archaeological frauds.
Categories: Science Comments (0)
Bizarre Phobias
Posted by The Curator on Fri Nov 21, 2003
Tom wrote to ask about the reality of a site called The Phobia Clinic. At first glance, the site definitely looks like it represents a real business that's selling a program to help people overcome their fears. The strangeness comes when you dig into some of the fears that they claim they can cure, and you have to wonder... do such fears or anxieties really exist? For example, they can cure you of Arachibutyrophobia (that's a fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth), Ballistophobia (a fear of bullets... but why would anyone want to overcome their fear of bullets? Isn't that a good thing to be afraid of?), Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia (fear of…
Categories: Psychology Comments (449)
Michael Jackson, the jokes have begun
Posted by The Curator on Fri Nov 21, 2003
'Free MJ' shop that's now up on CafePress. Plus, there have been quite a few postings today on my message board dedicated to Michael Jackson's Nose.
Categories: Celebrities Comments (0)
The Jedi Religion
Posted by The Curator on Thu Nov 20, 2003
I wrote in my book about the burgeoning Jedi movement throughout the world. For instance, when the 2001 census was taken in Britain, tens of thousands of people listed 'Jedi Knight' as their religious affiliation on the census forms. I've actually heard from a source in the Office of National Statistics that when the figures were all counted, there ended up being more Jedis than Jews in Britain. Now we have more proof of the growing stature of 'Jediism': the quasi-official website of the Jedi Religion.
Categories: Religion Comments (28)
Hitler Hoaxes
Posted by The Curator on Tue Nov 18, 2003
Mixing together some content that had been on the site before, with a little stuff from my book, I just created a small gallery of hoaxes involving Adolf Hitler. He was a strange man, and he inspired some strange hoaxes.
Categories: History, Politics Comments (0)
The Great Chili Scandal
Posted by The Curator on Tue Nov 18, 2003
People are up in arms about the Great Chili Scandal. The scandal occurred at the 37th annual Original Terlingua International Frank X. Tolbert-Wick Fowler Memorial Championship Chili Cook-Off, which is like the superbowl of Chili Cook-offs. Don Eastep won first place this year. Problem is that Don hadn't actually cooked any of his own chili. His brother Terry had dropped out of the contest at the last minute, so Don posed as his brother and took his place. But instead of cooking something of his own, Don simply walked around and took one spoonful of chili from each of the 80 contestants. Then he mixed these eighty spoonfuls together in a bowl and handed that in as his entry.…
Categories: Food Comments (0)
What Brand Are You?
Posted by The Curator on Tue Nov 18, 2003
This is one of those cases where a joke supposedly becomes reality. An advertising company (The Design Conspiracy) created a joke website called What Brand Are You?, whose purpose was to spoof the bizarre brand names that companies are increasingly dreaming up—names such as Aviva, Diageo, and Corus. Visitors to What Brand Are You could type in their name, their 'core values,' and their goals, and the supercomputer powering the website would then spit out a personalized brand name free of charge (my brand name is 'Acclivius'). In reality, the Design Conspiracy had just dreamed up a few silly names (about 150, they say) which were randomly offered when visitors hit the submit button. But apparently a number of…
Categories: Advertising, Websites Comments (1)
Howard Dean Confederacy Posters
Posted by The Curator on Sat Nov 15, 2003
Posters advertising a campaign rally for Howard Dean, and sporting a confederate flag in the background, appeared all over the campus of Dartmouth College. The group hosting the rally denies having created the posters, therefore they're obviously a prank, created by some group as yet unknown.
Categories: Politics Comments (0)
The Naked Chef
Posted by The Curator on Sat Nov 15, 2003
Here's a picture of the 2004 calendar of Jamie Oliver (aka The Naked Chef). Note the suggestively placed piece of bread. This image originally appeared on the website of Boots, which is a British pharmacy. And it quickly attracted attention, at which point Boots cropped the image in order to remove the offending piece of bread. I can't find another picture of the calendar anywhere online to compare this picture to, but I'm assuming that the piece of bread must have been photoshopped in. Probably by a mischievous Boots employee. Update 2 (11/17/03): David Emery reports that he was able to find the real version of the…
Catch Him If You Can
Posted by The Curator on Fri Nov 14, 2003
A modern-day 'Catch Me If You Can' criminal is on the run in Australia. He cons women out of money by posing as a pilot. Except that Frank Abagnale was a teenager when he posed as a pilot, whereas this guy is in his 30s.
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