10 Famous Hoaxes
Ten famous hoaxes can be very interesting, not to mention humorous. Hoaxes can be found all over the world, and even though in many cases the person responsible for the hoax confesses, there are still those who insist on believing them to be true. From alien autopsies to Big Foot, below is our list of ten famous hoaxes you should know about.
- The shark and helicopter was a photo that circulated email inboxes claiming to have been nominated for National Geographic's photo of the year. The picture appeared to be of a great white shark jumping out of the water to attack a helicopter—of course, it was a composite of two separate photos combined into one by an unknown person.
- The Cottingley Fairies is a photograph taken with two young girls around the turn of the century. The picture is of a little girl with five fairies that was taken by her young cousin. The reaction by the public ranged from those who believed the authenticity of the photo to those who dismissed it as a fake. The girls insisted they were real, though many years later admitted having faked the photos using cardboard cutouts.
- An alien autopsy was found in May of 1995. This autopsy was said to have happened after the crash of UFO at Roswell. The body of this alien was said to have a largely abnormal stomach and head. This autopsy was never seen by anyone physically, but the people who performed the autopsy began to come out and publicly release what it was they had discovered.
- Big Foot has been researched by several people. One man by the name of Ray Wallace passed away, and after he did several family members found his personal research on Big Foot. Ray had pictures of Big Foot which many believed to have been of the real Big Foot taken by him. Later during the investigation it was said that the Big Foot image was actually his wife in a suit.
- The Feejee Mermaid took many people by surprise including the founders. These bones were put into an exhibit shortly after they were found. The body was half mammal half fish. This figure received lots of attention in and out of exhibits; in the end it was discovered to have been constructed from the bones of a fish and a baby monkey sewn together.
- Crop Circles are geometric shaped circles that appeared in wheat fields in England. These circles would only appear in the middle of midnight and would not be seen any other time. These circles were said to be landing marks for UFOs coming out of space. Throughout the years many associated the circles with occurring after seeing the lights with over head planes or other artificial lighting. Later, the process for making these manmade crop designs was discovered.
- The Turk is a fake chess playing machine. During the 18th Century, this autonomic Turk appeared to be capable of beating a human opponent using different strategies every time. Turns out it was a mere illusion—the construction of the machine allowed a master chess player to be hidden inside, making the moves for the Turk. The illusion lasted for nearly 85 years, confounding even men like Benjamin Franklin.
- The Loch Ness Monster is a creature that is speculated to be a surviving plesiosaurs in Scotland, evidenced by a photograph taken of it late in the night. The photograph shows what appears to be the head and neck of the "monster," taken by a man named Robert Kenneth Wilson. In 1994, the image was discovered to be a hoax.
- The Piltdown Man is an anthropological hoax from the early 20th Century. In 1912, a man named Charles Dawson claimed to have been given a skull of an undiscovered relative of early man from a gravel pit worker. Many years later, it was discovered to be a deliberately combined human skull and orangutan jawbone.
- Cardiff Giant is a manmade giant. This giant was 10-foot-tall petrified man discovered in New York in 1869. Famously, an atheist named George Hull had the "giant" secretly commissioned, carved and weathered after a frustrating argument with someone over their literal interpretation of a passage in Genesis that giants had once lived on Earth. The giant was transferred by Hull to a cousin had a well dug by a few workers who then claimed to have found the giant buried there. Later Hull confessed that his giant was a fake.