Whether it is for fame, fortune, or simply for the kick of it, some people will imagine amazing hoaxes in order to deceive the rest of the world. Throughout history, man loved the game of deceit. History books, the bible and children story books are full of deception. Not all of these are malicious cases of deception though. Some are in fact quite amusing and meant to be little more than practical jokes. Either way though, these are the Top 25 amazing hoaxes in the history of mankind .
25| The Spaghetti Tree
In the mid 1950s the BBC showed a broadcast about a family harvesting spaghetti from a tree. Afterwards they recieved hundreds of inquiries as to how people could grow their own trees. Unfortunately for them, though, it was all an April Fools Day joke.
24| Clever Hans
Supposedly a remarkable horse capable of solving complex math problems, reading, and even understanding German, Hans would answer questions by tapping his hoof. Upon investigation, however, psychologists determined that Hans was in fact simply taking cues from the audience as well as his trainer. For example, the audience would start to gasp as he reached the correct number of hoof taps. So although Hans probably wasn’t a mathematical genious he still made for a pretty clever horse though.
23| The Great Moon
In 1835 several articles were published by the New York Sun claiming that Sir John Herschel had made some incredible discoveries in space using new telescopic methods. According to the article the surface of the moon was covered with lilac colored pyramids, herds of bison, and blue unicorns (we’re not even joking). Later it was found that the article was very obviously a hoax and even Herschel himself wasn’t aware of some of the claims being attributed to him.
22| Jan Hendrik Schon
A German physicist, Schon briefly flirted with fame after a series of breakthroughs in semi-conductor research. Not long after his rise to scientific stardom, however, others began noticing anomilies in his data. It was soon determined that he had faked almost all of his experiments making it one of the largest hoaxes in the world of physics for the last 50 years.
21| The Sokal Affair
A hoax perpetrated by physicist Alan Sokal, he submitted a nonsensical research paper filled with jargon to the Social Text, a journal published by Duke. His goal was to prove that the many journals of the day were nothing more than “a pastiche of left-wing cant, fawning references, grandiose quotations, and outright nonsense.” In other words…politically correct pseudoscience. His paper was published and almost simulataneously Sokal came out in several other papers pointing to his hoax and making fools of the editors.
20| The Upas Tree
In 1783 an account was published in the London Magazine about a tree in Indonesia so poisonous that it killed everything within 15 miles leaving the Earth bare and dotted with the skeletons of both man and beast. The truth is, however, that although the Upas tree really exists and it really does contain a powerful toxin, this story was blown way out of proportion.
19| Villejuif Leaflet
About 30 years ago a leaflet was circulated in Europe that listed a number of food additives as carcinogens. It caused a huge mass panic in many countries, primarily France, but eventually was exposed as a hoax.
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