Hoaxes have been perpetrated for years, and we’ve all been taken in by one at one time or another. Here’s Znaniye’s list of 3 interesting hoaxes.

The Feejee Mermaid

(image from Wikimedia Commons)

The Feejee (or Fiji) mermaid was purported to be a mummified mammal-fish hybrid. Bought in 1842 by circus man P.T. Barnum, the “mermaid” was, in reality, either a papier-mache construct or a grotesque Frankenstein monster of sorts, composed of a fish tail, orangutan torso, and a monkey head.

The Turk

The Turk, built in 1770 by Wolfgang von Kempelen, was a mechanical wonder for its time. It was supposedly a primitive computer that could beat anyone at chess (a Colonial Deep Blue, maybe?). Unfortunately, that was (obviously) not the case – it was a few hundred years ahead of its time. Its complicated machinery in the lower cabinet concealed a human chess player, who, if skilled, could best opponents in under 30 minutes, according to some accounts. The illusion lasted until 1854, when the Turk was “killed” in a fire. 3 years later, the son of its last owner finally exposed the Turk’s secrets.

War of the Worlds

On October 30, 1938, thousands of people were listening to CBS Radio, expecting to hear a live orchestra broadcast. Instead, they were treated to a dramatic reading of H.G. Wells’ “War of the Worlds”, and assumed it was a news broadcast. Panic ensued. Read more at the <a href=”http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/Hoaxipedia/War_of_the_Worlds/”>Museum of Hoaxes

More hoaxes:
Listverse Top 10 Famous Hoaxes
Museum of Hoaxes

Neatorama’s 5 Hoaxes that Fooled the World


~ by znaniye on November 30, 2008.

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