History’s Greatest Hoaxes: Can You Spot the Lies?

What was the infamous War of the Worlds hoax?

Radio show that caused mass panic

A book about fake Martian invasion

A movie about aliens attacking Earth

A television report on alien landing

In 1938, Orson Welles’ radio adaptation of H.G. Wells’ “The War of the Worlds” was broadcasted. It was presented as a series of news bulletins, which many listeners believed were real, causing widespread panic.

What was the Piltdown Man?

A medieval knight’s skeleton

A dinosaur fossil

A fabricated missing link fossil

An ancient stone tool

The Piltdown Man was a hoax in which bone fragments were presented as the fossilized remains of a previously unknown early human. These were later revealed to be a combination of human and ape parts.

What did the Cardiff Giant hoax involve?

A giant stone sculpture

A large alien spacecraft model

A massive prehistoric animal bone

A huge buried treasure

The Cardiff Giant was a 10-foot-tall purported “petrified man” found in Cardiff, New York in 1869. It was actually a sculpture carved from gypsum.

Who orchestrated the Great Moon Hoax of 1835?

Richard Adams Locke

Edgar Allan Poe

Mark Twain

P.T. Barnum

Richard Adams Locke, a journalist, wrote a series of articles describing fantastical lunar life forms and civilizations, which were published in The Sun newspaper, fooling many of his readers.

What is the Loch Ness Monster often considered?

A proven species of aquatic dinosaur

A hoax or misidentification

A rare but real sea creature

An undiscovered type of large fish

The Loch Ness Monster, or Nessie, is widely regarded as a hoax or a case of misidentification of mundane objects, although it continues to be a subject of myth and speculation.

The Crop Circle phenomenon was initially started by

Extraterrestrial beings

Natural atmospheric phenomena

Two pranksters

Government experiments

Crop circles were first created by two pranksters, Doug Bower and Dave Chorley, who in the 1970s began making patterns in crops with a plank of wood and rope as a joke.

What was “The Surgeon’s Photo”?

An early photo of an open surgery

A famous yet faked photo of Nessie

A manipulated image of a ghost

A staged crime scene photo

The Surgeon’s Photo is one of the most famous images purportedly showing the Loch Ness Monster, taken in 1934. It was later revealed to be a hoax.

What was the nature of the “Fiji Mermaid”?

An actual discovered mermaid species

Half-monkey, half-fish creation

A real mermaid caught near Fiji

An ancient statue found underwater

The Fiji Mermaid was a hoax popularized by P.T. Barnum during the 1840s, which was actually the torso and head of a monkey sewn to the tail of a fish.

What was “The Turk”?

A chess-playing machine

A mathematical formula

A robotic servant

An ancient calculator

The Turk was a fake chess-playing machine constructed in the late 18th century. It was a mechanical illusion that allowed a human chess master to hide inside and operate the machine.

What was the outcome of the “Balloon Boy” hoax?

Global warming awareness raised

New aviation laws implemented

Family gained massive media attention

Triggered a city-wide evacuation

In 2009, the “Balloon Boy” hoax involved a claim that a young boy was trapped in a homemade helium balloon. It was later revealed to be a stunt by the family to gain media attention.

What is the Dihydrogen Monoxide hoax about?

A dangerous chemical spill

Water described as a toxic substance

An alien substance found in rivers

A banned industrial solvent

The Dihydrogen Monoxide hoax involves describing water (H2O) with an unfamiliar chemical name to make it sound dangerous, misleading those who are unaware that it’s simply water.

Who was behind the “Fairy Photographs” hoax?

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Two young girls

A famous magician

A well-known photographer

The “Fairy Photographs” were taken by two young girls, Elsie Wright and Frances Griffiths, in 1917. They claimed to have captured images of fairies, which many believed, including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

What was the true nature of the Drake’s Plate hoax?

A genuine 16th-century artifact

A modern creation passed as historical

A misidentified ancient weapon

A piece from an old ship

Drake’s Plate of Brass was a forgery presented in 1936 as a historical plaque supposedly left by the explorer Sir Francis Drake. It was later revealed to be a modern creation.

What hoax involved a fake language?

Etruscan language deciphered

Constructed language for a movie

A non-existent Australian language

First computer language

A hoax involving a fake language claimed the existence of a non-existent Australian Aboriginal language. This was actually fabricated by a student as a linguistic experiment.

What was the purpose of the Sokal Affair?

To expose poor academic standards

A book launch stunt

To popularize a new scientific theory

A protest against university policies

The Sokal Affair was a scholarly hoax by physicist Alan Sokal who submitted a nonsense article to a cultural studies journal, which was published, to expose poor academic standards.

What was the motive behind the Berners Street Hoax?

To win a bet

To promote a new business

To protest tax increases

To create a social experiment

The Berners Street Hoax in 1810 was perpetrated by Theodore Hook who bet he could make any house in London the most talked-about address in a week, resulting in massive and disruptive crowds.

What was the outcome of the “Spaghetti Trees” hoax?

Promotion of Italian cuisine

Many believed spaghetti grew on trees

Introduction of a new pasta shape

Ignited a farming trend

In 1957, the BBC show “Panorama” aired a segment about Swiss farmers picking spaghetti from trees, leading many viewers to believe that spaghetti grew on trees.

What did the “Dead Fairy Hoax” claim to find?

A fossilized pixie

A fairy’s body in Derbyshire

An elf’s remains in a park

A gnome’s hat in the woods

In 2007, images and stories of a supposedly dead fairy found in Derbyshire, UK, circulated online, fooling thousands until it was revealed as a hoax created by an artist.

What was the outcome of the “NASA’s Moon Landing” conspiracy theories?

Scientific education improvement

Increase in space exploration funding

Widespread belief in staged landings

Introduction of new space policies

Conspiracy theories claiming that NASA’s moon landings were staged and not real have persisted since the Apollo missions, leading many to doubt the actual events despite overwhelming evidence.

Who was the instigator of the “Paul is dead” hoax?

A college student

A radio DJ

A newspaper editor

Paul McCartney himself

The “Paul is dead” hoax, suggesting that Paul McCartney had died and was replaced by a lookalike, gained traction after being discussed by a Detroit radio DJ in 1969.

Fooled Flat

Your hoax detection skills might need some fine-tuning!

Hoax Buster Apprentice

You’ve got a keen eye for details; keep questioning!

Master of Illusions

No hoax can get past you; truly legendary!

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