7 Famous hoaxes that terrified the world

Hyperaxion Jan 20, 2020

Check out this list of 7 Famous Hoaxes That Scared The World Throughout History.

Since the beginning of human history, people have been deceived by hoaxes.  Nowadays, more than ever, fake news are everywhere. Hoaxes are a way to trick a group of people into believing something false is real. In the past, the term “fake news” did not exist, so hoaxes were more famous.

Many of these hoaxes were just for publicity, but they ended up terrifying people. Among the thousands of scams that have been invented throughout history, some have been more famous and more shocking. And in these fraudulent stories, thousands of people have been deceived by fanciful lies.

Nobody can blame them, after all, at a time when there was little access to information, it was even easier to deceive people. Today, this is different, people have access to information, although they are still deceived by modern hoaxes. Check out below, 7 famous hoaxes that terrified the world.

1 – The Book of Mormon

The Book of Mormon

The Book of Mormon is considered by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to be a divinely inspired book of equal value to the Holy Bible. Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon religion, claims that he was guided by an angel to a hill, where he found tablets of gold containing the full text of that book.

He also says that after he finished translating the text, he had to return the golden tablets to the angel, so that there was no physical evidence that they existed. A little suspicious, but people believed it.

Smith claimed the scriptures were made by several prophets, however, linguistic experts concluded the entire book was written by a single man, not a combination of authors. Furthermore, the book still has vital inconsistencies, which invalidate the claims of the founder of the religion.

2 – The Cottingley Fairies

The Cottingley Fairies

The so-called Cottingley Fairies are a series of five old photographs, depicting a girl among the supposed fairies. The sister of the girl in the photo took her father’s camera and went out to take pictures, in front of the family home. When she took the plates to develop, she saw fairies in the photos.

The father considered the images to be false, but the girls’ mother faithfully believed in the authenticity of the images and the presence of the fairies. In 1919, the subject became public and even appeared in newspapers at the time.

Many people have been deceived by this fraud. And the farce continued for fifty years, until, in 1982, the girls admitted that the photographs were false. Until then, many people believed in the existence of fairies, thanks to these photos.

3 – Alien Autopsy

Alien Autopsy

In September 1995, the world’s major television networks reported on the probable 1947 UFO crash in Roswell, New Mexico (USA). But it wasn’t just that: there were unpublished images of an autopsy performed in Fort Worth with an alien that was on the crashed ship. From then on, the controversy was created. Everyone asked the same questions: Are the images real? Is it definitive proof that extraterrestrials do visit our planet? Or is it simply a fraud?

The film caused so much controversy that, in England alone, 5.5 million viewers were simply mesmerized by the raw images of the autopsy. A few hours later, Sky TV announced that 23,000 copies of the film had already been sold in less than 24 hours! In Germany, people were equally perplexed by the fact, 4 million people watched the film there. The whole world was stunned by the autopsy and the broadcasters that showed the film reached peak audiences. The public’s reactions were mixed. On the one hand, there was a lot of caution while, on the other, many people believed in the truth of the film.

In 2006, however, Ray Santilli, the person behind the film, said it was only partly real. The remainder of the recording was a reconstruction of 22 rolls of film, averaging four minutes in length.

4 – Piltdown Man

Piltdown Man

The “Piltdown Man” is a famous rumor, involving fragments of a skull and jaw, found in a well in Piltdown, in 1912. At the time, many experts believed the fragments were fossilized remains of an unknown species of primitive hominids.

This rumor is probably the most well-known archaeological rumor of all. It was exposed in 1953, as a forgery, which consisted of an orangutan’s lower jaw, attached to a fully developed modern man’s skull.

5 – Fiji mermaid

Fiji mermaid

The Fiji Mermaid was presented to the world as a mummified body of a supposed creature half mammal and half fish. The mermaid was exposed in a museum and became one of the main attractions of the collection. In 1842, two enthusiasts decided to explore this supposed “mermaid”.

She was named “The Fiji Mermaid “. But it turned out that the mermaid was just the work of an Indonesian craftsman. The craftsman used paper mache and materials from exotic fish to make the tail, and the trunk of an orangutan baby, sewn with the head of a monkey, to form the rest of the body.

6 – The Turk

The Turk

The Turk was a very famous chess machine from the late 18th century. It was advertised as an autonomous machine, but which later proved to be a fraud. The Turk was introduced in 1770, and with each exhibition, the doors and drawers were opened, so that the audience could inspect the machine.

Each person could play a game of chess with the “machine”, which curiously almost always won the games. That’s because the Turk was a mechanical illusion, hiding a human chess master, operating the machine. With a very experienced operator, the machine won most of the games played.

7 – Loch Ness Monster

Loch Ness Monster

One of the most iconic photos of Loch Ness is the one above, which has been credited as evidence of the existence of a monster living in the lake. And even though the image raised doubts about its veracity from the beginning, many people believed that this was proof that the monster existed. But in the 1990s the hoax was revealed. Photographer Robert Kenneth Wilson never came to claim that the monster was real. He just claimed he had photographed “something in the water”. The photo is usually cropped to give the impression that the monster is huge. While in the original, uncut photo, you can see the other end of the lake and the “monster” in the center.

Researchers did a detailed analysis of the image later. They identified an evident white object, indicating that the photo was on the negative. The conclusion is that it was just a defect in the negative that occurred when developing the image. In other words, no monster.


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