The cover of an album by the Masked Marauders

How a Fake Supergroup Mocked the Real Thing

The Masked Marauders were the cockamamie creation of a bored rock critic. They still sold 100,000 albums.
From left to right: Arthur Davison, Marjorie Allen Sieffert, and Witter Bynner

Spectra: The Poetry Movement That Was All a Hoax

In the experimental world of modernist poetry, literary journals were vulnerable to fake submissions.
Photo taken in the Bourbaki Congress of 1938 in Dieulefit

The Mathematical Pranksters behind Nicolas Bourbaki

Bourbaki was gnomic and mythical, impossible to pin down; his mathematics just the opposite: unified, unambiguous, free of human idiosyncrasy.
Crop circle in Switzerland

Pssst, Crop Circles Were a Hoax

In the late 1970s, mysterious circular patterns started showing up in farm fields.
The Loch Ness Monster swimming in the lake

Nessiteras rhombopteryx: The Loch Ness Monster

Why the Loch Ness Monster has a scientific binomial.
Great Moon Hoax Sun

How the Sun Conned the World With “The Great Moon Hoax”

The birth of the penny press, the first mass media, was very much mixed up with fake news, including the Great Moon Hoax of 1835.
Piltdown man

Whatever Happened To Piltdown Man?

Piltdown Man was once considered the missing link between apes and humans. What happened?
Mystery airship The Saint Paul Globe (Minn) April 13 1897

The History of UFOs

UFOs are much older than the Cold War's flying saucers. These 1897 and 1909 sightings of flying machines were the talk of the town. 
Flying Penguin

Zoological Jokes and Hoaxes

The humor in inventing fake animals comes from the fact that the audience is in on the joke. Nevertheless, the line between satire and hoax can be fuzzy.
Workers are dwarfed by the 10-foot Cardiff Giant as they dig him out of his "grave" in Cardiff, N.Y., in this 1869 file photo. AP Photo/Farmers Museum, HO)

The Cardiff Giant: The Biggest Hoax of the 19th Century

The Cardiff Giant was the greatest hoax in an era of hoaxes.