Today Needs Something Special

There aren't enough holidays in the year. Two of The Bowl's Fave Days are Halloween and April Fools. We need more days like those, right? Halloween was only a little more than a month ago, but it feels like ages since 4/1's come around. We need some good pranks around here.

The Museum of Hoaxes has a ten page list of the Top 100 April Fools Pranks of all time.  It is almost as good as December Seven Fools Day.

Classic Hoaxes #2: The Feegee Mermaid

It's a pretty gruesome creation, right?  P.T. Barnum earned a small fortune and created a sensation with this beast.

Mid-July, 1842. An English gentleman named “Dr. J. Griffin”, a member of the British Lyceum of Natural History, arrived in New York City bearing a remarkable curiosity — a real mermaid supposedly caught near the Feejee Islands in the South Pacific. The press were expecting him, since throughout the Summer they had been receiving letters from Southern correspondents describing the doctor and his mermaid. So when he checked in to his hotel, reporters were waiting for him, demanding to see the mermaid. Grudgingly he obliged. What they saw totally convinced them of the creature’s authenticity.

You will have to go to the link to get the rest, but suffice it to say that the term Feegee Mermaid now covers all such hoaxes.

Hoaxes Of The Most Classic Variety

How old are you when you start to realize that some folks out there just looovve to pull a fast one?  What is that makes pranks, cons, rip-offs, and good 'ol hoaxes so darn fascinating?  We can read up on them for hours in our household.  And if the grown-ups try to pull the book away from you, just let them know that hoaxes help you learn to think better: it teaches scientific method and the search for a proof.

In stepping into the swamp of hoaxes, a good place to start is The Museum Of Hoaxes (aka Unnatural Mystery).  I wish there was a ten story version on my block.
Although some might tell you otherwise, Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster has to rate at the top of the all time list.  She's even got her own website.
And a couple of good commercials exploiting her existence (not).