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MLA Full: "The Top 10 Greatest Hoaxes of All Time." YouTube, uploaded by vlogbrothers, 22 October 2009,
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We like to pretend like we're hard to fool...but we're not. The entire world has been fooled lots of times. All it takes is a good story and some clever staging. I don't think we should worry about it so much.

Alien autopsies, moon people, mermaids, and more, we get fooled a lot.


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A Bunny
( - -)
((') (')
Good morning, John. It's Thursday.

We've been talking a lot about Balloon Boy and I kinda wanted to point out to everyone that this is really nothing new. It's fun to say that this entire Balloon Boy thing is a symptom of the messed-up world of reality television and the faultiness of the 24-hour news cycle, but this is nothing new. It's just the way that the world has always been.

News media isn't hard to fool; it's never been hard to fool. And people like to mess with people. It's not a new thing. This has been going on for a long time, and hoaxes are nothing new. And so, today, I'm coming to you with a list of the top ten awesomest hoaxes of all time, as picked by me.

Hoax Number Ten: [Gigantic Mars]
I remember this one. It was, like, 1995 and everybody was saying: "If you go outside and look at the sky tonight, Mars will be as big as the moon!"
"Dude, you are insane."

Hoax Number Nine: [Faerie Photos]
Back in the beginning of the existence of photography, around 1917, some girls stole their dad's camera and took a bunch of pictures of themselves with cutouts of fairies from a popular faerie book. Because the idea of photographs were oh-so-new and no one had ever seen a faked photograph before, everyone was like "Oh, my God! FAIRIES!"

Hoax Number Eight: [Alien Autopsy]
In 1995 a couple of hoodwinkers showed a bunch of media folks a bunch of an "actual image of an actual alien getting actually cut open by actual doctors." All of those "actuals" are actually fakes. They did it in their garage.

Hoax Number Seven: [Poe's Balloon Boy]
Apparently Edgar Allen Poe, aside from being a marvellously dark poet, also was a fan of the hoodwink. He convinced a newspaper reporter that there was a guy who had flown over the Atlantic Ocean in a balloon in three days. And everyone was, like, "That's awesome! That's so cool! It's not even that hard to believe!" Poe seems to have done this just to prove that he can pull a fast one on the world. Which he did. Well done.

Hoax Number Six: [The Fiji Mermaid]
The Fiji Mermaid, pictured here, was thought to be an actual mermaid for many, many years, and impressed millions of spectators who paid to see it. When they finally got an actual scientist to look at the "actual" mermaid, it turned out it was a body of a baby ape sewn onto a fish and then wrapped in paper machè. One: That's pretty gross and pretty sick. Two: An excellent hoax.

Hoax Number Five: The Mechanical Turk
In 1770 an inventor unveiled a humanoid robot that could play chess and beat famous people; the likes of Napoleon and Benjamin Franklin! In 1770! A mechanical robot that can play chess! Of course, it turned out that there was a dude inside of the mechanical robot...

Hoax Number Four: Every Single Perpetual Motion Device... Ever
It's been going on since the beginning of time: people saying that they can create energy where there was no energy, before. And, accepting investments on their technology.

Hoax Number Three: [Hitlers Diaries]
In 1983, a German magazine paid six million dollars for what it thought was a sixty volume set of Hitler's diaries. Turned out, though, that the books were printed on modern paper, written with modern ink, and were entirely historically inaccurate. The forger/hoaxter was sentenced to forty-two months in prison.

Hoax Number Two: [The Great Moon Hoax]
In 1935, the New York Sun printed a six-part series by John Herschel, the most-respected astronomer of the times, about the race of people on the moon; the goats and the bison there and the winged beasts that bathed in the rivers! John Herschel, in fact, read it, and thought that it was hilarious. The rest of the world, though, was captivated by this vision of the moon. People believed that for, like, six straight weeks! There were other newspapers reporting on it; they were all angry at the Sun for getting the scoop on this moon story, and the Sun subscriptions went way up, and they stayed way up, establishing it as a permanent fixture in New York.

And Hoax Number One, possibly the greatest hoax ever perpetrated, was, in fact, probably an accident: The War of the Worlds
HG Wells' famous fictional radio broadcast was so lifelike and contained so many actual, real-sounding news reporters and a guy who sounded just like the President telling people not to panic. That people actually thought that they could smell the poison gas from the martians and saw flashes off in the distance toward New Jersey. A re-broadcasted translation in Ecuador actually resulted in the deaths of twenty people.

It all goes to show you: We're not that hard to fool. I think that we should probably just accept that and trust people, anyway.