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The Case of the Umbrella-Handle Parmesan Cheese


Is it true that in 1969 an Italian man was charged with selling fake Parmesan cheese made out of grated umbrella handles?

Does having a hairy chest prevent cirrhosis of the liver?


The other day, I was reading The Book of Strange Facts & Useless Information (1979) by Scot Morris, when I came across the following statement: "Men with hair on their chests are less likely to get cirrhosis of the liver than bare-chested men are." This is definitely a strange fact, and therefore appropriate for Morris's book.

Dinosaur Hunting License


The area around Vernal, Utah is the only place in the world where it's legal to hunt dinosaurs. Because Vernal is the only town that issues official Dinosaur Hunting Licenses.

The Canine Collection Hoax


On May 9, 2016, the online fashion retailer Lyst announced that it was branching into a new line of business.

The Dissolving Bathing Suit Hoax of 1930


A 1930 news story about women pranked by a dissolving bathing suit turned out to be a hoax — but it had a long subsequent career.

Poodle Clipping As An Olympic Sport


Was poodle clipping included as an official competition in the 1900 Summer Olympics? In the months preceding the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, Christopher Lyles wrote a daily "Beijing Countdown" column for The Daily Telegraph in which he would note how many days remained until the Games, and then offer an interesting Olympic fact related to that number.

The Medical Value of Maternal Kisses


Did medical researchers really conduct a study to determine whether mother's kisses of children's boo-boos had any therapeutic value?

Painted Ponies


In 1965, a Copenhagen newspaper ran an April Fool hoax claiming that the Danish parliament was going to require all black dogs to be painted white, in order to increase road safety by making the dogs more visible at night.

Park Rules (and other fake signs)


Jeff Wysaski's hobby is putting up fake signs at various locations such as stores, museums, or in the street.

Wisconsin Concrete Deer Hoax


If you live in Wisconsin, you DO NOT need to remove the deer statues from your front lawn. They can stay where they are, no matter how tacky your neighbors might think they are.

The $12 Million Message In A Bottle


In 1949, did a California restaurant worker really find a will sealed inside a bottle that bequeathed millions of dollars to him, as the finder of the bottle?

Boyfriend was really a girlfriend


Almost too weird to believe: Gayle Newland says that for two years she thought she was meeting and having sex with her boyfriend, Kye Fortune...

The Poetry of Yi-Fen Chou


Yi-Fen Chou described himself as "a technical writer and part-time antiques dealer in Fort Wayne, Indiana." He was also a poet whose work, since 2009, had been published in a variety of literary journals including Prairie Schooner, Michigan Quarterly Review, Cimarron Review, South Dakota Review, The Spoon River Poetry Review, and Painted Bride Quarterly.

Bogus Baldness Epidemics


I've recently come across two cases in which the press warned the public about "epidemics of baldness," only to have those epidemics turn out to be much less than was initially reported.

Peterfid Tomcat


While cleaning up after the 1959 Tulare County Art League exhibit in Visalia, California, a group of janitors and maintenance men remarked to each that they could make "modern art" that was just as good.

Did Cleopatra Drink a Pearl Dissolved in Vinegar?


Ancient legend tells of Cleopatra's extravagantly expensive beverage. But modern scholars disagree about whether she ever really drank such a concoction.

The Rhythm of the Trees


The Manchester City Art Gallery received over 1000 entries for its 1993 Academy of Fine Arts Exhibition.

Cheeseburger Oreos


Recently a photo circulated on social media showing Cheeseburger Oreos. No, there is no such flavor. The photo originates from the Wreckless Eating YouTube channel, which features a pair of guys who eat weird combinations of food.

Sponge-Throwing Painters of the Ancient World


An ancient legend described the role of chance in art — a sponge flung in anger at a canvas accidentally produced the exact effect a painter had been striving for.

The Man on Page 602


Was a male model's genitalia really visible in the 1975 Sears Fall/Winter catalog? We add some new evidence to this old debate.


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