Science Hoaxes Quiz
What hoax was thought to be the "missing link" between man and apes?
- In 1912, Charles Dawson claimed to have found the Piltdown fossil, which is a skull and jaw bone that's half ape and half human, in Sussex. It wasn't until 1953 that the fossils were revealed to be fake.
Which German scientist told President Peron he was capable of producing endless energy from nuclear fusion?
- Ronald Ritcher, a German scientist, traveled to Argentina after WWII. Argentina's President Peron was desperate to prove Argentina was strong, telling the media Ritcher could produce endless energy. It was later revealed as a hoax.
Whose CRAP paper was published in a scientific journal?
- Philip Davis, a graduate student at Cornell, highlighted the issues with scientific publications by getting his nonsensical computer-generated paper published in a scientific journal.
The Cardiff Giant was a fake...
- The Cardiff Giant was a 10-foot "petrified man" who was dug up in 1869. Various people traveled across the US to see it before it was revealed that the giant was really just carved from stone.
Which physician fell for an elaborate fake fossil plot?
- In 1725, envious colleagues planted various fake fossils for Johann Beringer to find. Beringer wrote a book about the incredible fossils before realizing it was a hoax.
Who published a paper about quantum gravity being a social and linguistic construct?
- In 1996, Alan Sokal published a fake paper stating that quantum gravity is a social and linguistic construct. After the publication, Sokal admitted that the paper was intentionally a hoax, causing many to question the ethics behind the joke.
In 1957, an April Fool's joke caused many to believe what kind of tree existed?
- In 1957, the BBC show Panorama aired a special about a spaghetti tree in Switzerland, which showed people harvesting pasta off the branches. After various calls regarding the tree, the BBC admitted it was an April Fool's joke.
Who claimed to have the secret of immortality?
- In the 18th Century, Johann Heinrich Cohausen wrote a book claiming to know how to prolong life. One of his "secrets" was to capture the breath of young women in bottles. At the end of the book, Cohausen states it's satire, so the hoax didn't last long.
Who was it said would go extinct by 2202 in a fake study?
- In 2002, after various news organizations reported that blond-haired people would be extinct by 2202, it was revealed to be a hoax. The research paper cited research done by the WHO, but it was later revealed that the WHO didn't conduct the experiments.
Who claimed vaccines caused autism?
- In 1998, Andrew Wakefield published a paper claiming to have found a link between MMR vaccines and autism. It was later revealed that Wakefield falsified his research and even added fake data to support his claim.