Unicorns on the moon, fake tribes and sex in space, all feature in this crazy AllTimes10 list of Infamous Science Fraud!
Although science is a branch of study that is built upon testable explanations and predictions about the natural world and its phenomena, there have been examples in the past when the desire for fame, fortune or trickery beat out the desire for performing solid science.
Although we like to think of scientific inquiry as being completely objective, unfortunately there have been times in the past that it has been biased by our human desires.
Spontaneous circles carved into crops by aliens, which baffled both scientists and ufologists. Made with wood, rope and wire, the hoaxers owned up when an expert said couldn´t be man-made.
An anthropology report on a strange U.S. tribe ritually scraped their faces with sharp tools. A spoof of U.S. customs, nacirema is American spelled brack wards and ritual was just shaving.
A horse that solved math problems, could tell time and reed German by tapping his hoof to indicate answers. Hans didn´t know the answers – a psychologist found he was just interpreting his trainer´s body language.
07The Great Moon Hoax
The New York sun claimed winged humans and unicorns could be seen living on the Moon by telescope. Believed by tens of thousands across Europe and U.S. the hoax persisted for weeks.
06Spaghetti – tree
The BBC broadcasted a documentary on spaghetti that grew from trees. At a time when spaghetti was rare, intrigued viewers inquired where they could buy their own spaghetti bush.
05Perpetual Motion Machine
Charles Redheffer exhibited his self-turning machine to thousands in New York. Skeptics discovered the machine was being turned by a man hidden in the attic.
National geographic revealed this fossil, believing it was the missing link between dinosaurs and birds. After examination it was found to be a fraud, constructed from real fossils of different species.
A website detailed astronauts´ sex in space research that aimed to find the best position in zero gravity. NASA rebutted the claims, but the story was published 11-years later in a book and news websites as fact.
A pamphlet circulated around Europe stating safe e numbers, including citric acid, caused cancer. The hoax peaked when seven million people had altered their grocery shopping to avoid certain cheeses and mustards.
Government agent, Manuel Elizalde Jr. paid indigenous people pretend to be an undiscovered tribe. In 1983 he fled the country with 35 million dollar raised to protect the Tasaday people.