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Old 01-28-2004, 11:52 AM   #1
Undertoad
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1/28/2004: Antique hoax



This glass jar is 30 inches tall and its contents appear to be fake. Um you knew that, right?

full story

David Hart found this in his garage (in Oxfordshire, UK), and asked his friend to look into it, along with the tin box of documents that accompanied it.

They think that it was created in the 1890s by German scientists and sent to Britain's Natural History Museum in an attempt to pull off a huge hoax. The museum sent it to be destroyed, but instead it was taken and hidden away, possibly by Hart's grandfather.

The story notes that "At the time, scientists were the equivalent of today's pop stars." -- but it's a quickie statement that isn't made by an expert; is this really the case? Too much of an over-simplification? I can imagine it being true in a pre-leisure era, when discoveries are suddenly leading to big changes and improvements in medicine and life in general.

So did the Germans want to claim that they had made this big discovery? Or did they want the Brits to announce it as important so the Germans could reveal it as a sham to show how stupid the Brit scientists were?
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Old 01-28-2004, 11:57 AM   #2
Kitsune
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"The dragon is flawless, from the tiny teeth to the umbilical cord.

That's pretty intricate and detailed for ~1890! Maybe the idea of a previous hoax is, well, also a hoax?
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Old 01-28-2004, 12:02 PM   #3
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The sexy creature so many sailors dreamed about -- "The Feejee Mermaid" hoax by PT Barnum, 1842.

Sailors must be lonely people.
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Old 01-28-2004, 12:11 PM   #4
Undertoad
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Kit, the "hoax of a hoax" was my first thought, but I figured I'd present it without that thought and see how long it took anyone else to point that out.

Five minutes, good work.

So far the story of this thing has been written exactly once, by the Telegraph, and has been presented with the "expert" opinion of this guy's friend.

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Old 01-28-2004, 12:33 PM   #5
russotto
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I vote for "hoax of a hoax". A friend of mine has a couple of similar (down to the color) objects which are sold by a novelty company. His are "aliens" and "brains", but I wouldn't be surprised if there's a dragon as well.
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Old 01-28-2004, 12:34 PM   #6
Elspode
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What an incredible piece of work, though! And a great pic, to boot. I want a reflection hologram of this.
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Old 01-28-2004, 03:39 PM   #7
e unibus plurum
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I'm almost sure I've seen that at an anti-choice rally.
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Old 01-28-2004, 03:40 PM   #8
tw
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Re: 1/28/2004: Antique hoax

Quote:
Originally posted by Undertoad
This glass jar is 30 inches tall and its contents appear to be fake. Um you knew that, right?
Another question and even if it is created for fraudulent purposes. Is it art? Apparently it is quite good art - no matter what its purpose is. Or is art no longer art when its purpose to to defraud?
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Old 01-28-2004, 03:50 PM   #9
ferkelparade
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Why in the world does it have an umbilical cord? Don't we all know that dragons hatch form eggs?
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Old 01-28-2004, 04:16 PM   #10
dar512
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Quote:
Originally posted by ferkelparade
Why in the world does it have an umbilical cord? Don't we all know that dragons hatch form eggs?
You're thinking of mythical dragons. Real dragons are warm-blooded (actually hot-blooded).
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Old 01-28-2004, 06:42 PM   #11
Plec
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Warm blooded?!
Assuming dragons exist-ed (yes, a long shot) they would either be reptiles or be very closely related to reptiles. As we all know reptiles are cold blooded. If you look at Komodo "Dragons" they are huge cold blooded lizards.

Anyway the fake looks pretty good, the umbilical cord is their only slip. Maybe the wings too.

I guess the question is what did the Germans do with the (dead?) mother dragon?



Quote:
Originally posted by dar512

You're thinking of mythical dragons. Real dragons are warm-blooded (actually hot-blooded).
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Old 01-28-2004, 07:57 PM   #12
xoxoxoBruce
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Fake or not, I want one.
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Old 01-28-2004, 10:00 PM   #13
dar512
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Quote:
Originally posted by xoxoxoBruce
Fake or not, I want one.
Talk about your major doodadage. Woh.
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Old 01-28-2004, 10:10 PM   #14
dar512
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Quote:
Originally posted by Plec
Warm blooded?!
What? You don't recognize sass without an icon?

One ought not inject logic into a conversation about dragons.
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Old 01-28-2004, 11:38 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Plec
Warm blooded?!
Assuming dragons exist-ed (yes, a long shot) they would either be reptiles or be very closely related to reptiles. As we all know reptiles are cold blooded.
But what if dragons are more closely related to dinosaurs? There is a large school of thought that believes them to have been warm-blooded.
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