This next hoax is more of a cool magic trick than a hoax, but it was presented as true in an 1890 Chicago Tribune story as a way to sell more papers.
The Indian rope trick has many variations, but essentially it involves someone throwing a rope into the sky, and instead of the rope falling to the ground it apparently hovers vertically (and unsupported, as pictured below) in the air so that a boy can climb it. Some version have the boy climbing out of sight, and in some versions body parts will be dropped from where the boy disappeared.
There are several videos of the trick on YouTube, but here’s one with my favourite magicians, Penn and Teller, witnessing the trick themselves. It appears as though the person who posted this video doesn’t realize that it’s a trick…in this case it looks to me to be pretty obvious that the “rope” is really a pole disguised as a rope being pushed up from underground through the basket.
See a list of hoaxes counted down so far after the jump.
100. Bridezilla Freaks Out About Her Hairdo
99. The Joe Schmo Show
98. The Crying Indian
97. Ivar’s Underwater Billboards
96. Well to Hell
95. Great Comics Switcheroonie
94. American Cannibal
93. Nacirema Tribe
92. Indian Rope Trick