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New & Updated Urban Legends

Urban legends, email rumors & Internet hoaxes

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The Top 25: Trending hoaxes and urban legends
Definitions: Hoax, rumor, urban legend
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McDonald's Uses Worm Meat Fillers
Satirical article claims McDonald's uses earthworms as "filler" in its hamburgers but can still legally claim to serve "100% beef" because its meat products come from a source called "100% Beef Company." (Added 04/22/14)

Gabriel Garcia Marquez Farewell Letter
Viral "farewell letter" is attributed to recently deceased Colombian author Gabriel Garcie Marquez. (Added 04/19/14)

Miley Cyrus Tests Positive for HIV
Viral article claims pop singer Miley Cyrus was diagnosed with HIV being hospitalized and canceling shows. (Added 04/16/14)

WWE Legend The Undertaker Found Dead
Viral "news article" claims pro wrestler Mark "The Undertaker" Calaway was found dead in his home by his wife earlier this week. (Added 04/15/14)

'Mermaid Found Inside a Shark' Video
Viral social media blurbs promote a "rare, uncut video" supposedly showing the carcass of a mermaid found inside a shark. (Added 04/14/14)

Smoking Bed Bugs to Get High
Viral "news video" claims the latest drug-use trend among teens is smoking bed bugs, which purportedly contain a powerful hallucinogen called PH-417. (Added 04/12/14)

What's With the 'Blood Moon' on April 15?
Find out why they're calling the full moon of April 15, 2014 a "Blood Moon" and why, according to some, it has prophetic significance. (Added 04/10/14)

Kansas to Black Out 'Cosmos' Show
Viral "news article" claims there's a bill in the Kansas Senate to black out "Cosmos" for religious reasons. (Added 04/09/14)

Do Energy Drinks Contain Bull Semen?
Longstanding rumors claim the secret ingredient responsible for the boost you get from Red Bull and other energy drinks is bull semen. (Added 04/08/14)

'She Ended Up in Emergency After Friends Did This' Video
Facebook clickjacking scam touts a video purporting to document the case of a woman who ended up in the emergency room after being sexually assaulted by friends. (Added 04/07/14)

Justin Bieber Admits to Being Bisexual
Viral "news story" claims Justin Bieber tweeted a photo of himself kissing "boyfriend" Austin Mahone and admits he is bisexual. (Added 04/07/14)

'Flight MH370 Found in Indian Ocean' Video
Social media clickjacking scam promotes a video supposedly showing the recovery of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in the Indian Ocean. (Added 04/07/14)

'Dwayne Johnson Died While Filming a Stunt' Video
Scam postings tout a video showing how Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson supposedly died while filming a dangerous stunt on the set of Fast & Furious 7. (Added 04/06/14)

'Giant Anaconda Swallows Up a Zookeeper' Video
Circulating via social media, viral posts promote a video supposedly showing a giant anaconda swallowing a zookeeper in South Africa. (Added 04/04/14)

British Scientists Clone Dinosaur
Viral "news story" claims scientists at Liverpool's John Moore University have successfully cloned a dinosaur, a baby Apatosaurus named "Spot." (Added 04/01/14)

'Missing Airlines MH370 of Malaysia Found' CNN Video
Viral Facebook posts purport to link to a CNN "breaking news" video saying that missing Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 has been found 850km away. (Added 03/30/14)

'Full Pink Moon' on April 15, 2014
Social media postings make much of a "Full Pink Moon" coinciding with a total lunar eclipse on April 15, 2014. "Share the experience." (Added 03/29/14)

Adam Levine Dead of Drug Overdose
Scam postings claim Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine was found dead of a drug overdose. Don't click! (Added 03/27/14)

April 4th Planetary Alignment to Decrease Gravity
Viral article claims a rare planetary alignment on April 4, 2014 will decrease gravity and everyone on earth will feel weightless for 5 minutes. (Added 03/26/14)

Jeff Gordon, Stephen Rhodes Confirm Gay Relationship
Viral "news article" claims NASCAR drivers Jeff Gordon and Stephen Rhodes have confirmed they are in a homosexual relationship. (Added 03/25/14)

Razor Blades Found on Playground Equipment in East Moline, IL
Viral images show razor blades glued to playground equipment at a park in East Moline, Illinois, where a toddler was reported injured after touching one of them. (Added 03/25/14)

'Mysterious Malaysia Plane Finally Found!' Video
Viral postings tout "news video" claiming that missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 has been found and passengers may be alive. (Added 03/25/14)

CNN Tweet: Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 'Found in a Bay'
Fake Twitter accounts are using CNN's name and logo to disseminate false information and draw web traffic. (Added 03/23/14)

Palin Wonders if Flight 370 'Flew Directly to Heaven'
Viral article quotes Sarah Palin suggesting that missing Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 could be in heaven because it "accidentally flew too high and got stuck up there." (Added 03/21/14)

Google Earth Finds Woman Trapped on Deserted Island
Viral "news article" claims a British woman was rescued after being marooned on a desert island for seven years when someone spotted her SOS sign on Google Earth. (Added 03/19/14)

Video of UFO Hiding Behind Cloud
Viral video supposedly shows a UFO emerging from behind a a cloud and descending to earth in a bright fireball. (Added 03/18/14)

Fred Phelps' Deathbed Confession: 'I'm Gay'
Viral "news story" claims anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps confessed to being a homosexual on his deathbed. (Added 03/18/14)

Wayne Knight ('Newman' in Seinfeld) Is Dead
Viral "news reports" claim Seinfeld actor Wayne Knight died in a traffic accident in northeastern Pennsylvania. (Added 03/16/14)

Malaysia Airlines 'Lose Yourself' Ad
Viral image purports to be a reproduction of a Malaysia Airlines ad which said, "Lose Yourself on a Journey of Epic Proportions." (Added 03/16/14)

'Hijacker Video of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370'
Social media postings promote a video supposedly showing the hijacking of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 on March 8, 2014. (Added 03/16/14)

'Malaysian Plane Crash Is FOUND!' Video
Viral posts tout a video supposedly showing the finding and recovery of lost Malaysia Airlines Flight MH 370. (Added 03/14/14)

Chumlee Is Dead
Viral "news story" claims History Channel Pawn Star cast member Austin "Chumlee" Russell died of an apparent heart attack. (Added 03/13/14)

'Malaysian Airlines Finally Found' Video
Viral posts promote a video supposedly showing the recovery of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH 370. (Added 03/13/14)

Facebook 'No Religion' Campaign
Viral message attributed to Mark Zuckerberg claims Facebook has embarked on a "no religion" campaign. (Added 03/12/14)

Raw Onions on Feet to Cure Illness
Viral message claims placing slices of raw onion on the soles of one's feet and securing them with a pair of socks will "absorb toxins" and "take away illness" overnight. (Updated 03/12/14)

Flying Spider (Volat-Araneus)
Viral image purports to show a winged, flying spider recently discovered by scientists. (Updated 03/12/14)

Missing Child: Kelsie Lee of Peachtree Corners, GA
Kelsie Lee, 12 years old, of Peachtree Corners, Georgia, was reported missing by her parents on the morning of March 10, 2014. (Added 03/11/14)

'16 People Dead in Roller Coaster Accident' Video
Scam postings offer CCTV video footage of a roller coaster accident at Universal Studios in Florida in which 16 people supposedly died. (Added 03/10/14)

Photo of Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370
Viral photo purports to document the "crash" of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which, as of this writing, is missing over the South China Sea. (Added 03/09/14)

'Scariest Snake Ever!' Video
Viral ads tout a "shocking video" purportedly showing the largest, scariest snake ever discovered. (Added 03/09/14)

'Pigfish' or 'Hogfish' Photo
Circulating via social media, an "amazing photo" of a fish with a snout resembling that of a pig or a hog. (Added 03/08/14)

Photo of a Deadly 'Snow Snake'
Circulating via social media, a photo of the deadly "snow snake," whose bite can freeze your blood, supposedly, and for which there is no known remedy. (Added 03/07/14)

Chipotle '100% Free Food' Coupon
Viral coupon/ad supposedly good for a free meal at Chipotle restaurants through March 20 is circulating via social media. (Added 03/06/14)

Uganda Child Rape Festival Officially Launches
Viral article claims Uganda has launched its first "child rape festival" to "cure the gay epidemic" in Africa. (Added 03/06/14)

Justin Bieber Legally Changes Race to African American
Viral post claims pop singer Justin Bieber changed his race to "African American" in a Canadian court recently. (Added 03/05/14)

Facebook 'No Swearing' Campaign
Viral message attributed to Mark Zuckerberg claims Facebook has embarked on a "no swearing" campaign. (Added 03/05/14)

Promo for 'Back to the Future' Hoverboards
Viral video promotes a product called the HUVr Board, apparently a real-life implementation of the flying hoverboard seen in Back to the Future II. (Added 03/05/14)

AIDS / HIV+ Blood in Frooti Products
Viral alerts warn consumers in India to avoid drinking Frooti products because they were allegedly contaminated by a worker with HIV-positive blood. (Added 03/01/14)

Emma Watson in 'The Little Mermaid'
Online rumor claims Harry Potter actress Emma Watson will star in Disney's live-action remake of The Little Mermaid. (Added 02/28/14)

'Will Smith Died While Filming a Deadly Stunt' Video
Facebook posts promote a video showing how Will Smith supposedly died during the shooting of a movie. (Added 02/27/14)

'Woman Falls Into Polar Bear Pit' Video
New version of an old scam. Facebook blurbs promote a video supposedly showing a woman falling into a polar bear bit at a zoo. (Added 02/25/14)

WhatsApp to Start Charging Inactive Users
Chain letter informs WhatsApp users that they must forward the message to everyone on their contact list or they will be charge 37 cents per message as an "inactive user." (Added 02/24/14)

7-Year-Old Missing After Installing 'Talking Angela' App
Viral "news article" claims 7-year-old Eli Moreno went missing after playing with the Talking Angela app on his mother's iPhone. (Added 02/21/14)

Warning to Dog Owners: Sausages Spiked with Nails in UK
Viral warning to dog owners claims people "all over the UK" are leaving sausages studded with nails in public parks and other areas where dogs will find and eat them. (Added 02/21/14)

'Talking Angela' App Threatens Kids' Privacy and Safety
According to online rumors, the popular interactive children's app "Talking Angela" threatens kids' privacy and safety by asking personal questions, making inappropriate remarks, and taking photos of children who use it. (Added 02/19/14)

'Hungry Bear Tear Women into Pieces' Video
Social media blurbs for a video supposedly showing a hungry bear "tearing a woman into pieces" are a scam. (Added 02/18/14)

'Girl Killed Herself Live on Cam' Video
A clickjacking scam proliferating in the form of blurbs for a video of a girl who supposedly killed herself after her father saw her posing semi-nude on web cam. (Added 02/17/14)

Actress Betty White Is Dead
Internet hoax sparks Internet rumors declaring the 92-year-old comic actress dead. (Added 02/13/14)

'Frozen Venice' Photo
Viral image purports to show the Grand Canal of Venice, Italy frozen completely solid in February 2014. (Added 02/13/14)

'You Won't Believe What This Pregnant Girl Does!" Video
Don't click on social media links to a viral video titled "You Won't Believe What This Pregnant Girl Does!" It's a clickjacking scam. (Added 02/13/14)

0809 Area Code Scam
Viral messages warn consumers not to comply with telephone, pager, or email requests to dial phone numbers beginning with area code 809 or 0809. (Updated 02/12/14)

Blake Griffin Smacks Justin Bieber at Starbucks
Satirical "news" article claims Blake Griffin of the L.A. Clippers got into an altercation with an unruly Justin Bieber at a West Hollywood Starbucks location. (Added 02/12/14)

'Shocking Accident on the Roller Coaster' Video
Circulating via social media, viral blurbs for a "shocking" video of a roller coaster accident. It's a Facebook survey scam. (Added 02/11/14)

'Ghost Caught on Tape!' Video
Viral wall postings advertise a "shocking video" purporting to show a ghost caught on tape. It's just another Facebook survey scam. (Added 02/11/14)

'Baby Mermaid Birth Confirmed' Video
Social media blurbs promote a video supposedly confirming the birth of a baby mermaid. It's a scam. (Added 02/11/14)

'Poor Girl Ended Up in the Emergency Room' Video
This Facebook clickjacking scam works by suckering users into attempting to view a nonexistent video titled "Poor Girl Ended Up in the Emergency Room After This." (Added 02/11/14)

Creator of Flappy Bird Commits Suicide
Viral "news" article claims Flappy Bird creator Dong Nguyen and 7 other people have committed suicide in connection with the game. (Added 02/10/14)

Man Responsible for Olympic Ring Mishap Found Dead in Sochi
Viral article claims a man blamed for the technical malfunction during the 2014 Olympics opening ceremony in Sochi, Russia was found dead. (Added 02/09/14)

'Another Shark Attack in Hawaii' Video
Social media blurbs for a video supposedly showing a shark attacking a teen surfer in Hawaii are a scam. (Added 02/08/14)

'Justin Bieber Kills 7-Year-Old Boy' Video
Facebook blurbs tout a "news video" of Justin Bieber being arrested for the DUI slaying of a 7-year-old boy. (Added 02/08/14)

Neil Tennant Is Dead or in Intensive Care
Social media rumors claim Pet Shop Boys lead singer Neil Tennant died in a car crash or is critically ill. (Added 02/07/14)

Michael Vick Hospitalized in Pit Bull Attack
Viral "news article" claims Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, who was jailed a few years ago on dogfighting charges, has been hospitalized after being bitten by a pit bull. (02/07/14)

Unconscious Chicken Farming
Viral article describes a "Matrix-like" method of farming in which chickens spend their entire lives in a coma, immobilized, and attached to feeding tubes. (Added 02/06/14)

'Dead Mermaid Discovered in Florida' Video
Social media blurbs offering views of a "shocking video" about a "dead mermaid" supposedly discovered in Florida are a scam. (Added 02/05/14)

Michele Bachmann: 'English Was Good Enough for Jesus'
Viral Quote: "If English was good enough for Jesus when he wrote the Bible it should be good enough for Coke." -- Michele Bachmann (Added 02/05/14)

Video: 'Unidentified Sea Monster'
Viral Facebook blurb purports to offer an "amazing video" showing the discovery of an unidentified sea monster. (Added 02/03/14)

Philip Seymour Hoffman Death Hoax
A "death hoax" claiming actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was dead supposedly circulated the day before his actual death in Feb. 2014. (Added 02/02/14)

California Recognizes Human-Animal Marriage
Viral article claims a little-known California law makes marriages between humans and animals legal and binding in the state. (Added 01/31/14)

Burning/Fake Snow Videos
Viral videos purportedly show handfuls of snow burning and and giving off a "chemical odor" when exposed to a flame instead of melting. (Added 01/31/14)

Oprah/OWN Instagram Scholarship Program
Instagram account pretending to be connected with the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) is offering nonexistent college scholarships to the first 50,000 followers. (Added 01/29/14)

Hobby Lobby Closing 500+ Stores
Viral article by Hobby Lobby CEO David Green about his company's battle against birth control provisions in Obamacare is circulating under the misleading title "Hobby Lobby May Close All 500+ Stores in 41 States." (Added 01/28/14)

Video: Vin Diesel Is Dead
Facebook scam purports to link to a video about actor Vin Diesel's death. No such video exists. Vin Diesel is alive and well. (Added 01/27/14)

Phillip Morris Introduces Marijuana Cigarettes
Viral "news story" claims Phillip Morris has announced the roll-out of "Marlboro M" marijuana cigarettes. (Added 01/25/14)

Justin Bieber Caught Masturbating in Jail Cell
Bogus CNN news story claims Justin Bieber's bail was set at $25,000 after he was arrested for drunk driving because he was caught masturbating in his jail cell. (Added 01/23/14)

Miley Cyrus Is Dead
Reports of the pop star's death are circulating via social media. They're based on a prank. (Added 01/23/14)

All Newborn Babies in Europe to Be Microchipped
Viral "news article" claims that all newborn children in Europe "will be compelled to take in a subcutaneous RFID chip" beginning in May 2014. (Added 01/22/14)

Video: 'Worst Roller Coaster Accident in Sydney Australia'
Viral Facebook blurb purports to offer a video clip showing a deadly roller coaster accident in Sydney, Australia. (Added 01/22/14)

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