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In honor of April Fools’ Day, here are some classic hoaxes:

Piltdown Man

Amateur archaeologist Charles Dawson in 1912 touted his frankenfossil — a human skull, chimp teeth and an orangutan jaw — to a leading London scientific body as the evolutionary “missing link.” It fit scientists’ notion that Early Man was a European Man to a T. Mr. Piltdown was not completely debunked until 1953.


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In the summer of 1884, a British Columbian newspaper printed a tale of a hairy creature (that somehow acquired the name Jacko) that had been captured near Yale, B.C., and kept in the local jail. Hundreds of people flocked to the pokey, according to the Museum of Hoaxes, but all they found was a grumpy jailer. Just five days later, another newspaper wondered how fellow journalists could “be duped in such a manner, “

Loch Ness

In 1972, on April 1, no less, zoologists from Yorkshire, England, said they found a 15-foot carcass floating in Loch Ness. Turns out, the zoo’s education officer had taken a dead seal, “shaved off its whiskers, padded its cheeks with stones” and froze it before dumping it in the loch.

Melissa Davis, NWArts&Life editor

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