The passing of stories from person to person generally ends with misconstrued information. For this reason, it’s quite easy for seemingly real events to actually just be entirely fabricated lies. Read on and take a look back at some of the craziest hoaxes to ever grace our history records.
7. The Archaeoraptor
There are few discoveries more exciting than finding dinosaur bones, and the story of the Archaeoraptor proves just how quickly people want to indulge in the adventure of dinosaur hunting.
Around 1999, the potential for seeking out a new dinosaur species led National Geographic magazine to share the news of a feathered dinosaur fossil named the Archaeoraptor liaoningensis. But only a few months after people began to get their hopes up, it was revealed that the Archaeoraptor fossil was fake, collected and restructured from pieces of unrelated fossils.
Focused on determining the culprit behind this hoax, an investigation was initiated to figure out the truth. It was discovered that the pieces, found in 1997, were exposed by a fossil-hunting Chinese farmer who had been diligently digging in a pit. He then secured the fragments together and sold the fabricated fossil to a Chinese dealer. By 1999, the fossil formation was sold to the US director of a dinosaur museum, for a whopping $80,000.
National Geographic was contacted about the supposed momentous fossil, and they were determined to publish the story. Hopes were shattered, though, when news broke out about the Archaeoraptor hoax.