10 Crazy Hoaxes That Duped the World

Many people, like "balloon boy" parents Richard and Mayumi Heene, create hoaxes for attention. Matt McClain/Getty Images News/Getty Images

You've probably seen the photo. Grainy and gray, it shows the neck and head of some type of large sea monster rising from the water -- the freshwater of Scotland's Loch Ness. When the photo first appeared in 1933, many people believed it was real. After all, it was taken by Colonel Robert Wilson, a respected doctor, and stories of a monster in the loch had been swirling around Scotland for more than 1,400 years. But in 1994, the photo was exposed as a hoax. A man named Christian Spurling confessed that he, his stepfather and Wilson created it by attaching a piece of plastic to a toy submarine [source: Owen].

Hoaxes have been around for centuries, created by people as jokes, or for profit or attention. And as crazy as some of them seem in hindsight, people are always willing to buy into them. Maybe believing in seemingly unbelievable things is part of the human psyche. Or maybe we just like to believe in whatever scientists and experts don't. Whatever the reason, don't think you'll never be fooled. Because sages and fools alike have been tricked by the following 10 hoaxes.