Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Trivia # 39 - Cardiff Giant


Did you know...

... that today is Cardiff Giant Hoax Day? In 1870, the Cardiff Giant, supposed to be a petrified human, was exposed as a hoax by George Hull, the man who had carved the Giant out of gypsum. The Giant was named after the town where he was discovered: Cardiff, New York.

The Giant That Fooled the World
...the incredible tale of history's weirdest hoax

When George Hull left his weed-choked, debt-ridden tobacco farm outside Binghamton, N.Y., and headed west in 1868 to seek better fortune, he thought maybe he'd go prospecting for gold. But he never reached gold country. On the way, 90 years ago, he stumbled on something more precious than the yellow metal: human gullibility.

The result was one of the most successful scientific hoaxes in history. On a total investment that probably didn't top $4000, Hull netted a profit estimated at $30,000 to $60,000 -- a small fortune in those days.

Hull's hoax was the famous Cardiff Giant -- a 12-foot statue of a man, secretly made, secretly buried, and then "discovered." Hull had a fabulous double-barreled lie to go with it: It was either a petrified man or an ancient statue -- take your choice. Not only the general public, but many learned men, paid to see it and swallowed it whole.
image: google images


:a: :b: :c: :d: :e: :f: :g: :h: :i: :j: :k: :l: :m: :n:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails