New & Updated Urban Legends

Urban legends, email rumors & Internet hoaxes

Fish skeleton with teeth
Wikimedia Commons.

The Top 24: Trending hoaxes and urban legends
• Definitions: Hoax, rumor, urban legend
How to Submit: Contribute a suspected hoax / rumor / legend

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'Giant Python Caught in the Red Sea' Video
Viral Facebook posts promote a video supposedly showing a python the size of a semi-truck caught in the Red Sea. It's a scam. (Added 09/17/14)

Giant Spiders Released from DNA Laboratory in Missouri
Viral images purport to show giant, mutated spiders supposedly released from a secret government laboratory in Missouri and now reproducing in the wild. (Added 09/15/14)

Satirical article claims consumers reported feeling "weird, high, and even sick" after drinking Coors Light beer tainted with cocaine. (Added 09/11/14)

'Two Little Creatures Found in USA' Video
Viral posts on Facebook and Twitter promote a video supposedly showing the discovery of 12-inch-tall human-like creatures in the U.S. (Added 09/09/14)

Viral image purports to show a new Durex condom with pumpkin spice flavoring. (Added 09/08/14)

Meteorologists Predict Record-Shattering Snowfall Coming Soon
Viral article claims National Weather Service experts are forecasting earlier-than-normal snowfall in 2014, which will result in bread and milk shortages in the U.S. (Added 09/08/14)

Alleged Photo of Darren Wilson Injuries
Viral image purports to show injuries sustained by Ferguson, Mo. police officer Darren Wilson in a physical altercation with 18-year-old Michael Brown Jr. that took place shortly before Wilson shot and killed the unarmed teenager on August 9, 2014. (Added 09/04/14)

Betty White, 92, Dyes Peacefully in Los Angeles Home
Satirical article claims actress Betty White finds it soothing to dye her own hair at home. But don't worry, she's alive and well. (Added 09/03/14)

Tupac Shakur Alive, Comes Out of Hiding After Nearly 18 Years
Bogus news story claims rapper Tupac Shakur, who was murdered in 1996, is actually alive and has "come out of hiding" to be photographed with celebrities such as Beyonce. (Added 08/29/14)

Viral article claims Facebook is working with the DEA to implement a program to monitor users and arrest those who buy and sell narcotics while on Facebook. (Added 08/28/14)

'Breaking Bad' Season 6 Announced
Viral "news article" claims Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan has announced that the show will continue for a sixth season. (Added 08/25/14)

'Sylvester Stallone Died in Horrible Car Accident' Video Scam
Social media scam circulates in the form of blurbs promoting a video about the supposed death of actor Sylvester Stallone in a car accident. No such accident occurred. (Added 08/24/14)

Top 4 Signs that Video You're About to Share Is a Scam
All the major social media platforms are rife with "clickjacking" scams using bait-and-switch tactics to lure users to external websites where they're asked to take marketing surveys and/or download questionable apps. (Added 08/16/14)

'Robin Williams Says Goodbye' Video Scam
A cynical clickjacking scam (aka "survey scam") purporting to link to a phone video of Williams saying goodbye to his fans is now circulating via Facebook. (Added 08/14/14)

Ferguson, MO Police Chief's Wife Calls Blacks 'Feral and Violent'
Amid ongoing violent confrontations between police and protesters in Ferguson, MO, racist comments attributed to the wife of Ferguson police chief Thomas Jackson are circulating via social media. (Added 08/14/14)

'Mermaid Is Real, Believe It or Not' Video
Facebook video and photos purport to show a "real" mermaid body found on an unspecified beach. (Added 08/05/14)

Coca-Cola Recalls 2 Million Bottles With the Name 'Michael'
Viral "news" article claims Coca-Cola had to recall 2 million Share-a-Coke bottles imprinted with the name "Michael" because a disgruntled employee had put dirt in them. (Added 07/31/14)

Japanese Whaling Crew Eaten Alive by Killer Whales
Viral article claims the crew of a Japanese whaling ship, the MV Nisshin Maru, was attacked by a school of killer whales, leaving 16 dead. (Added 07/30/14)

Derek Jeter Cancels Retirement, Signs With Boston Red Sox
Viral article claims retiring 40-year-old NY Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter has decided to stay in the game and signed a 3-year contract with rival team the Boston Red Sox. (Added 07/28/14)

George W. Bush Arrested for Cocaine Possession
Viral "news article" claims former U.S. President George W. Bush was arrested on charges of possessing more than an ounce of cocaine during a routine traffic stop. (Added 07/28/14)

Dead Body Found Under Motel Bed in NJ
Viral article claims a motel guest in Mount Laurel, NJ discovered a woman's dead body under the bed. Police say it has been there for at least 5 years. (Added 07/26/14)

Viral article claims the Ku Klux Klan started an online petition on to institute a yearly "purge" (as in the movie, The Purge) of African Americans. (Added 07/24/14)

Viral social media posts purport to link to a video showing pro-Russian militants firing the missile that brought down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17. (Added 07/22/14)

Viral "news story" claims a group of teenagers reenacting violent scenes from the movie The Purge 2: Anarchy murdered 112 people in Chicago. (Added 07/20/14)

Viral Facebook posts promote a video claiming that Miley Cyrus was found dead of a drug overdose in her Los Angeles home. (Added 07/19/14)

Photo of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 Crash Site
VIral image purports to show the crash site of downed airliner Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17. (Added 07/18/14)

Viral article claims "hot mugshot" convict Jeremy Meeks was killed by his wife one hour after he was released from prison. (Added 07/17/14)

Viral "news story" claims a "well-organized Hispanic militia" consisting of illegal immigrants forcibly occupied the small town of Sarita, Texas. (Added 07/14/14)

Viral article claims Netflix is canceling the popular TV series Orange Is the New Black because CEO Reed Hastings objects to women being depicted as convicts. (Added 07/12/14)

RFID Chip to Be Implemented in All Public Schools
Viral article claims U.S. schools have begun requiring students to receive RFID microchip implants in an effort to curb gun violence. (Added 07/09/14)

Human Meat Found in McDonald's Meat Factory
Viral "news story" claims health inspectors found human meat and horse meat in the freezers of a McDonald's meat factory. (Added 07/08/14)

Obama to Visit Mosque on July 4th
Viral article from National Report claims President Obama will visit a mosque and host Muslim leaders at a White House cookout on the 4th of July. (Added 07/03/14)

'You Will Not Use Head & Shoulders Shampoo After Watching This Video'
Viral social media blurbs purport to link to a video showing a horrendous skin condition resulting from the use of Head & Shoulders Shampoo. It's a scam. (Added 06/27/14)

Oprah Posts Bail for 'Sexy Felon' Jeremy Meeks
Viral article claims Oprah Winfrey is so impressed with 'sexy felon" Jeremy Meeks' looks that she has agreed to post his bail and give him a job as a talk show host. (Added 06/25/14)

Unborn Baby Becomes Pregnant Inside Mother's Womb
Viral article from Empire News claims an unborn baby became pregnant while still inside her mother's womb in Portland, Oregon. (Added 06/24/14)

Violin Spider in Tea Kettle Kills 6
Viral warning claims a family of six was found dead after drinking tea made from water that was heated in a kettle in which a "deadly" violin spider was hiding. (Added 06/23/14)

Viral alert warns pet owners not to give ice water to dogs because it can supposedly cause severe bloating, cramps, and muscle spasms. (Added 06/19/14)

Legal Drinking Age to Change to 25
Viral post claims the legal drinking age in the U.S. will change to 25 as of August 2, 2014. (Added 06/17/14)

Father's Day message attributed to Ryan Gosling claims he became a father for one year after adopting the 9-month-old son of a friend who had died of cancer. (Added 06/16/14)

'Walking Dead' Season 6 Cancelled
Viral post claims AMC has decided to cancel the sixth season of its popular zombie series "The Walking Dead."

Study Finds That 1 in 3 Americans Have Been Implanted With RFID Chips
Viral article claims a study has found that 1 in 3 Americans have been implanted with RFID microchips and most are completely unaware of it. (Added 06/11/14)

Viral article claims President Obama signed legislation releasing all students who owe money on college loans from the obligation to repay them. (Added 06/10/14)

Charles Manson Granted Parole
Viral "news story" claims convicted murderer Charles Manson was granted parole by the state of California and Governor Jerry Brown due to prison overcrowding. (Added 06/07/14)

Fake news story claims actor/fitness guru Lou Ferrigno died in a traffic accident in southern California. (Added 05/29/14)

Semen-Tainted Chicken Sandwich at McDonald's
Viral story claims a Michigan woman contracted herpes after eating a McChicken Sandwich contaminated with human semen. (Added 05/28/14)

HIV Transmitted Via Contaminated Pineapple
Online rumor claims a 10-year-old boy was diagnosed with AIDS after eating pineapple contaminated by a vendor with HIV. (Added 05/27/14)

Obama to Remove 'In God We Trust' From All U.S. Currency
Viral "news article" claims President Obama has ordered the National Reserve to remove the motto "In God We Trust" from all U.S. currency beginning July 1, 2014. (Added 05/26/14)

Viral article claims President Obama has announced he's running for a third term as President despite term limits set by the 22nd Amendment. (Added 05/24/14)

Miner Found Alive After 17 Years Underground
Viral "news story" claims a Chinese coal miner was found alive after being trapped in a collapsed mineshaft for 17 years. (Added 05/08/14)

'Great White Shark Tears Captain Apart' Video
A social media clickjacking scam is circulating in the form of blurbs for a video supposedly showing a great white shark attack the captain of a fishing boat. (Added 05/08/14)

Christian Boy Dies For 3 Minutes, Meets Allah in Heaven
Viral "news article" claims a young boy says he met Allah in heaven after dying briefly on the operating table and being revived. (Added 05/07/14)

Miley Cyrus Kicked Out of Derby Party After Fight With Ron Jeremy 

Viral "news article" claims Miley Cyrus was ejected from a post-Kentucky Derby party after an altercation with porn actor Ron Jeremy. (Added 05/06/14)

Jockey Accidentally Euthanized After Breaking Leg
Viral article claims a jockey was euthanized by mistake after breaking his leg at the Kentucky Derby. (Added 05/06/14)

'OMG Teen Died Immediately After Friends Did This' Video
Viral scam purports to link to a video of a teen girl who died after being raped by friends. (Added 05/05/14)

'Amazing Spider-Man 2' Cancelled in the Philippines
Viral article claims the opening of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has been cancelled in the Philippines "due to fears it would not do so well at the box office." (Added 04/29/14)

'800-Pound Snake Pulled Out of Lake in Chicago' Video
Viral posts promote a video supposedly showing the capture of an 800-Pound Snake Found in a lake near Chicago, Illinois. (Added 04/28/14)

Viral article claims New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning has been cut from the team. (Added 04/25/14)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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

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)

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)

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)

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)