'News' stories from 2014 that turned out to be hoaxes

Justin Bieber.jpg

Oct 22, 2014 by Smart Blog

The World Wide Web is a fascinating place, and a vast playground for jokers and hoaxers. Some of the fake tales they spin are actually quite clever or amusing, so here, for your entertainment, are some of the best fake stories from this year.

 

Stolen Batmobile

Only no, it hasn't. In mid September 2014, reports began to emerge that during filming in Detroit of Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice; the Batmobile made specifically for the film had been stolen. The rumour quickly spread across the internet, and actually prompted the Detroit police to make a genuine investigation.

Thankfully, the Detroit police force clearly has a sense of humour, because within days they issued a statement that "the Batmobile is safe in the Batcave where it belongs." Nobody had stolen the Batmobile, and no doubt, fans the world over issued a sigh of relief.

 

Killer Crab of Kent

In October 2014, an image of the shore at Whitstable, Kent, began to circulate online. Only this was no seaside postcard image. The picture seemed to show a massive crab - around 50 metres across - close the edge of a quay. Enthusiastic journalists were soon on the 'phone to marine biologist Dr Verity Nye of the University of Southampton, who calmly explained to them that the crab in the picture appears to be an edible crab, and they only grow to around 30cm. Not even the biggest crab in the world comes close to 50 metres. Dr Nye explained that her reaction to the photo was to laugh, and that it had to be a hoax. This has since been confirmed.

 

Bears are not Beliebers

August must have been a slow month for news in much of the world, because early that month reports emerged that Justin Bieber's singing had terrified one of the world's most dangerous animals.

Now that claim may not, in itself, seem particularly unlikely, but as the details filtered out the story became less reasonable. According to several websites, a Russian man was on his way to do some fishing in the Russian republic of Yakutia, when a brown bear attacked him. In most cases, that would mean death, but not for this man, who apparently had Baby, Justin Beiber's first hit single, loaded as his ringtone (publishers of the story even alleged that the man claimed his granddaughter loaded it 'for a joke'). When the bear attacked, the phone rang, Bieber sang, and the terrified bear ran off into the woods, leaving the fisherman with cuts and bruises.

The thing is, that's not what happened. The story first broke in Russia, in late July, but in those reports the man's phone merely spoke the time, there was no Justin Bieber involvement at all. The Bieber angle seems first to have been reported by a website called 'The Austrian Times', and from there spread across the globe.

The world may never know whether bears are in fact Bieber fans ('Beliebers') or not, because sadly, nobody has been able to reach the brown bear for comment.