Scientists - the same people, like everyone else, and many of them are not devoid of vanity and ambition. These will stop at nothing to get the coveted honor. We offer you a selection of the most interesting scientific hoaxes in the history of mankind.
1. In 2002, the year the radio station BBC sounded German researchers report that in the next two centuries, blond people cease to be born because the light color of hair is caused by a recessive gene. A year later, the newspaper «New York Times» published a refutation - the report was fiction. However, the study cited more 10 years as a reliable fact.
A similar myth originated in the year 2007, and according to the research laboratories of the company «Procter and Gamble», the disappearance of this time were doomed red hair - so the company wanted to raise the sales of red hair dye. This study also found to be unreliable - mutated gene, which is responsible for red hair, can be transmitted to the child, even if both parents were, for example, dark-haired.
2. In 1726, the year Johann Beringer found the well-preserved fossils of lizards, birds and spiders, and some even had inscribed the name of God in Hebrew. In fact, the fossils were made of limestone, and today they are known as "false stones." However, in the 18th century was published several works on the subject, and there was even a hypothesis that the writing on the stones were engraved directly by God, to show that the Jews - the first among the peoples inhabiting the earth.
Unfortunately for the Behringer, it turned out that his colleagues and envious especially hidden gems where he intended to excavate. So they wanted to tarnish the reputation of the scientist. The joke turned against them: finding widespread in scientific circles. Then jokers tried to convince Beringer that his discovery - in fact, fiction. Eventually Boehringer believed them, and their own reputation in the scientific community was destroyed and Beringer received their compensation for moral damages through the courts.
3. In 1999, the magazine «National Geographic» published an article about Archaeoraptor, which reported the discovery of an intermediary between birds and carnivorous dinosaurs theropods. As evidence was presented a snapshot of the fossils. It was later discovered that the fossil is in fact a composition of fossilized bones of different species of animals put together in such a way that they seemed a single entity.
4. The physicist Alan Sokal published a research paper consisting of jargon, slang and buzzwords. It sounded quite presentable, but generally does not make any sense carried. Here is an excerpt from it:
"Just as liberal feminists are frequently content with minimal agendas of legal and social equality of women, and liberal (and sometimes even socialist) configured mathematics often work within the governance structure of the Zermelo-Fraenkel (which, reflecting a liberal origins of the 19th century already contain the axiom of equality), complementing them only the axiom of choice ».
Originally the article was published in the famous magazine «Social Text». Sokal wrote it to show that many of the publications of the time were no more than a mixture of liberal sentiment, flattery, pompous quotes and outright stupidity. In other words, pseudo-science. He later commented:
"The results of my little experiment demonstrate that at least among some American liberal academics still reigns intellectual laziness. Editions of "Social Text" liked my article because they were impressed conclusion: the content and methodology of postmodern science provide powerful intellectual support for the progressive political project. Apparently, the editors did not consider important the need to analyze the quality of the given evidence, convincing argument, or even relevance of those arguments, of which the conclusion ».
Almost simultaneously with the work Sokal published a number of documents indicating his deception and dishonesty editors.
5. In 1783, the year in the newspaper «London Magazine» published an article about the growing Indonesian tree oro is so poisonous that kill all life around you in a radius of 25 km, and the land around it is dotted with human and the animal skeletons. In fact, although oro really exist in nature and contains a powerful toxin, it is not lethal, even for those who lean against him. Anchar is widely used in areas where it grows, in dyes, lumber and poison for arrows and spearheads.
6. About 30 years ago, Europe was distributed a booklet entitled «Villejuif leaflet», which was listed a number of such supplements as carcinogens. No one knows who was its author. The first copy appeared in 1976 and contained only one sheet of paper with listed on it carcinogens. About half of the French it said homemakers, and many took the brochure seriously. After France's list spread in the UK, Germany and Italy, and later went to the Middle East and Africa.
The problem is that the list of carcinogens came even citric acid, that is produced in every living organism naturally. After interviewing 19% of French said they stopped buying the product, as well as all the other additives listed in that leaflet. It is believed that the pamphlet had an impact on more than 7 million people.
7. German physicist Jan Hendrik Schön, a specialist in the field of condensed matter physics and nanotechnology, a little fun of the public, has published numerous papers on microelectronics. He said about the many experiments conducted in special laboratories. Article brought him great fame. In 2001, at the peak of his career, he gave one of the new research project every eight days. Schoen even managed to get the award Otto Klunga-Veberbanka in physics and Braunschweig Prize.
Soon, however, the researchers noticed discrepancies in his data. It was found that he had forged almost all the results of their experiments. This makes it one of the biggest liars in the history of physics. He was deprived of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (analogue in Russia - PhD). Schoen has filed a lawsuit to recover the degree and won, but the plaintiff appealed, and the title away again.
8. In 1912 Piltdown man was discovered - the fossilized remains of a previously unknown to science humanoid. It almost caused a revolution in the theory of evolution, and sent many scholars on the wrong track in their studies. On this subject it has been written more than 250 scientific articles. Cheating was discovered only 50 years later - it turned out that the skull belonged to a male common man, and the jaw - orangutan.
9. The Barnum Museum exhibited a curious artifact - the so-called Fiji Mermaid. This mummified remains of strange creatures. For a while it was thought that the mermaid - a very real, until it became clear that in fact the mummy of a monkey's head and torso, stapled to the tail of a fish.
10. In the early 1990s on television a documentary film "Alien Autopsy". News agency quickly spread sensation, and for 15 years the audience believed that it was true until the film producers did not admit that it was a fake.
11. In 1800, the famous atheist George Hull decided to play his friend the priest, supporter of the Methodist Church, which is referred to the Bible and to prove that the Giants did exist. Hull hired the sculptor who made the statue of plaster great, and buried it in the backyard of his cousin. Later, when digging wells were found "the remains" of human growth of about 3 to 5 meters, known as the Giant of Cardiff. The sculpture was sold for $ 23 Hull 000 (so far, this amount is equivalent to $ 1 500 000), a group of five people. For a long time, Hull went on to say that the true figure, but eventually confessed to forgery.
It is believed that because of this drawing originates the famous phrase "born every minute on the idiot».
12. An autodidact Shinichi Fujimura was considered one of the leading archaeologists of Japan. In the early 1980s, he constantly found ancient artifacts, whose age was all over and over. Eventually he came across the remains of human habitation age 600 000 years. Unfortunately for Shinichi, journalists secretly photographed it just in time backfilling finds in the earth, then to dig. After the photos were published, Shinichi lost all its credibility in the scientific community and nothing more important and have not found.