Quick, picture the Loch Ness Monster. If your Ritalin-addled brain didn't jump straight to South Park, you probably thought of exactly this image:
Eighty years after its publication, that photo remains the most famous piece of "evidence" that there's a prehistoric marine reptile hanging out in Scotland. Of course, what you're actually looking at is a toy submarine with a fake dinosaur head.
As with a good percentage of the world's bullshit, this story began in the venerable Daily Mail. In 1933, The Mail paid a dude named Marmaduke Wetherell to track down the monster and provide proof of its existence. Wetherell presented them a massive Nessy footprint ... which folks were quick to point out was made with a hippopotamus foot umbrella stand. Pissed that he got debunked so easily, Wetherell set out to fool The Mail with an even stupider trick.
Enter the toy submarine.
The Daily Mail
The hoax worked far better than even he intended, accidentally inspiring generations of excitable idiots to devote their entire lives to finding Nessie. Even today, this photograph of a dollar store Plesiosaur head remains the most outstanding evidence that the beast is real. And that's after Wetherell's stepson admitted that he assembled the crappy little model himself. Nessie fans just refuse to let the dream die. It's kind of hard to turn back when doing so means admitting that you spent your life savings chasing a toy dinosaur.
You could probably pull off roughly the same stunt with a little Photoshop, so maybe grab a copy of Photoshop For Dummies and fool a few dummies.
Support your favorite Cracked writers with a visit to our Contribution Page. Please and thank you.
Follow us on Facebook. It's free.