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The 15 Greatest Scientific Hoaxes Of All Time

By Vadim Newquist Mar 20, 2013

13 of 16

Beringer's Fossils

In the first quarter of the 18th century, a scientist at the University of Würzburg named Johann Beringer became the victim of an elaborate hoax by colleagues who apparently disliked him for his arrogance, and so decided to teach him a lesson. The fraudsters set about carving limestone into shapes of improbable fossils and made sure that Beringer would find them. Beringer was so convinced by the fossils' authenticity that he published a book, even going so far as to say the limestone may have been chiseled by the hand of God to test mankind's faith. Upon revelation of the hoax, Beringer spend all the money he had trying to buy up every existing copy of his book.

Tags: history, science, slideshows, life, experiments, hoaxes

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About the Author
Vadim Newquist

Vadim Newquist is a writer, director, actor, animator, fire fighter, stunt driver, martial arts instructor, snake wrangler and time traveling bounty hunter who scales tall buildings with his bare hands and wrestles sharks in his spare time. He can do ten consecutive backflips in one jump, make cars explode with his mind, and can give fifty people a high-five at once without even lifting his hands. He holds multiple PhDs in nuclear physics, osteopathic medicine, behavioral psychology, breakdancing, and chilling out. He currently resides in Gotham City inside his stately mansion with his butler Alfred and his two cats.

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