Old Wives' Tales
Radio & TV
Toxin du jour
Claim: Taiwan's hottest restaurants offer grilled and barbequed fetuses.
Example: [Collected on the Internet, 2001]
Origins: One of the downsides of a burgeoning Internet is it fosters the delirious spread of misinformation as revealed fact in the blink of an eye. That was the case when a widely- circulated photo which showed a large Asian man eating what appeared to be a cooked baby was taken by many at face value. The picture was later teamed with the breathless news that roast fetus was now the hottest dining craze in Taiwan, with outraged
The truth proved far less horrifying than the rumor. The photo shown above was taken seriously by a number of important agencies who viewed it, and both Scotland Yard and the FBI investigated this matter, trying to determine when and where the picture was taken and the identities of those appearing in it. Its origin was quickly uncovered: The man in the photo is Chinese artist Zhu Yu, who performed a conceptual piece called "Eating People" at a Shanghai arts festival in 2000. The controversial photo has since been part of a number of art exhibits; as for the "baby," it was most likely constructed by placing a doll's head on a duck's carcass.
Barbara "cry wolf" Mikkelson
Last updated: 3 February 2007
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