I love a good hoax

June 18, 2009

Last year, there were reports of a man giving birth to a healthy female child.

image  (Kristian Dowling/Getty Images)

Except that the story wasn’t completely true. The man concerned was in fact a transgender person who still retained his/her female reproductive organs.

More interesting were reports of a man, Lee Mingwei who was carrying a child despite having no female organs.


This one really was a hoax. Going to the website www.malepregnancy.com leads you to the elaborate world of the fictional RYT Hospital and the Dwayne Medical Centre at the non-existent Dwayne University.

Here you have links to a wonderful selection of medical research marvels – nanotechnology robots which operate within blood and tissue.


Genochoice, which enabled prospective parents to create their own genetically healthy child online

Clyven, the mouse engineered with the same intelligence as a human by implanting human brain cells

And of course the pregnant man.


This very professionally produced site is full of pseudo-science and appears very credible. Except it is not. It is a wonderfully carried off hoax.

Two questions remains though. Why and who is paying? Unlike the April Fool’s jokes I wrote about in April (when else?) which were advertising stunts, there seems no obvious commercial return for the RYT pages. Perhaps I have become cynical and assume that there must be a financial component for everything on the web. Clearly that is not true. I do this for the fun of it. But the RYT site is so elaborate and clearly a great deal of time went into it. It is reasonable to ask why.  

Incidentally, UK Internet consultant Phil Bradley has a wonderful list of other hoaxes on his website.


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