In pictures: Top 12 tech hoaxes of all time

Social media pranks and viral videos have nothing on these truly historical technical hoaxes

The Mechanical Turk The concept of automatons (mechanical men, basically) was hugely fashionable among the nerdy hipster set in the 18th century. In 1770, Hungarian inventor Wolfgang von Kempelen unveiled his Mechanical Turk, a chess-playing automaton that the inventor claimed could think, plan, reason, and defeat all comers in the sacred game of chess. For more than 50 years, The Turk toured Europe and America, baffling chess professionals and VIPs like Benjamin Franklin and Napoleon I. But the Mechanical Turk was no Deep Blue, the IBM computer that would defeat world champion Garry Kasparov some 200 years later. The ruse was eventually revealed by a subsequent owner: The Turk used old stage magic tricks and a sliding seat to conceal the human chess player hidden within.

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