Sometimes a YouTube video is so mesmerizing that we rewatch it a dozen times in one sitting, blast it out to all of our friends, then rewatch the damn thing a dozen more times. This is "going viral," a natural order easily interrupted by iPhone-equipped wannabes vying for their internet moment and corporations looking to sneak past modern consumers' ad-adverse shields. It's no surprise that, from the viral video, the "viral hoax" was born.
Rather than being in the right place at the right time, the feat of a viral hoax video is to build buzz around a clip that claims to be found footage of an actual event and maintain secrecy until the truth unceremoniously pops the bubble. There are gems of this shady genre, videos that had the world watching and guessing until the truth came to light. Here are eight of the most notable times we were fooled by YouTube hoaxes.