Fooling newspapers and websites around the world, A major “study” on breast sizes around the world is a complete hoax, leaving some red-faced today.

Worse, this “research” may have been floating around the Internet for years!

What caused this probable Internet prank to suddenly gain so much attention over the past 48 hours? Most likely, the copycat nature of today’s 24/7, content-hungry websites.

Recognizing the high traffic potential of a titillating story, one fell for it and others quickly re-wrote their own versions. Most focused on the “finding” that American women have the world’s largest breasts.

Had editors (any of those still around?) checked into the report, they would have seen that the universities and faculty researchers listed in “Scientific Analysis Reveals Major Differences in the Breast Size of Women in Different Countries” don’t exist.

Breast hoax 2

Any facts contained in the 25 page report were most likely lifted from elsewhere, while much of it is poorly and awkwardly written. “Clinic conditions were not found to be necessary for 3 D scanning. However, the measuring site must be in a quiet area, which is protected against unauthorized persons. Breasts of voluntary women were scanned successfully at educational institutions, company offices and in a few cases even in apartments,” reads one section.

It isn’t new, either and might be at least four years old, based on the retrieval dates listed in the footnotes, none of which are more recent than 2012. The Internet Archive’s web crawler took its first snapshot of the document on May 28, 2015.

Breast hoax

After discovering it had been taken in by the prank, the New York Daily News published a correction, yet left the body of the story in place. “Editor’s note: Subsequent to publication, it was determined that the study reported on was fake. We regret the error,” it added to the top of the page in its online version.

As their article has already been shared over 6000 times on Facebook, there’s clearly a big financial incentive to leave it in place, even if false.

But the Daily Telegraph, Daily Mirror and other major publications haven’t yet altered their stories or taken them down.

This isn’t the first time a fake report has circulated widely related to breasts. Another “study” has been circulating for almost 16 years, despite having been repeatedly debunked.

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