Okay, so for this one you need to know your hoaxing history. You can read the whole story here, but the gist is this: there was this guy who decided to pull a fast one and screw with the heads of people who believed that there were once giants roaming the planet. He had a giant man carved out of stone–and the giant would have been over ten feet tall if it had been, you know, an actual living thing at one point. He distressed it to make it look like it had been stuck in the ground for a long time and then waited for somebody to dig it. Once dug up, the guy made a ton of money charging for people to come take a look at The Cardiff Giant, aka The Petrified Man.
The hilarious bit is that P.T. Barnum decided to get in on the act and made a fake of the fake and so two fake giants, one real fake and one doubly fake, were on tour at the same time bringing in money. Finally, the hoax was revealed and both “giants” are still extant today.
Enter Mark Twain…and this story. Now you know.