This story was first published on December 4, 2012
Message featuring a photograph of horses sheltering under a giant table and chairs claims that the horse owner built the massive furniture after he was denied council permission to build a more traditional horse shelter.
The photograph is genuine but the story of why it was built is untrue. While the giant furniture does indeed provide shelter to horses, it was built in such a way as a means of promoting the products of a German wood merchant. It was not constructed as a way of bypassing a council building restriction as claimed in the message. A photograph of the furniture and horses was published in Time magazine back in 2003 and in various other publications in the years since.
This farm owner was denied a council permit to build a horse shelter. Fortunately, you don’t need a permit to build a table and chairs.
This rather compelling photograph depicts several horses sheltering under a giant table and chairs, complete with massive table decoration and tablecloth. According to the message that travels with the image, a farm owner built the unusual shelter for his animals after he was denied a council permit to built a more traditional structure. Some commentators have suggested that the image is the result of “photoshopping” or was made using tiny models of horses rather than real animals.
The photograph is genuine and depicts real horses under genuinely gigantic furniture. However, the claim that the furniture was built because the farmer was refused council permission to build a normal shelter is untrue. In fact, although it does provide shade and shelter for the horses in the field, the furniture was primarily built as a novel means of promoting the products of Jens Braun, a German wood merchant. A photograph of the furniture and horses was published by Time Magazine in June 2003, and included the following caption:
Three horses try to hide from the rain under an oversized table and chair in a pasture near Doellstaedt, eastern Germany. The huge garden furniture was installed by a local wood merchant to promote his products.
Another picture of the furniture and horses was featured as the Telegraph Picture of the Day for 2nd November 2011 with the caption:
Horses stand in the shadows of a gigantic wooden table and two chairs during mild autumnal weather in a meadow near Doellstaedt, central Germany
More images of the oversized furniture can be viewed via an AP Image search. The images include captions such as the following:
Horses stand in the shadows of a gigantic table and two chairs during heavy summer heat in Doellstaedt near Erfurt, eastern Germany, on Friday, July 6, 2004. Wood dealer Jens Braun built the unusual furniture as a protection for his horses.
Importance NoticeAfter considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.
These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.
Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.
And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.
When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.
I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.
A Big Thank YouI would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.
I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.
Closing DateHoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.
Thank you, one and all!