The Staten Island Ferry Octopus Attack.


Monuments and vaguely descriptive plaques are commonplace around cities and heavily trafficked tourist areas, giving just enough insight into an historic event or landmark. The Staten Island Ferry Disaster Memorial blends in with these weathered monuments, except for the fact that all details on the work are completely false. The monument, which is located in Battery Park, Manhattan, was created by artist Joe Reginella and honors the 400 victims who perished during a giant octopus attack of a Staten Island ferry named the Cornelius G. Kolff on November 22, 1963, the same day as the assassination of JFK.

The elaborate hoax was six months in the making, and is also seen by Reginella as a multimedia art project and social experiment. The website, and fliers distributed around Manhattan by his team, give a false location for a museum, ironically a place you must get to by ferry. You can see more tourist reactions and find real information about the fake event on the Staten Island Ferry Octopus Disaster Memorial Museum’s Facebook.

Now that’s a fun prank.



Via Colossal Art.


  1. blf says

    Not as elaborate, but a prank which has amused me is Jeanneke Pis in Brussels, intended as a counterpoint to the much more famous Manneken Pis.

    Rather usefully, there’s some really good bars and restaurants near Jeanneke Pis (which is sort-of hidden in an enclave down a dead-end alley — you mostly have to know it’s there to find it). Ye Pfffft! of All Knowledge (see above link) says Ms Pis is “now protected by iron bars from vandalism”, which must be a fairly new & unfortunate development.

  2. quotetheunquote says

    Oh, I do like this -- would very much like to sit there and watch people’s reactions to it!

    I think the big brass plaque is a particularly good touch, the language is very deadpan.

  3. blf says

    For “try,” insert “true.”

    Or “(arrggghh! gasp! ughhh…)“:
      “It’s (arrggghh! gasp! ughhh…) but th(arrggghh! gasp! ughhh…)ey covered it up(arrggghh! gasp! ughhh… SPLAT!)!”
    And then having green foaming slime dribble out of your ears helps.

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