The Miracle Machine Punked Us for a Good Cause
Machine's "inventors" can't change water into wine, but hope to change your mind about clean drinking water.
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Okay, maybe we should have seen this one coming.
A week or so ago, we reported on a revolutionary new product that could make a bottle of wine from water, grape concentrate, and yeast in just a matter of days. It was called The Miracle Machine, and frankly, it sounded a little too good to be true.
Turns out it was. As reported today by Mashable, the Miracle Machine is a hoax created to bring attention to “Wine to Water”—a charity that aims to provide people around the world with access to clean water. The Miracle Machine’s supposed creators went on camera to confirm they’d duped us:
But to be fair, the Miracle Machine hoax was unusually well-executed. According to the hoaxers’ own figures, they managed to fool some 600 media outlets and 6,000 Twitter users who promoted the story. The original video pitch got some 200,000 views and the “inventors” are claiming a total tally of 500 million “media impressions” on the story.
Are people just that thirsty for cheap, readily available wine? Well, yes. But the real reason the Miracle Machine hoax worked so well is that it was so well-presented. The video was professionally made, the prototype unit looked like something out of the Apple Store, and the fundamental concepts underlying the mythical machine are actually pretty scientifically sound.
So if you’re disappointed, take heart in the fact that it’s actually pretty easy to make wine at home—certainly no more difficult than beer. It’ll probably just take you longer than three days.