Has the world's media been duped by a story about a small-time food writer who gobbled up 413 buttery biscuits in one sitting?
The story of American food writer Kevin Shalin, who reportedly fell into a "butter coma" after eating 62,000 calories worth of biscuits at a Red Lobster in Little Rock, Arkansas, was picked up by media around the world, including the U.K.'s Daily Mail and The Globe and Mail.
But according to the author of the original news article, the story was all a hoax.
"I'm just kind of surprised," Greg Henderson, the author of the Rock City Times article, said.
“I think people are extremely gullible. It’s kind of sad actually that that many people thought it was a real story."
He said the The Rock City Times website, which calls itself "Arkansas 2nd most unreliable news source," has been up and running for about a year.
“I like to throw some underlying message behind just about everything I write,” he said.
“Obviously Americans are overeaters and I think that’s always just kind of the big joke,” he said, “and so I kind of wanted to say, ‘Well how can I take that aspect of it to the extreme?’ ”
According to the original story, the food writer, known as The Mighty Rib, began convulsing and collapsed at a Red Lobster in Little Rock, Arkansas.
He was reportedly trying to beat the record number eaten of 415, but stopped two biscuits short after becoming dizzy and disoriented.
The article said Shalin was rushed to hospital, where doctors drained more than two gallons of butter from his system.
The Mighty Rib, Shalin's website, describes him as a teacher, writer, husband and father of two. He writes about local restaurants in Little Rock and isn't specific to any one type of food. The former high-school teacher also reviews some books, passes on some of his favourite restaurants, and talks about upcoming events.
Shalin played along with the hoax, retweeting the coverage of his coma on his Twitter page.
"My recovery should be quick," he wrote on Twitter on Saturday. "But the painful Red Lobster memories will last a lifetime."
Editor's Note: This story has been updated from an earlier version to reveal that it is a hoax.Report Typo/Error
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