If you believe everything you read on the internet, Mankato has one of the biggest hot spring complexes in the world. Only one problem: they aren’t actually there.
This rumor was started in the 1990s by Minnesota State University, Mankato Professor Don Descy as a way to teach students about misinformation on the then-burgeoning internet. He created a very real page on city-mankato.us boasting a very fake 17.5 acres of hot springs.
The site persists today, and it continues to fool unsuspecting visitors. “Fake as they are, they have drawn people to this community,” said Anna Thill, the former head of Visit Mankato.
KFAI’s Tony Williams investigates an early internet hoax with some local flavor.