Wikipedia and the imaginary Bicholim Conflict.

The funny part about this story?

For the last five years, those who spend their time procrastinating on Wikipedia could read up on a 17th century war between colonial Portugal and India’s Maratham Empire known as the “Bicholim Conflict.”

The problem is that Bicholim Conflict never happened, and that the entire 4,500-word article on the war was nothing more than an elaborate joke.

As I understand it, publishers of various reference works sometimes do something like this to discourage intellectual property theft; put in deliberately false entries (usually in topic that, realistically, wouldn’t matter anyway) and then demonstrate in court that a rival publisher had ripped off their material.  Wikipedia calls it ‘fictitious entry:’ although I assume that this isn’t actually the case, here.  Still, a good warning that you shouldn’t believe everything on the Internet.

Just the stuff that I write, of course.