Have you ever had a memory that felt just as real and true as all your other memories but come to find out it never happened. Don’t worry you’re not alone. In fact, you may have just fallen victim to the Mandela Effect.
Mandela Effect definition:
The Mandela Effect is a term coined by famed conspiracy theorist and self-proclaimed ‘paranormal consultant’ Fiona Broome. According to Broome, the Mandela Effect ‘is what happens when someone has a clear, personal memory of something that never happened in this reality.’
The Mandela Effect is all about collective false memories. In fact the term actually comes from Broome’s vivid yet incorrect recollection of Nelson Mandela dying in prison during the 1980s. In reality of course, Mandela lived on to became the first black president of South Africa, dying in 2013 at the ripe old age of 95. After asking around, Broome found that a number of other people also shared the same false memory.
Some even went as far as distinctly recalling seeing his death announced on TV decades before his actual death. To account for this irregularity, Broome takes a page from quantum mechanics, claiming that, technically speaking, her memory remains sharp as a tack and the reason for this false memory has to do with parallel universes. Broome believes that her shared memory is not false but a reality she and others actually experienced in an alternative plane.
Before dismissing Broome as someone who can’t admit she’s wrong, the idea of false memories as ‘glitches in the matrix’ is as perplexing as it is fascinating. Since it’s initial launch in 2010, there have been hundreds of theories trying to explain away this phenomenon. While you may not be totally convinced of Broome claims, Here are some jaw-dropping Mandela Effects that have surfaced the internet.
Mandela Effect examples
Berenstain bears = Berenstein bears
We’re starting off our list with the most cited Mandela Effect that took Reddit and the internet by storm. Countless people remember the popular children’s book as the BerenstEin Bears when in the reality the book is BerenstAin Bears.
Sex in the city = sex and the city
It’s hard to believe this timeless classic is on this list but even the most devoted Carrie Bradshaw super fans struggle to remember that the show’s title is Sex AND the city and not Sex IN the city.
Mandela effect star wars
Admit it, we’ve all had our fair shares of embarrassing Darth Vader impression attempts. With hands cupped over our mouths, we will utter the famous line ‘Luke… I am your father.’ While this quote has pervaded pop culture, it is actually was never spoke. The actual Vader wording is ‘No, I am your father.’
Another iconic star wars character has fallen victim to the Mandela Effect. This earnest and loveable drone looks slightly different to how we might remember. C-3PO is not 100% gold but actually dons a silver leg.
Monopoly has been responsible for instigating family tension and back-stabbing since 1903. However, when we envision the face of the board game (Rich Uncle Pennybags) we often picture the character having a monocle. In reality, the Uncle has 20/20 vision- go figure!
Mirror mirror on the wall = magic mirror on the wall
Is nothing sacred? Even Disney has not escaped the net of the Mandela Effect. Many of us grew up watching Snow White but did you know that the vain, evil queen does not actually say ‘mirror mirror on the wall’ but actually ‘magic mirror on the wall.’
When the wide-eyed extraterrestrial requested to contact his home planet he doesn’t say ‘ET phone home’ but actually ‘ET home phone’ – even still, it just doesn’t sound right…
Rubix or Rubick’s cube
Despite being one of the most iconic and best selling toy of all time, the Rubix cube is not actually called the Rubix cube. In reality it’s Rubik’s cube, after it’s creator Ernő Rubik.
How many times have you heard the famous Forrest Gump line ‘my mama said, life is like a box of chocolates.’ But alas, a second viewing of the scene confirms that Forrest actually says ‘life WAS like a box of chocolates.’
We Are The Champions of the WHAT?:
If you have ever been around a group of rambunctious rugby fans after their team has won you will have for sure heard the Queen song We Are The Champions. However, people distinctly remember an ending lyric to the song that simply doesn’t exist. The song does not conclude with a grand ‘Of The World!.’ Don’t believe me, check it out for yourself!
Jiff yes, but Jiffy no:
Finally, Jiffy Peanut Butter , sadly, never existed. Sold as a easy snack that moms could whip up, you guessed it, in a jiffy, the peanut butter has been misremembered since being introduced nearly 60 years ago.
Kit-Kat or Kitkat:
Finally, everyone is guilty of enjoying this candy bar at least once in their life but The KitKat logo doesn’t actually contain a hyphen to separate the first and second word.
Mandela effect debunked
There is no denying that collective false memories exist but are they a result of so-called ‘glitches in the matrix’ or is something far more mundane? There have been a couple of theories that have attempted to debunk the Mandela Effect popping up recently. Perhaps one of the most prevalent explanations for the Mandela Effect is the misinformation effect. Essentially, the misinformation effect is when your memory is influenced by new information. For example, if one person is shown a Berenstain Bear book and their friend says to them ‘hey isn’t the spelling totally different to how you remember? Crazy right?’ their mind might actually distort the memory to conform to this new information. Another theory involves confabulation, which means an individual’s mind has fabricated or simply made up a memory without the conscious intention to deceive others. Generally people who have confabulated are extremely certain about their memory and reject any contradicting evidence. However, confabulation does not explain how these false memories are shared among different people.
When looking into the Mandela Effect it’s very easy to find yourself in an endless clickhole where hours feel like minutes and you don’t even know what’s true anymore. You might even start to think that we are experiencing a Mandela within a Mandela and that we are actually having false memories about a phenomenon explaining false memories.
Whether you’re on team parallel universes or you vouch for the misinformation effect and confirmation bias, you got to admit the Mandela Effect does get you thinking.
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