Last updated date: 11-Feb-2023

Originally Written in English

The Mandela Effect - Have you read this article before?

    The Mandela Effect

    Mandela Effect is known as a psychological circumstance in which a very large number of people are living with the strong belief that a specific action or event happened, in spite of the fact that it actually never occurred, making it just an unusual perception of how our minds perceive reality.

    The term and meaning of “Mandela Effect” became well known starting with 2009 during Fiona’s Broome conference in which she recalled the tragic death of the president Nelson Mandela from South Africa in a prison in the 1980s. The truth is that Nelson Mandela didn’t actually die in that time frame and the reality of the story was that he passed away in 2013. One of the explanations that Fiona was certain about, was that the former president that she thought died in 1980, actually passed away in 2013, making it hard for her to believe that her memories were acting up due to the fact that the events she recalled were not accurate.

    Furthermore, to be aware of the situation and of the fact that she may not remember correctly, her idea was to have a discussion with some other individuals to clarify the situation that has given her many questions about how the events actually took place in the real world. Once Broome initiated the conversations with other people, she came to notice that her reminiscence may have been distorted by her own brain and the possibility of perceiving actions that didn’t arise. The absorbing reality was that despite all of these facts, she appeared to remember international news related to Nelson’s death that took place in 1980 and even found out people that had similar memories, even though the memories never existed.

    Moreover, Broome got impressed by the situation, being her first time hearing about a large mass of individuals that could recall the exact same memories she had, even though the event never actually took place. Once she discovered that the situation was too brilliant not to be written about, she decided to initiate her first writings related to this circumstance, adding to her list many other incidents associated with the Mandela Effect.


    Mandela effect examples

    Nelson Mandela’s death - The first example was how  Nelson Mandela’s death emerged false memories that ended up growing along with Broome’s website.


    The painting of Henry VIII - The painting of Henry VIII from England (June 28th,1491 -January 28th,1547) holding a turkey leg, was known as a genuine piece of art until the truth came to be acknowledged by the evidence making the painting become one of the Mandela Effects. The dissimilarity is that Henry VIII was not actually holding a turkey leg in one hand, even though many individuals remembered him sitting at a table having a feast or a dinner while having a drumstick or a turkey in his hand. However, there is absolutely no precedence about a painting that reveals the King of England holding a piece of turkey, making the picture an absolutely mystery. 


    Luke, I am your father “ - The line “Luke, I am your father” from The Empire Strikes has also given a hard time for people to remember it correctly. Unfortunately, the actor that recites that specific line has confirmed that everybody understood something else, without him saying it in the movie.  The actual line that everybody was confused about was turning out to be “No, I am your father”. But despite that, a Hollywood reporter has claimed in his article from April 2-2020 about the 25th Anniversary of Tommy Boy, that apparently Chris Farley has shouted “Luke, I am your father” into an electrical fan to make his voice sound more interesting. Nevertheless, back in time when that movie was released people didn’t have all the technology and most of the individuals were watching it on TV as it was broadcasted on HBO for the very first time. Back in 1985, everybody was praising movies since movies were rarely broadcasted on TV and just because of that people gave their all attention to watch a film that was just released, furthermore most of the individuals that were watching TV that night affirmed that they heard the line “Luke, I am the father “and that it was the most humorous part throughout the entire movie. Moreover, the misquote of that line has stopped and everybody realized that Tommy Boy may have been the real source of why everybody was recalling the movie line differently.


    Mirror, mirror on the wall “ - The most recognized line amongst all children and adults that have watched Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: “Mirror, Mirror on the wall” was part of the Mandela effect as well. Everybody recalls the line that way and nobody realized that the original line was “Magic mirror on the wall”. The explanation behind this unknown effect was that the line hasn’t been changed since the release that happened to be in 1937. In this situation, the line has provoked a lot of misunderstanding and misconception among cultures all over the world. Due to the fact that people remembered that the right words were “Mirror, mirror”, Disney was determined to make their own version of Snow White including that specific line. Apparently, Disney has decided to change many other original lines that were in the story from 1937, in order to make a version that can adapt to the new generation. Besides, the original story is really short and doesn’t go into details as much as Disney does. Nevertheless, the American most-watched television hasn’t settled for less and heavily expanded on every little characteristic. According to the well-known sources from the internet and television, everybody happened to have recalled a misattribution of memory or they had a misconception of the past, which was equivalent to a Mandela Effect. Many other people also had evidence that they have spotted Disney-brand belongings with the famous line “Mirror, mirror, on the wall” with writings on them. Unfortunately, there is no exact information about the original text or either about why Disney has decided to change the first story about Snow White.


    The “Oscar Meyer” brand - Oscar Mayer is an American food company owned by American food company Kraft Heinz established in Chicago. It is a specific brand for its famous hot dogs, bacon, ham, and other meat products. The name of the brand has generated a lot of controversy over the spelling of the brand. People affirm that they recall the brand name as “Meyer” instead of “Mayer”.


    Location of New Zealand - As crazy as it may sound, there have been people that claim to remember the fact that New Zealand has moved. These individuals affirm that North East of Australia was actually part of New Zealand. Unfortunately, the reality is that New Zealand is located in the South East and is not physically part of Australia due to the fact that is separated by the Tasman Sea. Some of the Mandela effects that are related to a specific location can be easily dismissed as having bad geography orientation, but this wasn’t the case as many other people could confirm that New Zealand moved without anybody’s notice.


    Berenstain Bears - The cherished series of children’s literature called “Bereinstein Bears” that began in 1962 and continued to be broadcasted in 1980 has also been part of a Mandela Effect. For many children in the period of 1960-1980, the bears and their family were a big part of their childhood, without even realizing that later on the series title was misunderstood. Apperently the real name of the series was “ Berenstain Bears “ instead of “Berenstein Bears”, even though many people don’t recall the title having an “a” as a substitute for “e”. Even if the series fans were conscious of the misconception of the title, they still couldn’t believe it. Later on, forums were published on Reddit intending that the title was “Bernstein”.


    Shazaam - Another known example of the Mandela Effect was the memory of a movie called “Shazaam” that starred the comedian Sinbad. The movie got so many people to argue about its existence, but unfortunately, there are people that claim that the actor never existed in reality. All of these questions about the movie were popped in 2012 before even Mandela Effect was a real theory. On Reddit, there have been posts related to the non-existent movie and just like that many individuals insisted they saw the movie, being a childhood memory for the vast majority. Unfortunately, people were surprised that the memory they used to have turned into a lie. The movie ended up causing a lot of controversy throughout many families and friends that could all visualize the movie in their heads. On one hand, an explanation for this situation was the fact that there existed a movie called “Kazaam” released in 1996. There have been strong beliefs that people may have confused “Shazaam” with “Kazaam”. However, there are individuals that could recall watching both movies, making it hard to believe that the movie never existed.


    Apart from all these examples, there is a long list of Mandela effects throughout the years:

    •   Jif, not “ Jiffy” –for the name of a peanut butter jar
    •   Looney Tunes, not Toons – even though many people don’t remember the childhood series that way, unfortunately, the name of it was never changed.
    •   Curious George’s Tail – individuals recall the funny monkey having a tail, even if there was no tail
    •   ‘Sex and the City” – women all over the world remained with the vague impression that the actual name was “Sex in the City” instead of “ Sex and the City”
    •   Skechers –an American footwear company left so many other people confused due to the fact that the “T” in Skechers was never there.
    •   Froot Loops – was known as “Fruit Loops“ until people realized that the real name of the brand was different.
    •   Monopoly Man and His Monocle –unfortunately Monopoly Man never had a monocle
    •   Pikachu’s Tail –the well-known anime character never had his tail black as many people used to remember it
    •   The Hyphen in Kit Kat – unfortunately there is no hyphen between “Kit” and “Kat”
    •   Double “Stuf” Oreos – there was never a second “f” in “Stuf”
    •   Mona Lisa’s smile – the controversy about her existent smile from the painting that was actually never there
    •   The Flinstones has two “ts” – everybody has been pronouncing wrong the series because all this time the title was “ The Flintstones”
    •   Neil Armstrong’s death – many people had no memories of the aeronautic legend, didn’t even notice that his death was in August 2012.


     What is the meaning of the Mandela Effect?

    Mandela Effect

    On another note, an easier way to describe the Mandela Effect is by a mix of conjoint false memories that have taken place in our brain. The concept of this effect is pretty simple to understand, due to the fact that specific minor events may have changed the details that we remember, therefore our perception of truth was changed, many specialists claiming that somehow our brains ended up making their own reality.  The truth is that many of our memories were actually not accurate at all, but the interesting part is that there is a vast majority of people claiming that they had the exact same “false memories” at the same time. However, it may be a possibility the fact that people are all the same species and have the same cognitive system in their brains, they may have modified the reality without even giving consent. Individuals’ brains might make mistakes in order for the situation to be more logical in their consciousness. People may also remember details incorrectly because their brain cannot store that much information and sometimes facts end up being slightly changed.

    On the other note, it is significant to keep in mind the evolution of human brain, which is constantly working, analyzing, comparing, and absorbing new ideas just in order to prove their memories. Sometimes you can catch a reminiscence of an event just by someone explaining their own theory incorrectly, making your cognitive system absorb the new information as a “new reality”. Furthermore, all these problems are occurred also because people share the same DNA and their brains will start building similar data or conclusions related to some events, actions, information, or memories.


    Do we actually forget existent memories?

    Memory failures happen with a large amount of population daily, sometimes varying from simple memories of “what I ate for breakfast” to memories related to important information or appointments. Theoretically, forgetting things is part of our day-to-day life, because people are surrounded by stressful situations at work, in their family, or at school.

    This is the main reason why we forget insignificant details to us because we focus on our daily problems and our brain tries to get rid of details that may occupy our mind. Of course, there are geniuses that can remember everything that has happened with them from the very first day that they were born in specific details. These individuals can even remember the colors of people’s clothes and their conversation with them from the very first “Hello” to the last “Goodbye”. Unfortunately, due to the fact that this is extremely rare, people do not confront this kind of memory on a daily basis. Even though it may be a blessing to be able to learn everything faster than anybody else, it is in fact really difficult to keep up with life while  getting all these flashes about different kinds of memories. Doctors have claimed that the “ability to never forget” is actually a real disease called Hyperthymesia. This ability is usually caused by the increased activity in some parts of the brain, most of the time in the inferior parietal lobe.

    Apart from being able to remember everything, there is also the possibility to develop a disease that could damage someone’s brain resulting in a lack of memories. The disease is called Alzheimer's, but it is usually discovered in older people, even though the affection may develop earlier. Over time, this condition makes it hard for people to remember basic stuff or even their families. Nevertheless, there are early signs of this affection in a person’s body, but people usually do not pay attention to them, ending up without any other solution in the end.


    What are the reasons why people forget?

    Memory lost

    Occasionally, people tend to forget due to one “phenomenon” that is usually called interference.

    Some of the relevant or less important memories in people’s brains may start to compete with other memories, making the information very comparable to the initial fact.

    The classification of the interference is based on two types:

    • Proactive interference – happens when an old memory makes it hard to reminiscence a new memory
    • Retroactive interference – it was affirmed to happen when new information interferes with the ability to remember antecedent learned information.

    Researchers suggest that reclaiming some information from people’s memories may lead to “retrieval-induced forgetting”.


    How do false memories occur?

    Doctors believe that the Mandela Effect that has been happening to the majority of people is actually a simple form of confabulation.

    The meaning of confabulation is “honest lying”. Although it sounds unusual, there is actual evidence that a person creates a “false memory” without even having the intention to lie about an event or actions. Individuals usually have the urge to fill their own gaps in memory with their own ideas of how information was perceived.

    Researchers tend to believe that humans use confabulation in order to remember past events, explaining that there is not a thing such as a “Mandela effect” and that our brain is only adjusting to reality.


    Symptoms of the Mandela Effect

    Symptoms of the Mandela Effect

     The main symptoms of the Mandela effect are as follows: 

    •   Remembering something slightly different from how it was in reality
    •   A vast majority of people recall the exact same way of how they remembered the information

    Another interesting way to think of Mandela Effect is by resembling it to the childhood game called “telephone”. Throughout this interactive game, a word or statement is spoken or whispered to somebody, and then they have to deliver the message to the final person. 


    Theories regarding Mandela Effect being related to parallel universes 

    Even though there may be a possibility, that this unknown effect of not remembering things correctly might be due to some sort of theory, there is no such strong evidence to prove it.

    People believe that all these different memories might be due to the fact that there may have been “an erased timeline” and we are only aware of the residual hints of what it used to be.

    The theory is that the European research center generated a splinter in time and space when the Large Hadron Collider was fired up in 2008.

    Moreover, some people live with the idea that there are endless universes, and the present timeline is not the only one. Some researchers may also think that we can shift from our universe to a parallel one.

    Although opinions are divided, there has been a significant number of people that believe we live in a simulation and that nothing is real, highlighting their own opinion on why people experience the Mandela Effect.


    Testing for Mandela Effect

    Testing for Mandela Effect

    Based on the idea of the Mandela Effect people have created a lot of tests that could show the individuals if they have ever mistaken an event or information with something else that could be similar to the initial fact. These tests are all over the internet, and it is said that only 1 in 10 people can actually pass the Mandela Effect memory test.

    The test is based on simple questions with photos for each one of them. People have the ability to choose “yes” or “no”, in order to respond to the challenge.

    When the test is over, you’ll get all the correct responses and the final score.


    Conclusion – Key points to remember!

    • Mandela Effect is still being debated whether there is just fallibility in the human brain rather than the probability of the parallel universes.
    • Researchers still talk about this unexplainable effect, hoping that one day they would find proper information and evidence to sustain their ideas about the Mandela Effect.