The Mandela Effect: Everything you know may not be true

Have you ever been really convinced that something is a particular way, only to later discover that you were completely wrong? If yes, you may have just experienced the “Mandela effect” . Warning; This article may leave you questioning everything you know. ?

What is the Mandela Effect?

The Mandela Effect was discovered in 2010 when a lot of people on the internet discovered that they shared a common “false memory” of Nelson Mandela’s death. ⚰ It began when Fiona Broome, a paranormal consultant, expressed that she clearly remembered watching the coverage of Nelson Mandela’s heartbreaking death in a South African prison on the news. According to her memory, Nelson Mandela had died years ago, back in the 1980s. ? When she shared these thoughts on the internet, she found that lots of others remembered the event too, including seeing clippings of the funeral and a heartfelt speech by the widow. Some even remembered learning about it at school! ?

… Except that it never actually happened. Nelson Mandela was well and alive during this discussion. In fact, he was released from prison in 1990 and later on died in 2013 – THREE whole years after Broome first spoke about her “false memories”. ? Broome named this term as the “Mandela effect”. With the discovery of the Mandela effect, people all over the internet suddenly began to notice hundreds of other “false memories” that everyone shared.

For example, many people wrongly remember that the Evil Queen in Snow White says, “Mirror, mirror, on the wall”, though the correct phrase is actually “Magic mirror on the wall” ?

Stumped? Wait, we’ve got more! Here are some examples of the Mandela effect which will possibly leave your brain hurting a bit:

  • A popular example is of  Pikachu from Pokémon. Which one is the right Pikachu from the picture given below? ?Chances are, if you tried to visualize Pikachu in your mind, you’d remember his tail to be yellow with a black end, similar to his ears, right? Wrong. Pikachu’s tail is actually completely yellow, though thousands clearly ‘remember’ the black tip. ?
  • Perhaps you’re familiar with the monopoly man, Rich Uncle Pennybags? Try imagining him in your mind; the circular shaped head, the top hat, the white mustache, the monocle ?....except he doesn’t have a monocle and he never did.
  • One of the most iconic dialogues from Star Wars is “Luke, I am your father”. ? Even people who haven’t seen the movie are familiar with this line (like myself!). By now you’ve probably guessed whats about to come; that wasn’t even the actual line in the movie.  ?‍♀️The actual line says, “No, I am your father”. Feeling frustrated? That’s okay, even James Earl Jones (the voice of Darth Vader) seems to recall the line to begin with “Luke” too. ?
  • Saw “Loony Toons” a lot as a kid? Can’t have. Because it doesn’t exist. ?The actual spelling is “Looney Tunes”, despite what you may think you remember.
  • Remember Mickey Mouse with his red suspenders? Well, he never wore one. And here’s a question to really mess you up- Ever noticed that Mickey mouse has a TAIL? ?It just looks so weird and out of place the more you look at it..
  • Are you familiar with the song, Champions by Queen? This is a clipping of a portion towards the ending of the song. Now sing the ending of the song, the bit that comes after the above clip. Did you sing, “No time for losers, cause we are the champions of the world”? ? If you did, you’re wrong. The song ends with “No time for losers, cause we are the champions”. Don’t believe me? Hear for yourself. ?

    I’m sorry but that sounds very incomplete.

The Explanation

So how do so many people collectively remember a characteristic that doesn’t even exist? ? While many believe that this “effect” is simply a result of crappy memory, Fiona Broome has her own explanation for it. Fiona believes that within a universe, countless alternative versions of events and objects exist. She explains the Mandela effect as a phenomenon that is caused due to a movement between these ‘parallel realities’. ?‍♂️ In simpler words, Broome actually believes that her ‘false’ memories of Nelson Mandela’s death, aren’t really false at all.

In fact, she suggests that these ‘memories’ are real events of another reality that she and the others shared on an alternative plane. ? However, due to a ‘glitch in the matrix’, both the parallel realities seemed to have merged, and as a result, we now share differences in the memory of this event. Though the existence of these common false memories can’t be denied, many tend to believe that the theory of alternative realities is way too far-fetched. ?

People have repeatedly tried to come up with alternative explanations for the Mandela effect, such as the misinformation effect. The misinformation effect is when the brain is influenced by the new information it receives. ? For example, if your someone came up and told you “Don’t you remember Pikachu to have a black tipped tail?”, your brain might actually change the visual image it holds to include the new black tip, making you feel like that’s how you’ve always remembered it. ?

Maybe the Mandela effect is actually caused by a whole new universe out there with a different reality than ours, or maybe it has a much more boring explanation than we’d like to hear. Either way, it sure does leave you wondering.. how much can you even trust your own mind? ?

Researched and written by Najah Bashir

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