WELCOME to the Mandela Effect, a worldwide phenomenon in which the things we thought were true suddenly appear different before us. Did you know that it’s spelled Looney Tunes rather than Looney Toons? That it’s Chick-fil-a rather than Chic-fil-a? Well, even you if don’t remember these differently, there are thousands of examples of what we thought were truths suddenly turning traitor.
The roots of the Mandela Effect stem from its name. “Paranormal consultant” Fiona Broome is the first ones to use the term ‘Mandela Effect’, using the term after discovering a false memory of her own. She recognized this phenomenon after finding out that, rather than dying in the prison in the 1980’s, which she previously thought to be common knowledge, South African human rights activist and president Nelson Mandela actually died in 2013. After recognizing this, she began to discover many more examples.
At this point, many believe it’s safe to assume that these aren’t just errors with their memory. Many other people have begun to be affected by this phenomenon.
“They exchange the normal range of forgetfulness,” Broome said.
The most widely recognized Mandela Effect stems from a children’s book series. The Berenstein Bears, as it turns out, actually aren’t The Berenstein Bears, but rather The Berenstain Bears. Don’t feel alone if you remember it the other way around; tons of people remember it like so.
So, if it isn’t just our brain playing tricks on us, then what could be the cause of this strange phenomenon? Well, some have gone as far to say that we may have ‘slid’ between alternate realities. Although this is an untestable hypothesis, you technically cannot prove it untrue.
Aside from shifts in reality, there have been other incomprehensible explanations made in an attempt to make sense of this strange occurrence. Some even say that we may be living in a ‘program,’ and that the Mandela Effect is just a ‘glitch in the Matrix.’
The explanations people have come up with seem straight out of science fiction. For example, some say that even time travel could be involved with the Mandela Effect. Those who remember Nelson Mandela dying in prison may have ‘slid’ to the future and witnessed Nelson Mandela’s funeral on television, only to have ‘slid’ back to 1988. Then fast forward a couple of days, and then they suddenly see Nelson Mandela alive and well on television.
More on that note, what fundamental law of the universe could possibly allow ‘time travel’? Well, we really don’t know. However, the fact that we don’t know could lead us to clues as there are many things in the universe that we simply don’t know about. For example, as gravity is ‘pulling’ us, it is speculated that dark energy, a substance that makes up most of the universe, is ‘pulling’ us. Dark energy could potentially be the key to the manipulation of wormholes, which could lead us to time travel.
It would be fun to believe that we may be taking a cruise through realities or that we may be experiencing a literal ‘glitch.’ However, some have come up with more logically plausible explanations for this phenomenon. For example, just simple human error could lead to false memories. Headline mistakes happen a lot more than you may know; and if, for example, someone were to write a story on The Berenstain Bears despite having remembered it as The Berenstein Bears, they could potentially ‘spread’ this false memory to our news-driven society.
The Mandela Effect will probably be one of those cases that will never truly be ‘solved’’. It could be something as simple as our brain configuring to common terminology, but also be something as complicated as a glitch in the Matrix or time travel. However, as we begin to understand more about not only our mind but the universe itself, we will begin to move closer to unraveling the ‘truth’.