What is the Mandela Effect

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Have you ever been convinced of a certain event but it turned out to be false? Have you ever been so convinced of something being a specific way only to discover you’ve remembered it all wrong? If so it seems like you’ve experienced a phenomenon known as the Mandela effect. The Mandela effect occurs whenever a person or a group of people recalls a vivid memory that conflicts with historical records of factual evidence.

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This form of collective false memories of common events or details first came to light in 2010, when many people falsely remembered Nelson Mandela’s death. Many people around the world believed he had died in prison during the 1990’s. In reality though, he was freed in 1980 and passed away in 2013, despite many peoples belief of seeing clips of his funeral on tv. After Paranormal consultant Fiona Broome used the term Mandela Effect to explain this collective misremembering, various other examples popped up all over the internet. For example, one of the most popular cases of the mandela effect surrounds the popular Star Wars franchise. While many fans of this franchise remember the famous quote being “Luke, I am your Father,” The correct quote is “No, I am your father.” Darth Vader never uttered the word “Luke” in the quote.

As various examples like this started to popup online, people were more and more curious about what causes this phenomenon. There are 2 main theories surrounding the Mandela effect. One is the idea that sometimes we may slip into different realities and it can be seemingly unnoticeable with slight changes, such as a logo or pronounciation being different. Another theory is that the Mandela effect is caused by confabulation or recombination, a process where a person’s brain takes fragments of information from the past and tries to reassemble them in a way that makes sense, which sometimes leads to a error in our memory.

The theory concerning the slipping between realities is best explained that there are endless universes/realities aligned with ours and that our timeline is in a constant state of flux. According to Princeton University’s Steinhardt and Neil Turok of the Perimeter Institute for theoretical Physics in Ontario, Canada, parallel universes are universes that hover just out of reach of our own. According to Elizabeth Howell??s article on parallel universes, this concept suggests that there could be other universes besides our own, where all the choices you make in life are played out in alternate realities. As I stated earlier many people believe the idea that sometimes we may slip into a different realities and it can be seemingly unnoticeable with slight changes, such as a logo or a pronunciation being different.

The theory that the Mandela effect is caused by recombination, or a daily process where a person’s brain takes fragments of information from the past, and tries to reassemble it in a way they are able to understand. For example, when you hear of the store JCPenney you think of a penny. It’s a coin, it’s a name and it makes sense for a store to be named after currency. So when you heard the name of the store JCPenney, you falsely think “JCPenny”.

To summarise, The mandela effect is common and today there are several examples on social media. There are also many scientific theories surrounding this phenomenon. The question i leave you with is : Is there a scientific reason behind this, is it a conspiracy theory, or is just a common hummon error?

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What is the Mandela Effect. (2019, Jul 24). Retrieved February 7, 2023 , from

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