The Mandela Effect

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How well do you trust your memory? Have you ever remembered something a certain way and it turns out to be different from what is true? Whether it be the spelling of a word or a famous line from a movie? If so, you might be experiencing what is known as the Mandela Effect. The Mandela Effect is a phenomenon that has been the basis of many conspiracy theories and has caught a lot of people’s attention.

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Fiona Broome, who coined the term Mandela Effect, describes it as when someone has a clear, personal memory of something that never happened. Many people who are mostly strangers to each other remember several of the exact same events with the same details but the memories are different from what is true.

The Mandela Effect is named after the former president of Africa, Nelson Mandela. Many people have vivid memories of Nelson Mandela dying in prison in the 1980s. Some people even recall news articles, tv clips, and even pictures of Nelson Mandela’s funeral. Nelson Mandela had actually been released from prison on February 11, 1990 (Baruch). Mandela didn’t die until 2013 which was a shock to the people who though he had been dead for a few decades. Even though people had been having false collective memories for some time before that, Mandela’s death was the biggest one that brought people together.

There are dozens of examples of people experiencing the Mandela Effect, some you might not even realize were a part of your memories. One of the most popular Mandela effect debates is The Berenstein/Berenstain Bears. Many people insist they remember the book and tv series being spelled The Berenstein Bears with an e. However, when they you look back at it now it is spelled The Berenstain Bears.

Another popular memory many recall is a genie movie from the 1990s that starred Sinbad called Shazam. The problem with this, though, is that movie never existed. There was a movie released in 1996 with Shaq as a genie called Kazaam, but the people who remember Shazam insist they aren’t confusing it. Even though they don’t know what happened to the movie’s existence they all are certain that it once was a thing.

Finally, two of the most popular movie quotes have been said wrong for years. In Star Wars: Episode V, Luke, I am your father isn’t what Darth Vader said despite the fact that fans have been saying that line for decades. He actually says, No, I am your father. Also, the Silence of the Lambs line, Hello Clarice was never said in the movie. Many people believe that was the first thing he said when meeting Clarice, what he actually said was, Good morning. My sister, who is a fan of the movie, told me I was wrong when I told her that famous line was never said. She told me Dr. Lecter says it in a scene when he calls Clarice. I looked that up and it was also wrong. When Clarice picks up the phone he says, Well Clarice Which gave me another example of The Mandela Effect.

There is no scientifically proven reason as to why so many people have such vivid memories that never happened, but there are plenty of theories to try and explain it.

Some people believe that the Mandela Effect proves the existence of parallel universes.

The theory behind this is that universes involving our worlds are starting to collapse together for one reason or another. There’s no theory that would really explain what would cause two alternate universes near each other to meld together that way ” which is what makes the Mandela Effect so interesting.(McDaniel)

Another wild theory some believe explains the Mandela Effect is time travelers. They believe these time travelers have gone back and time and somehow or another changed our current reality. The most logical explanation is that we are just humans and our brains make mistakes. We are able to alter our memories causing us to remember details just a little bit differently than what it really was.

The Mandela Effect is interesting to say the least. Even though there are so many theories behind it it isn’t anything more than our brains playing tricks. With so many examples of it I don’t see how there isn’t a way that we aren’t all somehow effected by the Mandela Effect.

Works Cited

Baruch, Ilan. “The Case for Namibia in Palestine.” Palestine – Israel Journal of Politics, Economics, and Culture, vol. 20, no. 2, 2015, pp. 30-34, Ethnic NewsWatch, https://

Broome, Fiona. About. Mandela Effect,

McDaniel, Sarah. Top Alternate Universe Theories. Futurism, 7 Aug. 2017, top-alternate-universe-theories.

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The Mandela Effect. (2019, Jul 08). Retrieved January 30, 2023 , from

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