By Evi Tsakali,
The Mandela Effect is a phenomenon that makes us question even the most mundane memories from the past, usually regarding current events or pop culture references. It was named by the paranormal researcher Fiona Broome after Nelson Mandela, who countless people remember dying in prison in the 1980s, even though he actually died in 2013. There is a controversy on whether this phenomenon constitutes a conspiracy theory, mainly because it’s so open-ended; there is no explanation why it happens…
After some research I managed to gather some Mandela Effect examples related to pop culture or historical moments;
Most of us may clearly remember a black detail at the tip of Pikachu’s tail, however, it’s just yellow.
Mona Lisa’s smile
If you have thought that she used to have a more obvious smile, you are not alone.
“Life is like a box of chocolates”
This line is NOT what Tom Hanks actually said in Forest Gump. In fact, he said, “my mother always said that life was like a box of chocolates”.
“Mirror, Mirror on the wall”
The Wicked Queen in Snow White actually said “Magic mirror on the wall”.
Choose what is scarier: the fact that you remember Hannibal Lecter saying “Hello, Clarice”, or that in reality, all he said was “Good morning”?
“…of the world!”
Yes, I’m referring to your favorite song from Queen; Freddie Mercury doesn’t sing these words at the end of “We are the champions”, he never did (except for one time, during the band’s famous Wembley Stadium performance).
Neil Armstrong’s death
Isn’t it weird that no one remembers Armstrong’s death? He died in August 2012, but the news went merely noticed.
The Fruit of the Loom logo
Again, if you think that there used to be a cornucopia in the Fruit of the Loom logo (which, in fact, was never the case), you are not the only one.
Possible causes of the Mandela Effect
There are two approaches (and I deliberately use the word “approaches” instead of “explanations”), one by conspiracy theorists and one from the field of medicine.
On the one hand, Fiona Broome and her supporters explain the Mandela effect by the potential existence of alternate realities or parallel universes, using the theoretical framework of quantum physics and string theory, which depicts the universe (or, more accurately, multiverse) as strings that vibrate in 10 dimensions. The field of medicine, on the other hand, invokes three potential causes of the Mandela Effect: false memories, confabulation, and priming.
False memories are untrue or distorted recollections of an event, and they are quite common. Confabulation is, according to Dr. Marney A. White, is a common symptom of neurological conditions that affect memory, such as Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. When a person with dementia confabulates, they are not lying or attempting to deceive. They simply do not have the necessary information or awareness to recall a specific memory or event accurately. Finally, in psychology, priming describes a phenomenon in which exposure to a stimulus directly influences a person’s response to a subsequent stimulus. For example, if a person reads or hears the word “grass”, they will recognize another related word, such as “tree” or “lawnmower”, more quickly than an unrelated word.
- Bryant, Kelly. 44 Mandela Effect examples that are seriously mind-bending. Readers Digest. Available here.
- Eske, James. What is the Mandela Effect?. Medical News Today. Available here.