The Mandela Effect

Source: Google, labeled for reuse

Once again I bid you a good day, citizens of the weird. I also bid you a scary day. I hope you have been enjoying Around the Weird in 80 Days this quarter as I talk about ghosts, banshees, chupacabra, and conspiracies. This weekend I will be talking about parallel universes and time travel, so it should be a real treat for the small portion of you who have been stuck here after traveling back in time to prevent a bear attacking your great-grandfather. While you are stuck, perhaps you could give me the lottery numbers for the coming week. It is only fair of you. Before we arrive at the weekend though, let me inform you of the Mandela Effect.

What is the Mandela Effect? Is it related to board games? Sadly not. You are probably thinking of mancala. Instead, the Mandela Effect has to do with time travel. The story goes that a blogger discussed with her friends the fact that they remembered hearing that Nelson Mandela (noted ghost hunter and president of South Africa) died in his prison cell in the 1980's. They were surprised to hear that he actually lived well in the 2000's. The Internet took this idea by storm and quickly found more examples. One recent example comes from another blogger who noted discrepancies with the Berenstain Bears book series. The issue here being that people remember the books being titled the BerenSTEIN Bears. This has led a number of people to suggest that this is the result of parallel universes colliding which results in actual events separating from our memories.

There are other examples of this phenomenon. People recall past memories of the Mona Lisa having different facial expressions and being in different positions. There are people who claimed the “Fruit Loops” name has changed many times from “fruit” to “froot” and back again. People have even attributed this phenomenon to the tendency to misquote movies from Star Wars (“Luke, I am your father) to Apollo 13 (“Houston, we have a problem.) So, is this an actual thing that is happening? Are we colliding with other universes? Is this proof that we live in a computer simulation, and the programmers are making corrections to their mistakes? Perhaps a rogue group of radio station brand managers are uniting to save history from nefarious characters. The possibilities are endless. The possibilities are slightly terrifying.

If you have found an example of the Mandela Effect in your life, feel free to contact me while I run my show this weekend. In the meantime, perhaps you can stop any radio station brand managers that attempt to make changes in your life. It will be a tough battle, but I believe in you.

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