The Mandela Effect: More Proof of Parallel Universes?

As a follow-up to my post on the Berenst#in Bears problem, I thought this was worth sharing.

Yesterday, I found myself over at the subreddit r/Glitch_in_the_Matrix. And, wouldn’t you know it, the top post over there is about something called the Mandela Effect. This is the apparent name for phenomena like the Berenst#in Bears Problem, in which we remember something contrary to reality.

Exploring it further, I found that the name, coined by Fiona Broome, stems from the absurd number of people who seem to “remember” that Nelson Mandela died in prison in the 1980s, and not at his home in Johannesburg in 2013.

In fact, there’s even a subreddit dedicated to this kind of stuff.

Other examples of this “effect” include a portrait missing from this universe of Henry VIII, in which he’s holding a turkey leg, New Zealand being in a different location, and perhaps strangest of all, the color Chartreuse being “something other than yellow-green.”

Alternate Time Streams or False Memories?

Mirrored realities, where only small things have changed
Image: Mike Wilson/Unsplash

However, the problem with something like the Mandela Effect is this: just because you hear something or even see something, that doesn’t mean it’s true.

Sometimes we read something incorrectly, or experience false memories. Sometimes we’re told something, even (well, especially) by the news media, that’s incorrect. We assume it’s true, because why not, and go about our business.

Then, when we later find out that Nelson Mandela has only recently died, or New Zealand is in a different location on the map, or that the Berenstein Bears are actually the Berenstain Bears, this information clashes with what we thought we knew. And if enough people are misinformed about the same topic, I imagine that’s when we run into the so-called Mandela Effect.

In other words, that’s a roundabout way of saying sometimes we’re wrong.

But that’s a boring way to look at things, isn’t it? As I said before, this is an interesting phenomenon, regardless of whether you want to ascribe it to parallel universes or false memories. The brain is a tricky thing, and the universe is trickier. Explore the possibilities, and draw your own conclusions.

Do you have any memories that don’t quite mesh with our current reality?

Rob Schwarz

Writer, blogger, and part-time peddler of mysterious tales. Editor-in-chief of Stranger Dimensions.

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