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Mandela Effect strangeness

Basically, the Mandela Effect is when people recall an event in history that is very specific but historical events show that something else happened.

I explored this topic for my own interest years and years ago for fun. I am writing about it now because I just mentioned it to my brother. And really, as a writer, it has some fun potential to think about.

Now, it is sort of funny because I can remember the Mandela Effect and other odd and strange theories and facts but the oddball things mentioned in the Mandela Effect I’m like, wait, hold on, that totally Was that way wasn’t it? Maybe because some of the examples are people and I am not so awesome at remembering people in the news. And some examples are logos and brands and I have never really remembered that sort of thing. I am an oblivious absentminded person. If anyone can be befuddled by this effect, it’s me. And that is why it drew my attention. Some of the examples really threw me. But as a writer, alternative theories for why it happens… intrigue me more than the probable reason for why it happens.

Back when this came about there were a lot of things talked about and mentioned as examples of the Mandela effect. Since then it has gone a bit nuts and I have no idea about those examples. But this list is from the person that started the original conversation.

Examples of the Mandela Effect (The ones that bugged me anyway):

  • In the Curious George books, did Curious George have a tail or no tail? (Apparently he never had a tail)
  • Lindbergh Baby was never found or found? (Apparently Was found May 12, 1932)
  • Nelson Mandela: This is what the Mandela Effect is named after and the one that got me looking into it. Many people remember him having died in prison, not in Dec, 2013.
  • Sinbad in a movie called Shazam or Shazaam where he was a genie. Apparently this movie never existed. I swear it did. Hell, until I saw it on this list I Knew it did.
  • Mirror, mirror- in “Snow White” Did the evil queen say ‘mirror, mirror…’ or ‘magic mirror…’ Apparently it is Magic mirror. So that is a false memory I have had in my head forever.
  • Life cereal commercial (1970s)- Did Mikey ‘like everything’ or ‘he eats everything’ or ‘hate everything’. Apparently it’s ‘he hates everything’. Once again I have been using this wrong to this day. Because I still use this reference when making fun of eating something I don’t like.
  • Then there are the spelling of certain things like Febreze/Febreeze and Fruit Loops/Froot Loops. And I could swear I have had these wrong forever and ever. It messes me up that I never knew the right way. At all.

More examples

One massive problem

Memory is a very fragile thing. And we cannot verify any of these because they are clearly things we Feel we remember but are not Factual. However, we know there are things in our personal memory this happens with. I mean, if I gather the family and we go over some event that happened in the family say 15 years ago I can guarantee you that we will all have different beliefs about specific details of that event. Even who was there. And what actually happened.

Memories are not perfect and fixed in the brain. They are malleable and change over time.

Recalling things is more like putting together a puzzle. Every time we recall a memory, we put that puzzle back together again. Every once in a while, some pieces of that puzzle get misplaced. Since the brain doesn’t like gaps, it fills in those gaps with us don’t even realizing it.

Scientific Mystery

So we can’t say for certain the Mandela Effect is due to anything other than a collective memory failure. That most people remember one thing accurately in these specific cases but Some people do not. And that is perfectly normal.

Because of social media chatter and memory distortions, there is no way to say otherwise now. Unless there was 1 event that we could scientifically demonstrate a significantly large sample size of people all had the same distinctly clear alternate memory of, that has not been consistently talked about on social media, then we may go… huh… That is sort of weird. But since that is not the case this is more like a cultural phenomenon of false memories being influenced even more so by repetitively talking about these contradictions.

False memories

We all know memories are faulty. Hell, I have a memory of when I was a kid falling out a window. But in my memory, I fell out, grabbed onto the edge with my fingers and tried to hold on… and then lost my grip only to fall out. And no one was around. This is not at all what happened. And it wasn’t a far fall at all.

And I know that when we remember things and think about them, often the whole process of recollection sort of changes the memory. So we really never can trust our memory of events. Or anyones. Because we all have different versions of the same event.

The influences on our memory

We can’t say there are not things that didn’t influence our memory or distort them. Or… the very fact we are talking about these specific things IS what is distorting them. Like maybe I never thought about such and such but when you prime the memory with speculation about it with 2 options my brain goes… Huh, maybe it WAS like That and not like THAT.

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.

Priming is also known as suggestibility. It can influence a person’s reactions and memory. For instance, the phrase, “Did you grab the red ball from the shelf?” is much more suggestive than the phrase, “Did you take anything from the shelf?”

Medical News Today

Like my Shazam memory… could be explained by the fact a similar movie exists and then when the Shazam one is mentioned over and over, I simply confused the two in my memory.

The Hamilton study could also help to explain why groups of people share false memories, as with the mystery of Shazaam. First, there was a children’s movie called Kazaam (1996) starring Shaquille O’Neal as a genie. Then, some people falsely remember another 1990s film, perhaps a rip-off of Kazaam, called Shazaam, starring the comedian Sinbad as a genie. Although Shazaam never existed, there are hundreds of people online who claim to remember it.


Alternate realities or parallel universes

Even though obviously we cannot trust our personal memories and collective memory failure certainly happens… It is fascinating to speculate on alternative theories. So this explanation is the most interesting as a writer to think about and explore.

suggest that the Mandela effect occurs when our reality interacts with other alternate realities or parallel universes.

The concept of alternate realities originates from quantum physics and string theory. This theoretical framework explains the universe and the very nature of reality in terms of tiny strings that vibrate in 10 dimensions.

Based on string theory, one can assert that our universe is only one of many, potentially infinite, other universes. This is known as the multiverse. Although the mathematical foundation of string theory works, the theory itself remains unproven and highly controversial.

Medical News Today

Now, I know that the fact our memories are so very flawed really makes this all make total sense. But as a writer I like to speculate the idea that parallel realities touching ours could be a possibility… and physics may also speculate on that possibility these days.

Howard Wiseman of Griffith University in Australia led a team that believes quantum theory allows for multiple versions of our universe to exist and overlap, and even interact with one another on the quantum level. 


Under this new interpretation, some worlds in parallel universes would be nearly identical. In others, the “Butterfly Effect” is responsible for completely different outcomes. Each universe is equally real; it isn’t that one universe is the truth while others are bizarre copies or lesser in any way. Wiseman also believes that the quantum forces responsible for driving this shared existence are also responsible for causing quantum interactions between the worlds. Similarity between worlds interact through quantum forces, which influences the outcome of the world by making them slightly dissimilar. Though the theory states that the worlds interact with one another on the quantum level and not on a larger scale, Wiseman also believes the theory does not preclude that possibility, either. 


So maybe we are bumping with alternate realities. Who knows. I like to speculate on this possibility. It makes my imagination tickle.

CERN conspiracy theories

If we are bumping alternate realities… How did that exactly happen? Some speculate it is CERN’s fault. Damn it, CERN! This is the theory I heard about years ago circulating around. Referred to often as ‘The CERN Quantum Effect’

Because of the nature of CERN’s experiments, some believe spacetime is being unknowingly or knowingly manipulated, thereby producing Cern parallel universes.

While CERN scientists have good intentions, some say that CERN’s work is akin to GMO seed manipulation, in that it is taking risks with the foundational elements of our universe (atomic and subatomic particles) without fully understanding the potential risks.


There is the time travel theory, which I think doesn’t logically make sense. If the timeline changed, our memory of it would also change. The ‘we are in a simulation‘ theory has been disproved and I have no desire to write a Matrix book.

Anyway, the Mandela Effect is weird. It is weird that a lot of people have false memories about the same things. It isn’t weird that I do because, as I said, I am pretty oblivious and absentminded. I can remember what I read in a book ten years ago but likely not what I ate for breakfast a couple of days ago. Just how I roll. Memories of events are not the same as how we encode memories of facts and concepts.

Still, memories are weird things. How we form them and play around with them in our minds as we recollect them and sort of re-forming them… they don’t exactly stay the same. Some of these things are very old things in my memories. And time would distort them, I’d think. As it does with so many personal memories. Is it trippy that I think some of these things are just so not right? Yeah, it is. But it isn’t surprising.

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