Have you ever shared a vivid memory of something with many people, only to realize that event never happened?
You may be experiencing the Mandela Effect.
The Mandela Effect is one of the internet's recently popular conspiracy theories that has been messing with all of our brains. This phenomenon is when thousands of people with no relation to each other have the exact same collective misremembering of the same event.
The name, coined by Fiona Bloome, came about in 2013 when human rights activist Nelson Mandela died. Many people from all over the world were confused because they all had the same vivid memory of him dying in prison during the 1980's. People have even found old textbooks and biographies that state that Nelson Mandela did die in the 80's. Since then, many other collective false memories have sprung up and shaken up our reality.
There are a lot of different theories for why the Mandela Effect exists. Many believe that it is a result of time travel. Possibly some person who will live thousands of years from now traveled back to our time and changed little things in the middle of our lifetime.
Others think it may be due to the shifting of parallel universes.
Perhaps we all once lived in a universe where things were slightly different and we still remember it that original way but are now in a reality where things are different. Some people have even gone as far to say that the ending of the world in 2012 didn't seem to happen because it was simply the end of our current universe and we all shifted into a new one.
Psychologists credit the Mandela Effect to confabulation, the clinical term for memory defects. However, the fact that large numbers of people who have never met all have identical false memories continues to stump even the most educated psychologists.
No matter what the reasoning is, the Mandela Effect will make you question reality and send shivers down your spine. Here are just a handful of examples that you are sure to identify with.
1. The Berenstein Bears
This popular children's book and television show series was loved by many for years. Anyone you ask will tell you that the way I spelled “Berenstein" above is the correct spelling. What if I told you that's wrong? That's right, it's actually called the “Berenstain Bears."
If you go back and look at your old VHS tapes or books, it will say “Berenstain." There is no record of it ever being called “Berenstein."
Personally, I have never met a person who remembers it being spelled that way. This Mandela Effect example is one of the most popular because so many people vividly remember it being “Berenstein." Have we all just been remembering it wrong? Perhaps, but there is some evidence that it was once spelled “Berenstein."
The photo above is of a VHS tape that one Reddit user found in their attic. On the actual tape, “Berenstain" is printed, but on a sticker on the side (something likely added by the VHS manufacturer or distributing company) it says “Berenstein." Many people have used this as proof of the Mandela Effect because it shows that, at one point in time, it was “Berenstein."
Perhaps because that sticker was not owned directly by the company, it did not change when time travel or the shifting of the universe occured. People have also found old TV Guides and news articles that refer to the program as “Berenstein Bears," further enhancing the proof for this example.
2. The Flintstones
This one has tended to shift in and out of reality, which has freaked me out throughout my research. Just under one week ago, the "Flintstones" was spelled without a "T" as the "Flinstones."
Today I went to Google it and saw that it changed from "Flinstones" to "Flintstones" and was back to its original spelling. I might sound crazy saying that, but I'm not the only wannabe Mandela Effect expert that has kept up with it and noticed the constant shift. I am glad that the "t" is back because in my childhood I vividly remember it being spelled "Flintstones."
Most remember their last name being “Flintstones," which makes sense because flint is a type of rock and the family lives in the fictional town Bedrock, where everything is made of rock. However, if you went back and watched it last week, their last name was actually “Flinstone."
Today, it is once again "Flintstone." This example firmly backs up the theory of shifting parallel universes because it changes constantly. If you Google "Flintstones Mandela Effect," you will see that many other people have also noticed it switching.
3. Oscar Meyer
“My bologna has a first name. It's O-S-C-A-R. My bologna has a second name it's M-E-Y-E-R."
Everyone remembers this cutesy song from the Oscar Meyer commercials of our childhood. The commercial even spelled out the last name in the song. If you look back now, it isn't “Oscar Meyer," it is “Oscar Mayer."
The way that people pronounce the company's name is “Meyer," so it being “Mayer" makes no sense. It isn't pronounced “Oscar Mayer" like “John Mayer," it's pronounced “Oscar Meyer."
The pronunciation of the company name and the song just show that it once was “Meyer."
4. "Mirror Mirror On the Wall"
This line from Snow White is probably one of the most famous of any Disney movie. It's on t-shirts and has been referenced in other shows and movies. There is even a Snow White spinoff movie released in 2012 that was called “Mirror Mirror" after the famous line. What if I told you we were all remembering it wrong?
That's right, it isn't “mirror, mirror on the wall." In the movie, they say “magic mirror on the wall."
I have never met a person who remembers it this way. I even remember watching Snow White as recently as four or five years ago and it said “mirror, mirror." Why would there be so much merchandise that says “mirror mirror" and a spinoff movie with that name if it never was “Mirror Mirror on the Wall"?
5. Sex in the City
The beloved show about a woman named Carrie Bradshaw and her friends living in New York City is known by most who were original fans of the show as “Sex In The City."
Now, if you go back and watch the show it is called “Sex and the City." The producers never changed the name and there is no record left of it ever being called “Sex in the City."
This instance also has some proof that it once was called “Sex in the City." Above is a montage of clips from award shows where all of the presenters called the show “Sex in the City." It is highly unlikely that every single presenter got the show's name wrong.
6. "Life is like a box of chocolates."
This one is another famous line. In the movie Forrest Gump, Forrest says, “My momma always said, life is like a box of chocolates." That is a famous line that everyone who has ever seen the movie would know.
Well, if you go back and watch the movie, it says “life was like a box of chocolates." That doesn't even sound right with the quote or in the context of the movie. I've never met somebody who remembers it saying “was."
If you go on google and type in the beginning of the quote and stop at “life," the next suggested word is “is," not “was."
7. "It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood."
In the children's show, “Mister Rogers' Neighborhood," he always sings a song with the line, “It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood."
Everyone who watched this show as a child remembers it this way. Well, now the song says “It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood." That doesn't even sound right in the song and nobody remembers it this way that I know.
8. Interview with a Vampire
This 90's movie with Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise is pretty famous, and most people remember it being called “Interview with a Vampire." If you type in on google “interview with" the suggested ending is “a vampire."
Surprisingly, the movie is actually called “Interview with the Vampire." Again, this doesn't sound right.
9. Looney Toons
Another children's cartoon, the “Looney Toons" was loved by many. Its name, “Looney Toons" makes sense because “toons" is the ending of cartoons.
The show is actually called “Looney Tunes." “Tunes" doesn't make any sense in the context of the show. I personally loved this show as a child and have vivid memories of the title screen saying “toons."
10. Fruit Loops
This one is what started my interest in the Mandela Effect. I've always been a big fan of “Fruit Loops" and used to eat them often as a child. One day, I was walking through the grocery store only to see a box that said “Froot Loops" on it.
While “froot" makes more sense with the shape of the cereal and the word “loops," I had never remembered seeing it this way.
A popular household air freshener, “Febreeze" is seen by a lot of people every single day. Since when was it spelled “febreze" with only one “e"?
12. "Luke, I am your father."
One of the most famous movie lines of all time is this one from Star Wars.
The phrase “Luke, I am your father" can be found on t-shirts, hats, phone cases, and anything else in between. With the recent re-popularization of Star Wars, this phrase has been everywhere.
However, if you go back and watch Star Wars now, you'll see that Darth Vader doesn't even say this, he says “no, I am your father." This one is insanely obvious that it once, whether in another universe or in our same reality before it was changed, was “Luke, I am your father."
People who haven't even seen Star Wars all know this famous line. It has been quoted more times than I could ever count and referenced so many times.
This well-known sneaker brand has been word by many people for years. I specifically remember the brand name being spelled “Sketchers" but now it is actually “Skechers."
This one is an example that I vividly remember.
As a child, I used to go to Chic-Fil-A with my dad sometimes before he had work. After we stopped doing that, I had not been for while until high school, when I realized it was now spelled "Chick-Fil-A." I noticed this because I constantly spelled it wrong on texts when I would ask my friends to meet me there. I'm not the only one who remembers it this way.
The spelling "Chic-Fil-A" is a common google search and is often used by people on twitter. There are many people on Reddit who also recall "Chic-Fil-A" and remember joking around and saying that the chicken must be "chic" and fashionable.
If you are a regular human being, you were probably caught off guard by at least one of these changes. The Mandela Effect is crazy because so many people strongly remember these things the wrong way. You may identify with some examples and not with others.
This could be another explanation to back up the "shifting realities" theory because all of us could be in different realities at this very moment. There are many other Mandela Effect examples, like the placement of the country New Zealand and the absence of a famous portrait of King Henry VII of England holding a turkey leg, that you can find on the internet that many people also remember incorrectly.
The ones listed here are examples that have personally affected me, but there are many more that other people have noticed in their realities. Considering all of these different instances, it would be too much of a coincidence if the Mandela Effect was a simple case of confabulation.
The next time you do a double take after seeing something you remember differently, just know that our perception of reality may not be as straightforward as it seems.
Disclaimer: I am not stating that the Mandela Effect is 100% real because that can not be proven with today's technology. It is just an interesting theory that I enjoy researching.