The uniqueness of individual thought is what differentiates humans from other species and among ourselves. In life, there are different aspects and perspectives to almost everything.
Different people do daily tasks differently, see things differently and even remember stuff differently. In fact, this trope has been a crucial part of human civilisation. It is profoundly adopted even in the literary culture, most finely by writers like Gabriel García Márquez in his novel Chronicle of a Death Foretold.
But, why does this happen?
Well, experts have postulated numerous theories for this, and one of them is the Mandela Effect.
What is the Mandela Effect?
The Mandela Effect is a phenomenon where many people remember things differently from the others or events that never took place. Sometimes they remember events or things as something else than what had happened. Some conspiracy theorists say that this is because of an alternate universe. Simultaneously, some doctors try to pass it off as humans’ imperfect memory and even a form of confabulation.
Why is it named 'Mandela Effect’?
Like the name says, Fiona Broome, a paranormal consultant, remembered that Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa, died in prison in the 1980s. Although we all know that he died much later than that(5th December 2013), Fiona was not the only one who remembered him dying way before that.
A lot of people did. Some people even remembered watching the news about his death on the television! In 2009, Fiona published her experience in a website and hence coined the term. This is how this phenomenon got its name!
Some Explanations On Why It Happens
Many conspiracy theorists suggest that The Mandela Effect could be caused by alternate universes or realities that are mixing in our present world timeline. This cause cannot be approved or disapproved either because there is not much evidence or research.
No one can say for sure that these realities do not exist at all. However, this does not stop the enthusiasts of The Mandela Effect community from believing so. Quite interesting!
This is a more practical reason for the cause of The Mandela Effect compared to the previous one. False memory is when we recall an event that seems real in our mind but is fabricated or is not an actual depiction. For example, there are numerous times when we believe that we left our phone on charge before going to bed with the switch on, only to realise that we did not after we wake up.
Memories can be complicated, and some of the elements of the events stored in our memory may be lost or even altered. This may lead to inaccurate memories. These are not hurtful or bad but can be in essential scenarios where one’s memory is necessary, especially in legal cases.
The Impact of the Internet
Today, the power of the internet shouldn’t be underestimated. The internet can influence many people at the same time and may affect their memories as well. The Mandela Effect has also gone up in this era of the internet.
With so much false information on the internet, someone’s memories may be manipulated and affected, leading to remembering things differently. Real verified accounts on various social media platforms were and to this day are responsible for spreading false information.
Examples of Mandela Effect
We all disliked Snow White’s stepmother and especially her attitude when she would ask her mirror, “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?” and the mirror would reply by saying, Snow White. However, most people remember the queen saying ‘Magic mirror on the wall’ and not ‘Mirror, mirror on the wall’.
The famous children’s book characters ‘The Berenstain Bears’ could not escape the Mandela Effect. However, many people remember it being ‘Berenstein’ and not ‘Berenstain’. It was always ‘Berenstein’.
Just like ‘The Berenstein Bears’, many people remember Looney Tunes as ‘Looney Toons’.
Somewhat similar to Nelson Mandela’s case, most people remember Mother Teresa becoming a saint in the 1990s. However, according to CNN, Mother Teresa became a saint in 2016 and was canonised by Pope Francis.
Just like these, there are probably hundreds of examples of the Mandela Effect. Today, this phenomenon is a topic of debate with no definite answers. As more incidents and examples of the Mandela Effect continue to rise, perhaps more research will be conducted.