Mandela Effect Introduction

The Mandela Effect is a term for where a group of people all mis-remember the same detail, event or physicality. It is named after the instance in which a large group of people all shared the same memory that Nelson Mandela died prior to his actual 2013 death, usually some time in the 1980’s. The effect exploded in popularity on the internet when a peculiar example popped up where a majority of people seemed to have recalled the Berenstain Bears books as being spelled as “Berenstein” or some other variation, differing from the actual spelling as presented by evidence.

The effect is somewhat different from a false memory as it effects large groups of people, seemingly without many connections and without the same emotional factors present. It also seems stronger and harder to escape the feeling that it’s simply a mis-remembering of a detail, which is why people are so adamant with claims of their memories. As such, it’s often been hinted at that the Mandela Effect is closely related to cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance can be mental stress or discomfort experienced by an individual who holds beliefs, ideas, or values and is confronted by new information that conflicts with existing beliefs, ideas, or values. Please note the use of “can be” as there is many purists that don’t accept the broader definition and scope of cognitive dissonance applying to memory versus reality.

Many Mandela Effects are usually trivial details about an oddly specific set of categories. These include things such as the how and when of celebrity deaths, misspellings (usually replaced or removed letters), placement of geographical locations, quotations within media, or alternate imagery.

It is also related to misconceptions in general, although, again is differentiated due to the obscure nature and odd feelings resulting from learning the reality. The solutions, explanations and reasons for the misconceptions are also cryptic and often misrepresented or unknown altogether.

The term it fits most with is “confabulation” which is a disturbance of memory which produces fabricated, distorted, or misinterpreted memories about the world, without the explicit or conscious intention to deceive others. People who confabulate in this way produce incorrect memories about the most trivial details (as seen with most Mandela Effects) but range up to more complex fabrications as well. They are generally extremely confident in their recollections and will typically resist any contradictory evidence.

The aim of this site is unique among the current offerings online to attempt to dissect the possible causes and solutions for this perplexing phenomenon with a scientific, rational approach. If you’ve come to read about merging of universes, alternate timelines, and time travel then you are in the wrong place (unless you have evidence of such things!). It is of my opinion that the Mandela Effect is a real thing; however, steeped in the realm of sociology and psychology and not science fiction.

Listing of Mandela Effects explored on the site so far:

More information:

Related psychological and phenomenons (possible explanations/factors):

I dive into each of these on the Common Explanations page.

491 thoughts on “Mandela Effect Introduction

  1. For those who do not believe the Mandela Effect is real. Here’s a question to all the Star Wars fans. What color is C3PO’s legs? Strange question indeed. Well, I am a huge Star Wars fan, and in my universe, he has always been one solid gold color. If you go look at movie clips now, you will see without a doubt he now has a silver leg. I have randomly crossed reference my memory with 7 others who clearly remember he was always 100 gold. I knew my VHS 1995 copies are correct, because I watched them about 5 years ago with my children and he is all golden. I put in my movies this weekend. Guess what HE NOW HAS A SILVER LEG. I even checked my 1980 trading cards. He now has a silver leg. The timeline has changed. But what is more important, is my brother grew up with Star Wars with me. It was part of our life. HE REMEMBERS HIM AS ALWAYS HAVING A SILVER LEG. So I have now realized, that he and I are existing in separate parellel universes. I strongly suggest to people not to dwelve too much on the Mandela Effect because it can cause madness. We have at least two parellel universes occupying the same space, and we may be slipping in between both. From what I have understood, this phenomena will be corrected in the next few years.

    • The thing is that, if HE remembers it as a silver leg then you may have been misremembering it. I think it debunks mandela effect more than affirms it in this scenario. I do believe that C3PO has always been 100% gold but since he remembers differently, it could be the case that we are remembering incorrectly.

  2. Are you serious?!?!?! This is stupidity at its unbeleivable f***** high. A thousand people say that kellogg s had froot loops and one guy says oh!…But its fruit loops. And an entire conspiracy forms. I call bullshit. Did anyone ask Kelloggs? Either we re being guided into a new theory to believe some bologna their gonna tell us next. Now come on. They cover stuff up all the time. Be confident in what you know. Accept the fact that maybe they changed the packaging.

  3. yall act like youre better than everybody cuz you think this is bull but if youre so sure YOURE right, then disprove the mandela effect. there is no definite way to explain this so just chill. the world is fuckin weird. an oompa loompa has been elected as president. an 11 year old told be to suck his balls because i am a girl who was using a character who was a girl in a game. a lot of things dont make sense and until you can disprove this 100% you need to chill.

    • I can explain it. All the instances of the “effect” are such minute differences that it allows for just enough uncertainty that reasonable doubt creeps into your mind. You hear a line from a movie quoted by a friend thats off by just one word, “is” or a”was” and we assume its correct. Then it may be years before we actually see it used in its correct context. By then it has become entrenched in our minds. All along we were just wrong

  4. I’m a Psychology major at UC Merced. I am not here to say that everyone is crazy or wrong. I’m just going to provide a theory. I may be right or I may be wrong.

    Every person’s reality is subjective to their own memories and experiences. The way they remember it and believe it to be suits their needs and shapes who they are. Sometimes companies make their logos or grammar be slightly wrong so that they will be stuck in our mind, over time our minds will try and alter the memory to the correct or logical way it should be. Then when we go back and see the wrong way we think that something has changed it. That’s the psychology of marketing and logos.
    This marketing technique isn’t exclusive to products either. A lot of celebrities will use a unique spelling of their name as to stand out, and our mind does the same auto correction and store to memory.
    Additionally, I’m not saying that anybody is doing this on purpose, but it is very disrespectful and hurtful to keep insisting that a family is misspelling their name and that they used to spell it differently, especially after they have released a statement with the correct spelling. When you keep questioning it, you are not only accusing the family (whose never done anything bad to you) of lying and you are harming their identities, the heritage, and their livelihoods. What did they do to you? They shared cherished stories of a family of bears that brought you joy.
    As for pop culture, there are often various tracks, performances, and parodies of songs and quotes. People sometimes hear different words, but there are numerous influences that affect how we perceive and relate to what we experience that different people will store it in their memories different. Even different cultures. One may remember a rocket launcher as a weapon and another could remember it as a magical wand that demons come out of.
    Famous quotes from movies – the “Luke” from Star Wars is added in when it’s retold or used by kids in roleplay so others will know what movie you’re quoting. Being such a big reveal and coming from the Hero and Villain, people are going to want to use it to quote. And if you quote the original, you’re just not going to look as cool. The title of Sex and the City is with the and because that’s the name of Carrie’s article that she writes about the various topics between men and women living in New York City. If it were Sex in the City, the articles would be about having sex in New York City, Yes, there’s a lot of Sex in the show, but not in her writing.
    Words and Colors – Many confusions about the spelling of words or the names of colors are easy to clear up with a little research. By looking up the history of the color name or origins of words. Chartreuse was named after a yellowish green drink. Cerise is a pinkish purple color which might be a possibility for the mix up. The word dilemma comes from the Greek word lemma. The root of the word definitely is finite. Any other spelling is illogical. If something looks off to you, don’t just say its wrong and look for others to agree with you. Educate yourself instead, it is healthier. Besides, a lot of the American English we use today is going to look wrong. It has been altered and added to from many different other languages and at many different times. Not to mention that if any new words become popular enough it can be added easily.
    Celebrity Deaths – for almost twenty years there have been fake news sites and for even longer there have been fake news publication. I remember reading about ten years ago that Betty White had passed away and tears just started pouring from my eyes. I immediately started researching it but could find no other mention of it. After researching the site, I noticed there disclaimer that all articles are for entertainment purposes and not based in fact. If I had not looked it up I might of thought she came back to life cause of this effect too. And I probably would’ve recall a tribute for her too as some TV stations pay honor to there iconic actors, even the live ones, just to honor just throw out celebrity honors to get you to click over. A certain site sells them information about best what your interest are and they use that to see which celebrities may have a bigger impact on you.
    Geology – It wasn’t until very very recently that the most accurate mapping of earth was released. Before that various map of earth were created based on the purpose of the map or often just a glossing over of old maps. If you compare a lot of different maps from the past you will notice small differences. Also, if your trying to recall a map from memory there is no way any person will get it 100% accurate. However, since you are trying to recall it any part you don’t remember will be “created” by your mind and your mind will trick you into believing it was always that way.
    The reason that all this may seem like it’s part of a huge conspiracy is:

    1. Mandela Effect is a popular theory right now and once you hear about it, then uncommon spellings, and fake news will be more noticeable and as said before, the human brain wants to correct stuff or at least give a logical reason why it’s wrong so it will tell you “Hey this Mandela Effect will be a good reason why its not logical.” Then it will fight tooth and nail to keep that as the reason.

    2. Also, with so many opposing views, a controversial election, and all those tweets, then it’s easy to believe that something’s going on.

    3. The hadron collider – all that protesting and the mystery of the unknown. In addition to the timelines matching up.

    4. A lot of movies and TV shows have come out recently fueling into this topic.

    The companies, celebrities, shows and so on are not going to go online and correct anything because they are loving all this attention and free advertising.
    I am also not saying that this effect is bad memories or your brains not working right. This is not due to confabulation or mass memory loss. It’s because of what the media and marketing has done using psychology and not knowing the long term that this is now an issue. The fact that you are noticing these discrepancies shows that your brain is working the way it should be.
    I’m also not saying that parallel universes don’t exist or say that anyone is lying or didn’t experience something. I don’t know you and I wasn’t there to know anything about your past. If you want to believe that we are in the matrix, that’s awesome! Because even if it was just another conspiracy theory, you got to experience what it might be like to live in one.

  5. The M.E. is happening. The bottom of the rabbit hole truth is something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. It is madness. I can assure you dilemna is not spelled dilemma. Don’t dig, you will regret it. I do.

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