Common Explanations

As a general rule, there is normally an identifiable solution and explanation to most Mandela Effects, or at least theories. These usually relate to key factors and information regarding the subject mixed with a common memory bias or other psychological effect.

This list is by no means exhaustive and may not fit certain examples at all. It’s simply to be used as a guide to why some Mandela Effects exist in the first place failing any hard explanations on a given subject.

NOTE: For theories and explanations on ACTUAL Mandela Effects, please view the postings here.

Misinformation effect

That misinformation affects people’s reports of their own memory. I believe this to be a key factor in many Mandela Effects. Simply seeing the claim from another person may sway recollection of your own memory, especially if you lacked concrete or deep memories or connections to the subject to begin with.

Confirmation bias

The tendency to search for, interpret, or recall information in a way that confirms one’s beliefs or hypotheses. Those seeking Mandela Effects will often be more easily persuaded by other claims. And with such claims they may agree with, they will often discard any countering evidence or claims.

Misattribution of memory

When information is retained in memory but the source of the memory is forgotten. This is sometimes present in Mandela Effects where we forget where we know something from or why it’s familiar, possibly leading to incorrect attribution of the original source confounding the confusion factor.


A form of misattribution where a memory is mistaken for imagination, because there is no subjective experience of it being a memory. Many Mandela Effects may have started out as imagination rather than real memories.


Facts cannot change; however, they can be revealed to be untrue or nonfactual, thus is the case with many things throughout human history. As science and technologically progresses, so does our understanding of the world around us. Unfortunately for us, our brain is not always built to accept new ideas and new facts. People who either intentionally, or unintentionally (they do not know the new information) can also spread these misconceptions, thus perpetuating these erroneous beliefs into society. This is how misconceptions are born and at the heart of many Mandela Effects.

False memory

A false memory is the psychological phenomenon in which a person recalls a memory that did not actually occur. It’s often cited with and has a strong connotation to some type of trauma such as sexual abuse and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). While it would be quite rare for Mandela Effects to originate as false memories, it could fit in those lesser known or less believed ones as the scenario would typically be very specific to the person with the false memory. Because of the trauma involved with these cases, the subject would be quite resistant to accept any new evidence in opposition of their belief as their brain has literally implanted this idea as a counter to protect itself from mental harm, thus introducing cognitive dissonance.

Cognitive dissonance

Cognitive dissonance not an explanation per se, but rather a by-product. It is one of the main causes for so many people to be so resistant to evidence and ideas contrary to their beliefs and memory. Cognitive dissonance can be the mental stress or discomfort experienced by an individual who 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.


Confabulation 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 (possibly related to cognitive dissonance in this manner).


249 thoughts on “Common Explanations”

  1. Some mainstream Mandela effects I can see others not but the ones that even made me aware of such a thing were my own experiences.

    1) A road in the village where I live has been renamed but according to the internet and most of the village population it has always been the current name. A guy who works in the shop who grew up on that road and lived there 18 years confirms the name I remember plus the old name remains on Strava.

    2) A couple of songs on my MP3 have changed, the versions I remember are nowhere to be found.

    3) For me the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge at the Dartford tunnel didn’t exist until at least the mid 2000’s yet it has been in service since 1991. I remember specifically travelling to and from Brands Hatch in 2002 to watch some car racing including formula ford 1600’s and there being no bridge so had to use the tunnel both ways. A friend who used to go that way a lot also remembers it the same as me.

    4) One of my friends who I hung around with a lot from 1996 – 1998 is now running a Kickboxing club and was at his peak during those years. I met him by chance again this year and am now an assistant instructor at his club as I have trained martial arts for years myself. Back in the 90’s I don’t remember him ever once mentioning kickboxing, his life was working lots of hours at a pub / restaurant then drinking lots, smoking pot and riding motorcycles. A mutual friend of ours remembers history the same as me. Also one or two of the places he claims to have trained at I also did briefly yet I never saw him there.

    5) I recently started training again at a fairly high level club as I need to improve myself. The instructor remembered me from 2012 when I was there before but doesn’t remember anyone else who used to be there. The club is laid out totally different (maybe not Mandela to be fair) but everyone who was there previously is no longer.

    6) My eyes have a black ring around the iris, 100% it wasn’t there before.

    Maybe I’ve entered the Twilight Zone…..

  2. For Queen’s “We are the Champions”, the ending is a simple explanation.

    The original recording was “We are the champions” at the end. In almost every recording of *live* shows since then, Freddie sang “We are the champions… of the world!” I lived with a huge Queen fan. He had CDs and videos coming out his ears. He could play the songs on his guitar. He played Queen all. the. damn. time. I *only* ever heard “We are the champions… of the world” because he *only* played live recordings. He never played the original album.

    I have a personal ME though, lol. My husband and I lived in a small 2br townhouse before we bought our house and had kids. If you are looking at a top-down view of the apartment and there are N, S, W, E directional walls- I remember 2 ugly floral chairs being at the S wall position, the tv being at the N wall position, and the coffee table in the middle. When we moved, we left the chairs (we were renting and the owner wasn’t paying the mortgage and it was foreclosed on).

    He doesn’t remember the chairs- at all- and he remembers the tv being on the E wall, a futon on the W wall, and the coffee table in the middle. He *did* have a futon in that room before I moved in- and it was on the W wall, but the tv was never on the E wall, it had always been on the N wall from the first day I walked in. We eventually got rid of the futon, maybe 2-3 months after I moved in. So where does he think we sat to watch tv? Like, whaaa? But we didn’t have smartphones back then so we didn’t take many pictures around the house.

    I do remember taking a photo of the cat we first adopted sleeping in one of those ugly floral chairs, but I haven’t found it… yet.

  3. Its interesting to me how easy people find to dismiss ME. We just have not evolved yet to the point of acceptance that we are not all the same. Maybe once we do, if ever, something new will be revealed to us.

    We are making waves in world of physics although its questionable if all of the sudden quantum this and that isnt a ME in itself.

    Humans are obsessed with finding answers – that’s what apparently separated us from the rest of living creatures. The evolution.

    We have evolved to another level. We have technology to communicate with billions of people to find out the similarities in ourselves, our world, in our thoughts and experiences and in our way of thinking – we can see and analyse our world, the world around us in a new way.

    And what do we do? We argue, dismiss, contradict, fight…
    Imagine if all the fktards that are debunking ME actually sat down and used LOGIC to analyse whats going on. To try and see the world around them from a new point of view.

    You need to look at ME Like a child with no preconceived notions of how things are and how things work, and than you might find something new.

    You need to study it over time long period of time – take one simple object like c3po and study it every fkn detail – read what people have been posting about, study the peoples findings and overwhelming evidence that something is just not wright.
    Study and observe one thing as ME changes are not permanent – things keep changing back and forth, new details appear out of nowhere.

    Im suggesting you follow what people claim happened to/ is hapening with c3po for 6months and than lets have a talk. In my personal involvement with ME in last 1y since i became aware of it – something strange is going on.

    In case of C3po – my memory of it is humaniod looking robot – all gold
    we had one silver leg – its back to all gold
    we had antenna appear on its head – than disappear
    we had some camera or button on his chest plate – its gone
    now latest and the best – it has hydraulics pistons on its arms and legs

    guys that thing looks fkn ridiculous now

    What a strange coincidence that story of c3po revolves around memory – loss – discovery of new memory etc.

  4. Hey, if you’re going to attempt to debunk Mandela Effect theories, you need to debunk every single one of them. Including the Statue of Liberty, The Matrix, Jiffy Peanut Butter, Beats By Dre, the Jackson 5, etc. Your attempts of debunking are not even substantial, considering that the theory is based on a the interrwining of two seperate tracts of reality. If the theory is still true, of course any historical evidence is going to fall in favor of your attempt to debunk because this would be an alternate timeline in terms of the space time coninuum.

  5. The Mandela Effect isn’t real. Most of these are pop culture references that were misquoted and snow balled. Most come from Jim Carrey saying quotes in his own movies. Such as the Sally Fields award quote “you like me” in the film The Mask. The Rodney King “get along” is from In Livin Color. “Beam Me Up Scotty” is from a sticker. So basically the mis quotes started to spread and now all of sudden they were “changed” by an alternate universe. Give me a break.

    • Funny how you remember her name as “Sally Fields” like most people, yet her name is Sally Field. But, Mandela Effect couldn’t possibly be real…

      • You’re saying that prove the Mandela Effect?? Because fields sounds better and more common and that is why someone mistakenly say it or remember it that way… That’s “crazy talk” So you’re saying it’s more like that there are alternate time lines, and not other factors making people mis-remember…? usually the simplest solution is the answer…

        • What’s funny is the improbable irony of trying to dispel the proposed “Mandela Effect” and in only eight sentences, managing to state what the supporters would call proof. That’s incredibly improbable and thus highly ironic.

          The potential explanations are:

          – The apostrophe was omitted due to lacking grammatical education.

          Judging by the usage of quotations, capitalization, and above average punctuation, this is unlikely.

          – Remembered the name wrong.

          Also unlikely due to the care and thought given in the response (quoting movies and lyrics) which indicates an above average technical and accurate mind. Additionally, if the user did not recall the information from pure memory and for instance, used the internet or copy and paste the information, also reduces the likelihood of a contextually and comparatively basic omission.

          – There are others, but I quite honestly am becoming high right now. Why else would I be looking at the Mandella Effect talking to Mandella?

          – This is a very clever troll. Doubtful but this is the internet.

  6. Marcus:

    1) Strava accepts corrections, so do google. This is the case near where I grew up too, but the name has always been one thing, then it was renamed. This was consistent, yet everyone in the village knew it as something else. This isn’t “shared memory” but just, that people keep local names for stuff.
    2) When I used to get songs on MP3, VERY often, the names were wrong. When I also searched for those incorrect names on google, they don’t exist, because the quality of song information is pristine now – it comes directly from the record label and the CD information – back in the day, it was manually typed, and in some cases, typed from memory. Hence, I have had the same thing. All that means is – people are wrong quite often.
    3) It was open in 1991. You just didn’t notice it because it wasn’t really important or pertinent until 2000 or later. Same with your friend, who probably went there are the same time. The fact is it was open in 1991 under that name. People who were there at the opening would remember it.
    4) What you said isn’t even any kind of “conflict”, it’s just that you didn’t ask the guy. He either was a crap kickboxer who smoked pot and fucked around, or, did all that, then decided to clean up his act and became a kickboxer. I’d ask you to find 3 people you know fairly well, or as well as him, and ask them if they have any hobbies you dont know about. For instance, I have known someone for 5 years, and we’re the best of friends, yet I only asked him last week if he played guitar, and found out he had for 30 years. If someone would have asked me if he played guitar before that, I’d have said “no.” But that’s just the way we respond – we take things for granted and we make assumptions about people. No mystery involved.
    5) So? Memory is faulty – say for instance, think about a group activity you did some months or years ago. There will be some people you remember very clearly, and yet, there will be people there who you will have said hello to, smiled at, interacted with, but yet, because you forgot about them, you’d say “I never met them”, yet they would probably have different recollections.
    For example, I go rock climbing. I went there for almost half a year, and I used to bump into a girl, but I would always forget in the week that passed, then climb, and some weeks she’d be off. I came back after being off for two weeks and we went out for a picnic, and I was like “oh wow, who is this gorgeous girl?” and we ended up dating – when I said “when did you start going climbing” she said “the same day you did!” and when I asked four other people – they said they knew her because they did their induction with her, so therefore, she spoke to them, and the remembered her – I didn’t, and therefore I didn’t get introduced to her, and didn’t speak to her – but I definitely did see her. Yet I thought she must have started that week. Looking now at Facebook, they all friended her the exact same day, so – my memory is completely faulty.
    6) Look in the mirror and write down some aspects of your face, make 10 observations, put them in a sealed envelope, wait a week, and do it again in a week’s time. I bet you, when you look again you find things you didn’t find the first time.

    The point of this is – memory is faulty, not the universe. Look at a TED talk called “How Reliable is your memory”, and also look at a few court cases of mistaken identity. There’s a very famous film called The Thin Blue Line, and also one called Murder on a Sunday Morning – both of these include people who SWEAR DOWN they see one thing, yet documentary, video, irrefutable evidence, shows otherwise.

    So, I’d say, it’s fine to expect your memory is faulty. It’s amazing, and oftentimes is very accurate. But look at criminal justice – FALSE MEMORY IS A HUGE PROBLEM. Particularly in the United States.

  7. To say that everyone is wrong and everyone has a false memory of so many things is absurd. Some people believe what is true and others believe what they believe. Yes it is true. Many things are not as they were. No, your not crazy. Yes your mind is sound. No, your not alone, and MANY people are experiencing the same exact change or changes that you are. The question isn’t is this true, but “what is going to happen next”? Do not let your heart be troubled. Trust in the Lord and he will keep your heart and mind in perfect peace. He is coming soon to take you out of this, so why are you fearful? Increase your time with him and increase your relationship and closeness with him. He truly cares.

  8. I woke up the other night and had what some would say is a split from reality….this was BEFORE I even heard of the Mandela effect…I was shaking and struggling against shadow entities…at the same time I was seeing my home iverlaid with something else that these shadows were a part of…it was like my brain was haywire and I didnt know which scene was real….I could literally feel my brain shake….now I admit I have PTSD from the war…but nothing like this has ever happened and I have been fine medication free for 2 years…it was more traumatic than anything U have ever been through….

    • I am concerned for you… you probably either had sleep paralysis or some sort of brain event like a seizure or aneurysm. Please go to a doctor if you can, and read about sleep paralysis. Take care

  9. No one will believe us, this is very disturbing to think that our reality could be changed and theres actual proof of it. tomarrow the next change could wipe out all of existence for all we know. Its pretty much up to the people who experienced it and know that this really is happening to organize and explain it ourselves. concrete proof will be needed to convince the people from this timeline whats going on, and how easily things can change. i cant believe time itself has changed but i accept it as the truth ,moving forward, i know that time is not a set thing as previously thought. once something is done it can be undone. Such a thing can bring our civilization beyond the stars or destroy us all.

  10. Azhai I am concerned for you… you probably either had sleep paralysis or some sort of brain event like a seizure or aneurysm. Please go to a doctor if you can, and read about sleep paralysis. Take care

  11. It seems to me we are being horribly provincial about this. Is it really the case that “everyone” thinks some particular thing that is wrong? I doubt it. I would bet that no one in South Africa thinks Mandela died decades ago!!

  12. My first book was “Spooky Old Tree”. I was so proud of myself when I read it the whole way through. I must have been five years-old. I remember asking my mother how to pronounce the bears’ name, their last name. No one can tell me different. It was Berentstein. I still have that book stored in a memory box in my garage. And sure enough it bears the name Berenstain on it. WTF! Star War’s quotes, Cindy Crawford’s ad was for Coke classic not Pepsi, Field of Dreams was “if you build it he will come” not “they”, all the logos of our favorite restaurants and department stores, New Zealand, yes, New Zealand. At this point I’m just ranting. ME is real. I wish I knew why.

  13. Some mandela effect could also be Misobservations & “misinterpretation of a true sensation”, where the different observers would observe differently or the vagueness of what is observed would causes different interpretation.

    Some examples-
    “The dress”
    (check wikipedia about what colour it has)
    “silhouette illusion”

    clutter blindness
    An dangerously untidy pile of books isn’t seen because the observers mind just flat-out ignores the mess or minimize what it seen as just part of the furniture and irrelevant for action.

    true and truth cylinder

    Just let me state for the record / Just let me staple the Vicar
    (misheard lyrics)

  14. Misremembering occurs. Sure. It largely is not the case. It is being changed. There is a purpose. It is not easy to swallow. It is destructive psychological warfare, with a “higher purpose”, in the eyes of those enacting it. Any naysayers, do be quiet. I see you.
    I wish i could say i understood all the parts, all the players. I don’t…and each day that goes by makes the chances i will less and less that any of us will. I won’t give more detail now. Know this: every moment on the internet, watching tv, listening to music, you ARE being deliberately manipulated. Invest in your real-world relationships. If it makes you feel more bad than good, get out. Otherwise, our relationships are what we have and what we need. Eyes open, my fellow people. FEAR is how they move ahead. Peace, love and luck to you.
    (p.s. if you are online, and you are being dismissed, piled on and/or ridiculed, trust yourself until you find much evidence not to. As far as i can see, there are no trusted, familiar, public personalities that aren’t peddaling the same goal…even when coming from the opposite side.)

  15. If you think it through logically, why would the overwhelming majority of “Mandela Effects” be trivial things like the name of a book or what a character said in a movie? That logically points to this being a result of poor memories, false memories, etc.

  16. What happens when someone has physical proof? Something that is very static. Something that hasn’t been altered. I have such proof in my house referring to the Berenstein vs Berenstain. I found my old books not too long ago and the spelling on those books are in fact berenstein as well as a vhs cassette with the same spelling. It’s not a mistake of memory. It’s a fact at this point and I don’t mind sharing this proof. If someone truly wanted to discuss it.

  17. It’s funny how people are so stupid and show it. Battery is not misused. Your example is ridiculous. Inside a double, triple A, C, D 9 volt or higher are multiple cells. You don’t understand how it’s constructed. Your rant on cow is also stupid. Looking under the can also make you aware it’s a Heifer. Cow more so refers to basis that the female is with milk or has given birth. Do you understand the difference of a bull and a stud? If you want to rant about a word being misused make sure you do your research and give the full definition.

  18. How hard is it to understand that you’re remembering wrong? You all talk about evidence and stuff, but never explain what evidence. Don’t blame it on “quantum science” just because it sounds cool and smart. It literally has nothing to do with quantum anything.


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