The Mandela Effect


What is the Mandela Effect? It’s a strange mass delusion experienced by a large percentage of the world, named after the great Nelson Mandela of South Africa. Here’s what happened, for some reason a large portion of the world remembered that Nelson Mandela died in prison in the 1980s. Imagine their surprise when he was later released from prison a hero. My own included, because I believed he died in prison in the 1980s.

Researchers were made aware of the Mandela Effect when protestors in South Africa overtook a government building demanding to know where Nelson Mandela had been buried. It’s not just a US delusion or a UK delusion, even people in South Africa remembered news headlines stating that Mandela had died in prison. Since then, more instances of the Mandela Effect have been found.

If you grew up in an English speaking country, you are probably familiar with a line of children’s books about a happy bear family. Now, how do you remember them; are they the Berenstein Bears or the Berenstain Bears? Oddly, I remember them as the Berenstein Bears, which means I remember incorrectly, they are in fact, the Berenstain Bears.

Do you remember it as Looney Tunes or Looney Toons? If you remember it Looney Tunes, you’re correct. Sticking with cartoons for another moment, in Snow White the wicked queen addresses the magic mirror how? Mirror, mirror on the wall? What about Magic Mirror on the Wall? It is Magic mirror on the wall, but the majority of people surveyed remember “Mirror, mirror on the wall” which didn’t even show up in the original fairy tale, so no one is sure where it got its start.

Do you remember Billy Graham’s funeral being televised? It wasn’t. Do you remember NBC News Anchor Brian Williams and his national gaff on network TV in which he discussed his helicopter being shot down? He shares this memory with the pilot of the helicopter, Richard Krell, but records indicate the event didn’t happen. Yet, his memory of the event is so detailed and concise, it is hard to dismiss as a simple fabrication.

The most popular portrait of Henry VIII shows the robust king standing in the throne room, with his hands at his sides. But many remember the portrait a bit different, with the king holding a turkey leg in his right hand.

And probably the oddest one is the result of Queen, the band. Have you heard the song We Are the Champions? The last line of the song is “No time for losers, because we are the champions.” “Of the world” doesn’t exist in any of the official versions of the song.

Finally, the last 2: Was the Lindbergh baby ever found? The answer is yes. But almost no one seems to remember that. And Patrick Swayze’s recovery. At the age of 55, the iconic actor Patrick Swayze was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and died just two years later. But many remember it being announced that he had made a full recovery and died of something else.

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