The Mandela Effect

The Mandela Effect is a phenomenon, where a large number of people share a recollection of an event that did not actually occur, or their recollection is somewhat (perhaps substantially) different from the facts of the actual event.

The term “Mandela Effect” was coined by a paranormal researcher, Fiona Broome, who had vivid memories that anti-Apartheid activist, Nelson Mandela had died in prison during the 1980s. Broome’s recollection of Mandela was shared by a number of other people. 

In reality, Mandela was released from prison in 1990, and he became President of South Africa in 1994. In 2013, Mandela died at his home following a lengthy illness.

Broome and others, have speculated that because there are often numerous people who share alternative memories of an event’s facts that this suggests the existence of parallel universes. Furthermore, that people might be remembering events that actually occurred in an alternate reality.

I have my own thoughts on the Mandela Effect, sadly none are as glamorous as a “Multiverse of Madness” (yes, a reference to Marvel’s recent Dr. Strange movie), or the famous “Mirror, Mirror” episode of Star Trek. 

Here  are some common Mandela Effect examples. I think many of them are of low consequence. Does it really matter if people remember watching “The Flinstones” as opposed to the “The Flintstones?”

Others  have easy explanations. For example the lyrics to Queen’s “We Are The Champions” is notable, because it does, and doesn’t, contain “…of the world,” at the end of the song.  

Musical performers often modify their hits songs when performing  in a live audience context. While album version ends with “we are the champions,” the band’s memorable performance at Live Aid added “…of the world” to the song’s end. 

Did any of the examples from The Parade article surprise you?

Do you have examples of the Mandela Effect (…false memory syndrome, or groupthink) in your work, or elsewhere in your life?


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