Have you ever had the feeling that you perfectly remembered something that never happened or that happened in a completely different way? This strange and understudied phenomenon is called the “Mandela effect”. It has been under close scientific scrutiny for the past decade.
In this article, we have collected for you the most striking Mandela effect examples, and we will try to understand them without raising new questions.
Nelson Mandela, Africa’s most famous politician, revolutionary, and president of South Africa from ’94 to ’99, died at his home in Houghton on December 5, 2013. When he died, he was 95 years old. Despite the widespread publicity of the event, many people around the world claimed to remember Mandela’s death in prison in the 1980s perfectly. Many “false witnesses” also recall the funeral being broadcast on TV.
It is known that Nelson Mandela led the armed struggle against the apartheid regime and was arrested in 1962, after which he spent twenty-seven years (!) in prison. While locked up, this fighter for human rights became internationally renowned and somewhat popular.
In post-Soviet countries, older generations remember the slogan “Freedom for Nelson Mandela.” However, in 1989, he was released with honors, and in May 1994, he became president of South Africa, leading the country for five whole years. However, many people in different parts of the world had no idea of this and believed that Mandela had died before he was released.
It was so unbelievable that the event caught the attention of the participants in the American Dragon Con, held annually in Atlanta. After careful study of the issue, they concluded that there is no rational explanation for the phenomenon. And after digging deeper, they found that there is a whole layer of facts that are stored in human memory with distortions. It was then that the term “Mandela Effect” was coined by enthusiasts.
Society itself created a collective memory and endowed most of its members with memories. The effect is almost impossible to reproduce intentionally; it may even manifest itself quite ridiculously (no one knows, for example, how the dogma that the ostrich hides its head in the sand came about). But the most interesting thing is the substitution of facts, which is very easy to check.
Participants of the congress began to popularize the collected information and collect new facts, and every year the number of confirmations of the phenomenon only grows. Surprisingly, recollections refer not to any hard-to-check but too well-known events in history, astronomy, geography, and many others.
Roughly speaking, it is not difficult to verify information in this age of high technology. That is why people confronted with the effect are confused, bordering on panic. After all, they distinctly remember that Mandela ended his days behind bars. Moreover, they claim to have read the editorials in the press, and some even saw the revolutionary’s funeral on television!
What are these people doing? That’s right! They rush out to look for information to corroborate their memories… and… yes, they don’t find anything! You get the impression that someone meticulously selected and deleted all mentions of the event, whether it’s a historical fact, a geographical constant, or cartoon footage from the Internet and even from the print media.
Not a thing! At least not in our universe anymore. And that’s scary.
In fact, the phenomenon in question is the phenomenon of false memory. Many people are skeptical, especially scientists. Swiss scientists even conducted an experiment to see if there is a connection between the formation of false memories and sleep disorders.
Several people were invited and were given the task – of learning a certain number of words related to a particular concept. For example, the nouns “night”, “dark”, “cat” refer to the adjective “black”. But it is not in the list of words.
So, people were divided into two groups and told to go to bed. While they were lounging in the arms of Morpheus, the lists of words were edited – new ones were added.
Then the participants of one group were awakened abruptly and shown the updated versions of the lists. They had the task of naming the words that were originally present in them. The participants who were awakened made many mistakes.
Many of them unanimously claimed that some of the new words had been on the lists from the beginning. But those people who woke up by themselves made almost no mistakes. Therefore, the scientists concluded: sleep disturbances may indeed be the reason why false memories appear.
By the way, a little later, a similar experiment was conducted, but with an “addition.” Participants in the same group were still awakened but immediately given coffee or water. People who drank an invigorating drink made 10% fewer mistakes. From this, another conclusion was drawn: caffeine has a positive effect on the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for the selection of concepts. It is very susceptible to poor, poor-quality sleep.
In general, all the memories fixed in the subconscious about early childhood are the whole Mandela effect examples. Fact: there is such a thing as “infantile amnesia,” which implies the loss of memories of the period when one still reacted vividly to all kinds of impressions. But when he grows up, some fragments of memories of that time “reappear” in his brain. False, as a rule. They seem to come up as if by themselves, retrospectively.
This is not an uncommon case. Many people who have experienced the effect in question turn to what happened to them as children. Finding videos from their early years and watching them, they automatically compare what is happening in the frame to the image of their memories. And they are surprised at how much the information diverges.
1. The lyrics of We Are the Champions are one of the Mandela effect examples
We all know the legendary song by Queen, and many people remember it by heart. But there is an interesting detail: almost all people are sure that the final line sounds like this: “No time for losers, ’cause we are the champions… of the world!” But there is no “of the world!” This fact makes even the band’s fans go crazy, as they are frothing at the mouth and proving that the ending of the masterpiece is exactly like that.
2. The Kennedy assassination
One of the most famous, not only in the English-language segment of the Internet, Mandela effect examples is related to the changing circumstances of the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy. Very many people remember that there were four people in the president’s car at the time of the assassination, not six, as all video and photo documents now show.
Moreover, many remember that the car was white. But these are not all the changes that took place on that unfortunate day of November 22, 1963. It turns out that Connally (the governor) did not meet the president on the airfield, as is now being portrayed, but flew with him on the same plane.
It is amazing how “just in time” the “new” data appears to ensure that what is going on is logical so that a mosquito doesn’t get a nosebleed. When they say “the president’s car,” it is obvious that this is exactly the car from the president’s garage, checked, with a reinforced engine, with all kinds of additional accessories. There is a video broadcasting the president’s arrival in Dallas.
It shows the arrival of several planes, one of them is obviously a transport. It is logical to suppose that it was the president’s plane that arrived there. So that’s what caught my eye. The white car in the photo in Fort Worth seems to be the very same four-seater that Kennedy drove in Dallas in another reality.
The fact that the governor and his wife were now with the president at Fort Worth, rather than meeting him at the Dallas airport, “logically” explains why the six-seat car appeared – the governor and his wife had to be accommodated…”
3. Disney Screensaver as one of the Mandela effect examples
What does she look like? Many people believe that the fairy Tinkerbell from “Peter Pan,” flying over the castle, arcs a magic wand and spells out the phrase: “Walt Disney,” dotting the i’s at the end. But no. The original splash screen looks like this: the fairy just touches the castle with her wand, which immediately explodes with sparks and is replaced by the name Walt Disney.
4. Alaska – another one of the Mandela effect examples
Leased by Catherine II to the United States for 99 years. This is a lie. In fact, the peninsula was sold to the Americans by Alexander II in 1867. And for perpetual use, not temporary.
5. The sculpture “The Thinker” by Auguste Rodin – next one of the Mandela effect examples
How does the figure rest on his hand? Many would say it’s the forehead. But that’s not true. The “Thinker” rests his chin, not with his fist, but with the back of his hand. But if you look at many pictures of tourists, you can see that they are sitting next to the sculpture and… propping their foreheads with their fists. And where did this image come from in the mass consciousness?
6. The movie “Shazaam” – also one of the Mandela effect examples
Anyone who grew up in the 1990s probably remembers comedian Sinbad as the hilarious genie and his movie called Shazaam.
This is a common collective mistaken memory because there was no movie with that title.
In fact, there was a 1996 family movie called “Kazaam” starring Shaquille O’Neal as the genie.
Perhaps the reason for this common mistake is that Sinbad starred in several such films in those years and that the Genie movie “Kazaam” was in previews on most of the tapes of those films.
Also, the poster for the movie “The Houseguest” starring Sinbad showed him coming out of a mailbox, somewhat reminiscent of a genie coming out of a lamp.
Finally, the comedian was depicted hosting a celebrity event in a genie costume, but there is no movie called “Shazaam.”
7. Life is not always like a box of chocolates
Forrest Gump won six Academy Awards in 1995, including Best Picture, Best Director by Robert Zemeckis, and Best Actor in a Leading Role by Tom Hanks.
The film remains one of the most famous and beloved films of all time.
Many people who watched it back in the day remember and still quote Forrest Gump with his iconic line, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.”
However, no matter how true and profound the meaning of those words may be, many people still misunderstand the quote.
After all, in the end, Forrest says, “Life was like a box of chocolates,” not “is.
8. Tom Cruise dancing his pants off in Risky Business – next one of the Mandela effect examples
A funny dance from the movie “Risky Business” is one of the most recognizable in the history of cinema. In the frame, a young Tom Cruise dances in his underwear and shirt, with no pants and white socks, wearing Ray-Ban glasses.
This particular look has been copied by many celebrities and everyday people and is one of the most popular costumes for Halloween and other costume parties.
Although, if you remember the scene exactly as it is described, you may be a victim of one of the most popular Mandela effect examples.
In fact, Tom Cruise dances in this iconic scene not only without his pants but without his Ray-Ban glasses, too.
Most likely, the mistake is related to the famous movie poster, which depicts Cruise wearing the legendary Ray-Ban sunglasses.
9. “Run, you fools!” also is the Mandela effect example
And remember how in “The Lord of the Rings,” Gandalf said to Frodo and the rest of the crew, “Run, fools!” before he dramatically fell? In fact, the wise wizard says, “Fly, fools!
10. Skechers – last one of the Mandela effect examples
The famous shoe brand may have been the latest trend in the early 1990s, but many people do not know how to spell the name of this company correctly. Some people think it is Sketchers, but the truth is that there is no “t” in the name. It is simply – Skechers.
How to guard against the Mandela Effect
Despite the seeming complexity of the origin of this collective distortion, it is quite possible to prevent its occurrence. Here are some simple tips to help you avoid this trap.
Develop critical thinking
A person who is able to think critically always processes, filters, and structures the information received and is looking for a more logical explanation.
You should not take every word and statement on faith because the world is full of contradictory opinions. Only by checking their truthfulness and validity can the risk of erroneous memories be reduced.
Write down the information you receive.
When it comes to computers, we rely heavily on our memory, whereas our own is often insufficient.
The facts and research in this article show that you should not trust your memory completely. That is why it makes sense to keep an objective record of all your actions and important decisions in the past with documentary evidence.
Share ideas with like-minded people
Of course, writing down so much information can be difficult for a variety of reasons. We don’t want to waste energy and time on this seemingly useless task, so we avoid it in every possible way.
In such cases, regular discussions with loved ones and trusted people about the most important decisions and events can help. It is desirable that it was 2-3 people for the greatest likelihood of preservation of information. In controversial cases, they will have a better chance to restore the chronology of events.
It is easy to take your word for this or that historical or cultural fact, knowing absolutely nothing about it. By increasing your cultural and intellectual level, you can protect yourself from false information and pseudoscientific claims.
Examine existing cognitive distortions
Although the human brain is the most mysterious organ in our body, and the mechanisms of mental processes are not fully understood, we already know most of the traps of thinking.
Any person, regardless of beliefs, age, experience, or education, can encounter the Mandela Effect. However, a person who is working on their consciousness, worldview, and level of awareness is much less likely to encounter it.
There is much more to say about the Mandela Effect. There are those who aggressively insist that it is a completely anti-scientific phenomenon that, even in theory, has no right to exist. Others delve into the subject and look for examples and find that there is indeed something strange and mystical about it.
Be that as it may, in the lives of most people, such cases have occurred. Some write them off as deja vu, sleep paralysis, fatigue, inattention, or brain malfunction. And others prefer to see behind unknown phenomena, mysteries, and a mystery far beyond the usual and rational.