The Mandela Effect - or Memory Confabulation

The Mandela Effect - or Memory Confabulation

There is an interesting phenomenon that is floating around the internet, and it's a doozy.

If you haven't heard of it before let's explain it a bit, look into some examples and then ponder the question of possible or not?


So the reason it's called the Mandela effect is it kicked off back in 2010 when a paranormal consultant (yes that's what she calls herself) - Fiona Broome - found out she shared a false memory of Nelson Mandela dying in prison in the 1980's. Of course, he didn't, he was released in 1990 and died in 2013.

Upon posting this online she discovered thousands of people shared the same, supposed, false memory. This led to more investigations where other examples of false memories were discovered and shared by thousands and even millions of people.


The Mandela Effect was born and it grew.

The theory is we have, at some point, merged or slipped into an alternate reality where some things are slightly different.


Here are some of the more common examples you can ponder yourself.

The Berenst_in Bears

A childhood favourite of many. A good majority of the world seem to remember it as being The Berenstein Bears with an "e" in "stein". In actual fact it has an "a" and is The Berenstain Bears

Berenstain or Berenstein Bears

What do you remember?


How Many States in the USA

Many people in the world (including some people IN America!) believe there were 51 or 52 states in the USA. Of course, there are in fact only 50 (and there has never been more).

The common belief is there were 50, then they added Hawaii and Alaska making 52. Or some confusion about Puerto Rico being a state is also mentioned.

Upon finding out there were only 50 states there were many people posting online from places outside the USA that they had conducted surveys in their schools, universities, communities and were all reporting that the majority of people (unprompted) were saying 52 States and convinced it was so!


Curious George (and the curious missing tail)

So - Curious George is a monkey, right? And monkeys have tails right? Do you remember Curious George with a tail? Most likely you do. So would it shock  you to find out he never had one?

Any authentic drawing or animation of Curious George does not depict him with a tail (although there are many reproductions around that incorrectly have him with a tail - which is possibly where the confusion began on this one)

Curious George No Tail | GGG Guys NZ


Queen - We Are the Champions (of the world?)

Anyone who lived through the glorious Freddy Mercury years will be very familiar with this Queen song. And we all know that during the song the lyrics say "We are the champions.....of the world".

But what we almost all believe is that the song ends with this iconic line. But in truth it just ends with "We are the champions". There is NO "of the world" at the end of the song. Don't believe us?

Check out this classic video


And that is just a few examples that perhaps we would be familiar with.There are many more.

Here's a quick list of some interesting ones:

  • Froot Loops (not Fruit Loops)
  • Chartreuse - Red or Green?
  • Linbergh Baby (1930's) - Found or not?
  • Tiananmen Square - do you remember a video of a young man being run over by a tank?

 And oh there are so many more (even involving iconic things like McDonald's, Pepsi logo etc.)


Parallel Universe or something more explainable?

So the more you look into it the more you find people are subscribing to this parallel universe or reality theory. However, psychologists are labelling it a mere phenomenon called confabulation (yes real word).

It's a term used when referring to memory defects in people with brain injuries and also used to describe everyday occurrences when we embellish stories or make up facts to fill in gaps in our own memories. A lot of the time we don't even think about the fact we are doing it.

The psychologist theory is it is just our brains playing tricks on us by getting two or more bits of information and twisting them in our long term memory.

Simple, normal and explainable.


But with so many people experiencing the same memory recalls is it that simple?

Go and have a look for yourself. There is plenty of information out there (on both sides of the crazy camp) for you to get yourself lost in for hours, and come out the other side perhaps a little less sure of our existence!

Parallel Alternate Worlds | GGG Guys NZ

 Have a great (and perhaps more confused) day!

The Team at The Gift and Gadget Guys

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