ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Mandela Effect: Causing Self-Doubt Since 2009

Updated on March 11, 2020

Let's Warm Up First, Dear Reader

Glance over this list:

Let’s warm up first, dear reader. Glance over this list:

  • Sex in the City
  • Febreeze
  • Oscar Meyer
  • Sketchers
  • The Flinstones
  • Fruit Loops

Pretty familiar, right? These -more or less- staples of American culture. Almost. That HBO comedy-drama that launched in the late 1990s was Sex and the City. The effective odor-eliminating spray is Febreze. Ever rocked out to the Oscar Mayer Wiener Jingle? Surely, you have seen a pair of Skechers, sans the “t”, which we can now take and add to The Flintstones, which you may have watched one rainy Saturday morning while munching on a bowl of Froot Loops.

Wait, What?

No worries if you currently feel as if your brain is short-circuiting. I shared that pain. So, before I make it better with an explanation, allow me to make it worse with a couple more examples.

How many of us have ended that classic rock tune, “We are the Champions”, popularized by the ultra-fashionable Freddie Mercury, with “…of the world!”? Funny, how we all sang words that never existed in the original song. Mercury never uttered that phrase.

Or how about that lovely little jingle, Mr. Rogers’s theme song, “It’s a beautiful day in…”. Wait. Did your brain immediately complete that title with “the neighborhood”? Close. But not quite. It’s “this neighborhood”.

Many of us may additionally remember Alexander Hamilton being president, which he never was. One of the founding fathers of the United States, certainly, but never head honcho. Or that the Lindbergh baby, that famous kidnapping case, went cold; it didn’t. The body of the child was found and the killer convicted.

If you haven't had enough internal struggle yet, check out the short video below for some more tediousness. Then, we’ll discuss.

10 Additional Examples of the Mandela Effect

Collective Misremembering. False Memories. It’s the Mandela Effect!

The Mandela Effect was coined by paranormal researcher Fiona Broome in 2009. The term was created to explain the global phenomenon concerning the anti-apartheid South African leader, Nelson Mandela. Countless people believed -with undoubted certainty- that he died in prison in the 1980s, although Mandela didn’t die until 2013, after being released from prison and serving as President of South Africa. Soon after the concept of the Mandela Effect appeared on the internet, more examples became attributed to these instances of individual false memories and collective misremembering.

No One is 100% on Why, but Here are Some Possible (and Simplified) Explanations

  • Multiverse theory: based on the theory that within each universe, of which there are many, alternate versions of objects and events exist. False memories, therefore, are the product of two parallel universes crossing at a particular instance.
  • Source-monitoring error: an experience is wrongly found to be the source of a memory. An example of this may be dreaming about a conversation, then distinctly remembering said conversation and believing it to have occurred in reality.
  • Confabulation: the brain plugs gaps in memory with falsities, but without intent to deceive, like mistakenly recalling an experience that is distorted from the original or didn’t even occur.
  • Suggestibility: people unknowingly accept ideas based on what they see or hear. For instance, an individual hears a news report indicating that a murderer is driving a red car. Later that day, that same individual looks in his rearview to see a red car and immediately thinks “murderer”. If he hadn’t been exposed to the news earlier, the thought linked to the car would probably have been something completely different.
  • Another possibility is that misinformation and untruths, which are consistently reinforced through media, eventually become part of collective reality. Deepfakes, wherein images and sounds are so expertly manipulated that they appear real, provide a terrifying example of how easily reality can be altered, with that reality then shared by millions over the internet.

There you have it: a neat synopsis of the Mandela Effect and some possible explanations for the phenomenon. I’ve included some great reads below (References) if you haven’t had your foundation shaken enough yet. Now, I return you to our information-choked world, where even the smallest inconsistencies can become life altering. Happy misremembering!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Lilith Eden


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)