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The Mandela Effect: Collective False Memories or Something Bigger?
The world is one crazy place. We aren't strangers to conspiracy theories, whether it be the moon landing being faked, John F. Kennedy's murderer, or the true nature of area 51.
A fairly recent phenomenon that has come to light on the internet is the Mandela Effect. It's unclear whether this should actually be considered a conspiracy theory, as it is more of an observation than claims to any conspiracy.
So what is the Mandela Effect?
A few years ago, when the news about Nelson Mandela dying in 2013 came to light, it left many people scratching their heads. A lot of people recalled Nelson Mandela dying much, much earlier, in either the late 1980s or the early 1990s. Before 2013, many people were taught in school that he'd died over twenty years before his "official" death. So what happened? Some kind of conspiracy, or just collective false memories?
Since then, many, many more "changes" have come to light. Make sure you take the quiz below to see if you've been affected by it. All of the incorrect answers are common false memories associated with the topic.
The Memory Quiz
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How many did you get right? The alternative answers are ones that are considered to be false, and were always false.
A lot of these leave people of many ages and nationalities baffled, although it has mostly been observed in western countries seeing as many of these effects have appeared in western popular culture. However, instances of false memories of Pikachu's tail have also appeared in Japan.
The quiz was just the tip of the iceburg. Many people swear that many other things have changed, too, such as Earth's maps:
- The location of Australia (many people remember it being farther south)
- Greenland's size (many people remember it being much smaller)
- The location of South America (it is much farther east than most people remember it)
- The top and bottom half of the Volkswagen logo used to not be connected in people's memories.
- People do not remember the F in the Ford logo having the small curl.
- The odd L in the Staples logo seems new to many people.
- Many people remember Adolf's Hilter's eyes being brown. It was a sort of running theme of irony that his ideal race was blonde and blue-eyed, yet his eyes were brown. Now, however, they are blue.
- The song lyrics in We Are the Champions by Queen do not end with "...of the world", although many people remember it like that.
Reddit seems to be the main place for discussing the Mandela Effect, as the website is quite an open-minded place to openly discuss phenomenons like these. Some common theories include the following:
- This is all a massive social experiment. Some claim that the government or some kind of higher force is manipulating people's memories, somehow, either by brainwashing or by some other means.
- We are shifting between parallel universes. Some people say we are all from various parallel universes with minor differences in our reality. Now, we're somehow shifting through universes where things are almost the same, but with minor differences. We are carrying our memories with us, and becoming confused when we see things have not only change, but without any official record of them changing. CERN's supercollider and quantum computing have fuelled these theories.
- It's all just a bunch of false memories. There is no phenomenon - we all just remember things the same, somehow.
Although there are other theories out there, these three are the main suggestions that have been put forward. However, it's a very difficult thing to prove.
What do you think the Mandela Effect is?
Reddit constantly has new discoveries and theories posted on their Mandela Effect board, so be sure to check it out if you want to stay updated on this intriguing phenomenon. What's your take on this craziness? Let us know in the comments.