I’ve recently discovered the phenomenon known as the Mandela Effect. Supposedly several people remember that Nelson Mandela died in prison in the eighties, whereas according to the understanding of most of us he died as late as 2013. The phenomenon gets its name from this, but there are various other curious misrememberings by people that are classified under the Mandela Effect. The phenomenon has sparked various theories on what had caused it ranging from parallel universes, to time paradoxes and elaborate conspiracies.
I’ll mention of some alleged examples of the Mandela Effect, but as there are plenty of them, I won’t repeat all I’ve heard so far. Then I’ll discuss my own views on the phenomenon.
Misremembered Movie Quotes
There are many famous movie quotes that people seem to remember incorrectly, and this is attributed to the Mandela Effect. For example, most people seem to remember a quote from Forrest Gump saying “Life is a like box of chocolates” whereas it appears that in reality the quote is “Life was like a box of chocolates”. A quote from Field of Dreams is remembered as “If you build it, they will come”, but the movie actually says “If you build it, he will come”. In Snow White people remember the witch saying “Mirror, mirror on the wall…” whereas it actually says “Magic mirror on the wall…”
A lot of people seem to have gotten these lines wrong, perhaps even the majority. Do they simply have bad memory or have the lines changed? At least for me regarding these movies, I think I’ve seen Forrest Gump and Field of Dreams only once, and that was back in the 90ies, i.e. 20 years ago. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen Snow White, I’ve seen many clips of it, and I know the story, but I may not have seen the whole movie ever. Yet I’ve heard these famous quotes, or memes, being repeated countless times. Perhaps this is a case of the broken telephone game where people remember the message that other people tell them instead of the original one.
Then again, a short clip on Youtube of the scene where Forrest Gump says the “box of chocolates”-line is titled: “Life is like a box of chocolate”. Is even the person who uploaded the video so absent-minded they didn’t notice how the quote actually goes, or has the line in the movie actually changed?
Changed Book Titles
Certain book titles have supposedly changed as well. There’s the thing with some children’s book called Berenstain Bears that many people seem to remember as Berenstein Bears. I have no comment on this one, since the first time I heard of it was in connection to the Mandela Effect. There are many other products and things that have been allegedly changed that I can offer no comment on since they don’t really exist here in Finland, and certainly did not do so in the past. I’ve seen many America or Australia-specific things that I had not heard of before.
There is one book and movie whose name I am sure has changed though; Interview with A Vampire. Nowadays it is called Interview with THE Vampire. I remember when the movie came out in the nineties. It was called Interview with A Vampire. I read the book around ten years ago; it was called Interview with A Vampire. A few months ago I saw that they’re making a remake of the movie, but this time it was called Interview with THE Vampire. I found it annoying, but ignored the issue. A few days ago I found that even the original has been changed to Interview with THE Vampire. So far I have not gotten hold of any physical, old copy of the book or the movie to see what it says, but as far as I know, they all say Interview with THE Vampire. I know it used to be Interview with A Vampire.
If it wasn’t for this one detail, it would be fairly easy for me to dismiss the Mandela Effect as simply bad memory or some weird, yet pointless phenomenon. Yet, I am certain that name has changed, and if it has the implications are profound.
I’ve heard claims that maps, or Earth’s geography has been altered as well. Some of the common one’s are that in the past South America used to be directly below North America, whereas now it is more to the east. Australia used to be further to the south, but now it is very close to Papua-New Guinea. Many people remember that New Zealand was more to the north than Australia, but now New Zealand is more southern.
I concur with all of these observations. This is how I remember them as well, yet I don’t think it necessarily means the geography has changed. It may simply be a case of the fact that no map is 100% accurate. Especially the maps we used in our childhood may have been less accurate, but our mental image of the world was formed based on those maps and they conflict with more up-to-date maps. This may create some cognitive dissonance in our minds.
However, there are some sections of north-east Asia that I think look odd. The protrusion of land encircled in pink in the picture below, eastern Russia, looks bigger than I remember it. It looks bloated, and also the Kamchatka peninsula, encircled in red, stands out more than it used to be. Maybe it’s bigger.
I also don’t remember Sakhalin island, inside the purple ring, being so close to Hokkaido in Japan, and the island is much bigger as well. The island is known from the border tension between Japan and Russia, but according to my memory is further away from Japan and more like three small islands or something. I don’t remember the small island chain going from Hokkaido to Kamchatka, and from Kamchatka toward Alaska. They are above the yellow line. Whether or not they used to be there, it looks like Japan is the outer edge of a submerged continent underneath the Pacific Ocean.
I am not saying that the geography of that region has necessarily changed. It may simply be that I never played that much attention to the region north of Japan before. Yet I don’t want to dismiss the possibility either than some sort of alteration may have occurred.
Disinformation and Misinformation
I do think there is a genuine issue behind the alleged Mandela Effect. I am sure that Interview with a Vampire’s name has changed, and I also believe that the originator of the phenomenon, claims that Nelson Mandela died in the eighties is genuine. Whether or not he died back then, I don’t know, but I believe that some people have the memory of his death, regardless of if they are mistaken or not.
However, there are countless allegations on the internet about the name of this and that product whose name has supposedly changed, or a family member who has ceased to exist and so on. I am not buying it. Some people are probably convinced that the Mandela Effect is real, i.e. some details of our world have changed, and they are looking for changes everywhere they look now. Anything they see that seems a bit off is described as being due to the Mandela Effect. Moreover, I think some people are lying about their Mandela Effect experiences, either to mislead people for some purpose or simply to gain attention, or get clicks on their website or video.
There are also wild theories, or even claims that they know what it causing the Mandela Effect. It ranges from time travel and CERN, to parallel universes. I don’t think any of these theories are necessarily bad, but there is big differences between mentioning them as distinct possibilities, and saying they are the truth. People act as if they know what is going on are unreliable at best, or possibly dishonest.
Underneath all of the misinfo and wild claims, I do think there is something to the Mandela Effect. I don’t think it’s merely a product of bad memory and low attention span, or mass hysteria. At least Interview with a Vampire will always remind that there is something odd going on. However, I don’t want to speculate right now what the cause of this phenomenon could be.
This video shows several film clips from the nineties when Interview with a Vampire was filmed. People used to call it Interview with A Vampire. This includes the author of the book, Anne Rice. Interestingly, when the book name is shown in the video, it is named Interview with THE Vampire, yet that’s not how people say the name.
The video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynb40ADxmRQ
Nelson Mandela Died in Prison?: http://mandelaeffect.com/nelson-mandela-died-in-prison/
Forrest Gump – “Life is like a box of chocolate”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJh59vZ8ccc
How Do You Explain THIS Mandela Effect/CERN Connection?? (2016): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ep3Tiuh1eaw