The Mandela Effect-the Conspiracy That’s Taking Over the Internet


By: Jenna I.

Have you ever had a memory of a celebrity dying or something looking/spelling a certain way, but now it isn’t what you previously thought before? Does someone else have the same memory as you? Well, you may have fallen victim to the Mandela Effect, a growing conspiracy theory that has completely taken over the internet.

The Mandela Effect is a conspiracy theory that was introduced by Fiona Broome in 2010 after she had a memory of Nelson Mandela dying in prison in the 1980’s, saying she even saw his funeral on TV, yet he was still alive then. After going to an unrelated convention, she talked to some people and saw that they had the same memory as she did, causing her to believe that something must have changed since then. The actual theory associated with the story is that when an event/memory is changed or altered, the fabric of reality must have switched in the past, meaning that parallel universes do exist and we are switching between them. Since then, it has attracted attention from very popular social media sites and personalities, with the Mandela Effect having its own subreddit on Reddit and having countless videos about it by popular YouTuber Shane Dawson, a YouTube personality with over 8 million subscribers! Even though the conspiracy sounds extremely complicated and possibly even far-fetched, a lot of people believe it and some certain popular aspects that are associated to this theory. Some of the most popular and widespread theories that could possibly even shock you include the following:

  1. Berenstein Bears vs. Berenstain Bears

Parents and their children alike remember reading the Berenstein Bear stories and watching the television show about a family of bears, helping children learn valuable lessons about manners and etiquette along the way. But, is it really spelled Berenstein? Countless people remember the bear family’s name spelled with an “EIN” at the end of it, but it’s actually spelled with an “AIN”, causing confusion and a huge conversation on social media. This debate is the most popular memory associated with the Mandela Effect, with people online even finding possible “evidence” that it’s really spelled with an “EIN”. So far, no one really knows what it really is, but countless believers doubt it was ever spelled as “AIN”.

  1. Sex in the City vs. Sex and the City

Everyone recognizes the popular comedic movie by its name, regardless if people have even watched it. Fans will forever appreciate the comedy starring Sarah Jessica Parker, but people are unsure of the spelling of the movie’s name: is it Sex in the City or Sex and the City? Well, the actual movie title is Sex and the City, but the Mandela Effect believers beg to differ, swapping out the “and” with “in”. This is probably the most controversial memory of the Mandela Effect simply because people believe it isn’t a memory; people have just continuously said it wrong for a very long time. Regardless, there are a lot of “in” believers, and it could possibly be evidence of the popular theory, leaving believers unsure of the spelling.

  1. Jiffy Peanut Butter vs. Jif Peanut Butter

Jif has forever been one of America’s favourite peanut butter brands, but people who grew up in the 60’s and 70’s remember the franchise name being Jiffy, despite the patent saying it’s always been called Jif. Is this just a fluke in people’s memories, or was a document actually changed in the past?

  1. What the Evil Queen really says in Snow White and the Seven Dwarves

Everyone and their goldfish has watched the Disney animated classic of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, and everyone remembers the notorious line of “Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?” Well, scratch that, the line is actually “Magic mirror on the wall…”, causing people to be unsure if everyone has always misheard the line or if it was really changed. Research has been done, and routing back to the Brothers Grimm story which inspired the movie, the line has always been “Mirror, mirror,” along with the added fact that in 2015, the year of the release of the Disney movie Descendants, they too say the line “Mirror, mirror,” in the movie, causing uncertainty in the brand and in people’s memories.

  1. Curious George: tail or no tail?
    A group of people remember the classic tale of the curious monkey George having a tail, but people also have a different opinion, saying George is a chimp and he’s never had one. This one, like the Sex in/and the City debate, is also quite controversial, with people saying they thought he had a tail yet they could picture him without one, meaning there is no 100% belief whether he had one or not.

Along with those examples and numerous others, the Mandela Effect is taking the internet by storm, as thousands and thousands of people have agreed and spoken about topics in this conspiracy. In various posts, mixed opinions are shared among individuals, and whether some of the theories are fact or fiction really depends on what each person individually remembers about that subject or topic from the past. In general, the mind-blowing scientific theory has numerous people on their toes trying to figure out a past they are now uncertain about. What about you?


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