The Mandela Effect

Mandela Effect


Mandela Effect

Travis Okimura, Journalist

The Mandela effect, originally named after Nelson Mandela, is a strange phenomenon in which a group of people recall something differently than how it actually occurred. Doctors believe this is a form of confabulation which refers to the production of false memories without the intent to deceive or lie to someone (honest lying). These people genuinely believe they are communicating the truth.


“Without accepting the fact that everything changes, we cannot find perfect composure. But unfortunately, although it is true, it is difficult for us to accept it. Because we cannot accept the truth of transience, we suffer”

  • Shunryu Suzuki


 Another possible explanation is false memories, where you recall an event without an accurate depiction or description. This can be hard for people who don’t remember all the details from an event or past memory because their brains will try to fill in the gaps. Since people are able to edit images and logos, it can affect their recollection of the original item or image. Another way of thinking of this is like the classic childhood game telephone. During this game, there is an initial statement made from the first person, who whispers it to the next person, who then tries their best to pass on the exact statement to the next person and so on until it reaches the last person. Throughout the game, the message will probably get altered while it is being passed from person to person, usually leading to a totally different statement at the end.


Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was the former South African President and civil rights advocate who dedicated his life to fighting for equality; in 1962, he was sentenced to life in prison. The strange thing is, many people from all around the world – including paranormal researcher Fiona Broome (who came up with the idea of calling this phenomenon the Mandela Effect) – thought he had died in prison in the 1980’s when, in fact, Mandela had passed away on December 5, 2013. Many people swore they had seen news stories and clips about Mandela’s funeral and a heartwarming speech from his widow.


Here are some examples of the Mandela effect (the bolded ones are the correct/original ones)


The Berenstein Bears vs  The Berenstain Bears

Sex in the city vs Sex and the city

Looney Toons vs Looney Tunes

Froot Loops vs Fruit Loops

Oscar Meyer vs Oscar Mayer

Jif  vs Jiffy

Kit-Kat vs KitKat

The Flinstones vs The Flintstones


The Mandela Effect: What It Is and How It Happens