There has been a lot of talk in recent times of the possibility of other realities and dimensions existing beside our own, all around us, yet mostly unobserved and lying beyond our ability to perceive them. In these alternate realities there are theorized to be other versions of ourselves or the world we think know so well, and for the most part they seem to remain beyond ours, existing separately. However, what if the boundaries between us are more malleable than we know? What if we can not only shift between them, but have already done so in large numbers, at the whim of some tide between dimensional realms that we cannot possibly fathom? By some accounts, this could be happening now as we speak.
One of the more bizarre and controversial pieces of supposed evidence put forward for the existence of alternate realities and parallel universes is a phenomenon known as the Mandela Effect, which involves a mass misremembering of the same facts or details by a large number of people. The theory has its origins in 2010 with a paranormal researcher named Fiona Broome, when she found that a fact she clearly remembered seeing on the news, that Nelson Mandela had died in prison in the 1980s, was actually wrong and that he in fact was still alive at the time, indeed living until 2013, when he died from a respiratory illness at his home. This perplexed her, as she so vividly and clearly remembered his death in the 80s, and when she voiced this puzzlement online there was a deluge of others who seemed to share this memory of the same thing, claiming that they clearly recalled seeing it on the news, could envision the reports, and even that they had been taught about it at school.
Baffled, Broome went on to formulate the idea that this gap between reality and what was so strongly remembered by large groups of people who had these shared memories was perhaps caused by these people having somehow splintered off and shifted over between parallel dimensions brushing up against each other while keeping the memories of their old reality and timeline, which often did not completely line up with the way things are in the new one. Broome would go on to write numerous articles and books on the subject, until the Mandela Effect achieved its clout and place in the lexicon of the world of the weird, and it has frequently used as a possible hint at alternate realities.
As farfetched as this all may sound, it is at the least odd, and there are a formidable number of instances of the supposed Mandela Effect in action that has been amassed over the years. One of the most common examples of the Mandela Effect in action have to do with names or titles that many of us remember quite clearly, but which are not what we may recall. By far, the most famous of these is the case of the beloved series of children’s books and subsequent TV shows called The Berenstain Bears. What? Do you think I misspelled that? That’s exactly the point. Millions of people distinctly remember this series being called “The Berenstein Bears,” with an “e.”
While this may seem a minor thing, the fact is that the majority of people adamantly insist on this spelling, when the series is really “The Berenstain Bears,” with an “a,” and it has always been spelled that way. Go back and check all of that memorabilia, that’s how it has always been spelled, but then why would so many people so clearly remember and insist upon the wrong spelling? That depends on who you ask. For some it is merely a false collective memory caused by various psychological factors. For others, it is evidence of memories of an alternate reality, one in which it is The Berenstein Bears. One blogger named simply “Reece” explained this fairly wild theory thus:
At some time in the last 10 years or so, reality has been tampered with and history has been retroactively changed. The bears really were called the “Berenstein Bears” when we were growing up, but now reality has been altered such that the name of the bears has been changed post hoc. Somehow, we have all undergone a ð/2 phase change in all 4 dimensions so that we moved to the stAin hexadectant, while our counterparts moved to our hexadectant (stEin). They are standing around expressing their confusion about the “Berenstein Bears” and how they all remember “Berenstain Bears” on the covers growing up. Those who remember the name as “Berenstain” are native to this “A” Universe, while those who are sure it’s “Berenstein” traveled over from the “E” Universe.
There is even purported evidence that something weird is going on with the “Berenstain Bears.” On one Reddit thread a commenter shared a photo of what was supposed to be incontrovertible proof that the name actually secretly shifted at some point. The photo shows an old and battered VHS tape that on its real label reads the maddening “Berenstain Bears,” yet a sticker placed on the side, likely by a distributing company, clearly reads “Berenstein Bears,” which is seen as evidence that the dimensional slip did not completely erase its history. There have been various other photos brought forward of old TV schedules or copies that say “Berenstein Bears,” which have been brought forward as evidence, but it all remains a mystery and plenty of people do not even recognize that spelling at all. Have we been shuffled between alternate realities at some point?
This very strange effect may be more prevalent than we know, as TV shows, movies and books often have titles that are different than what a large portion of people distinctively remember. A very well-known and popular show was what you may know of as “Sex in the City,” only that is wrong, as it was actually called “Sex AND the City.” This mistake is so pervasive that many awards show hosts and sites have gotten it wrong, but according to the producers it has always been “Sex and the City.” The movie based on the series of vampire novels by author Anne Rice was also fondly remembered by many as “Interview With a Vampire,” but this is actually not correct, in that it is actually called “Interview with THE Vampire.” This mistake is so rampant that it has even wormed its way into Google, but the title many of you remember is wrong.
There are even titles of shows that seem to have changed, only to change back to the way they were, oddly enough. The famous Hanna-Barbera cartoon “The Flintstones” apparently inexplicably was written for some time a few years ago as “The Flinstones,” with no “T,” and many people remember being perplexed by that, but now it is back to having the “T.” What in the world is going on there? Did we all shift in and then back out of a dimension in which it is spelled “The Flinstones?”
The thing is, this is by far not even the only example of this sort of thing going on by a long shot, and cases of this in action are quite numerous. Another spelling anomaly is that the popular American cereal “Froot Loops” is widely and vividly remembered by many people as being spelled “Fruit Loops,” which is not correct, at least in this reality.
There is also the eerie fact that a large number of people, me included, adamantly remember the beloved cartoon series starring Bugs Bunny and Daffy, The Looney Tunes, as being spelled “Looney Toons.”
The list goes on and on with all manner of products. Do you remember “Oscar Meyer Wieners?” If you are old enough then you probably even remember the jingle for the commercials, which even spelled out the name with the lyrics “My bologna has a first name. It’s O-S-C-A-R. My bologna has a second name it’s M-E-Y-E-R.” Many people can vividly remember exactly that. However, it was never “Oscar Meyer,” but rather “Oscar Mayer,” which sounds very weird to a large number of people.
Are you familiar with the air freshener “Febreeze?” It’s actually spelled “Febreze.” Huh? Do you know the shoe brand “Sketchers?” If you do, then you will be surprised to know that it doesn’t exist, except as “Skechers,” as it has always been known, without the “t” in the name. It goes on and on. The popular U.S. chicken fast food joint is not spelled “Chic-fil-A,” but rather “Chick-fil-A,” and always has been, which seems to really rub people the wrong way when pointed out, but it is true. Also frequently put forward is the logo for the car company Ford, which a vast number of people seem to remember differently than it actually looks, specifically they don’t recall it ever having that squiggly pig’s tail shape on the “F,” even though the logo has always looked like that. When faced with the actual logo it is often reported by these people that it looks somewhat jarringly off. There is also the fact that the poor university student’s standby was actually “Cup Noodles” and not “Cup of Noodles” as many of you may adamantly remember.
Continuing with the names of things, the popular correcting fluid that many people remember without fail is actually spelled “Wite-Out,” not “White-Out,” which is very strange, jarring and not really intuitive since it is white, but there it is. There is also the famous chocolate candy that everyone remembers as “Kit-Kat,” to the point that many articles and posts that mention it spell it that way, but look at the actual logo and there is no dash, and there never was. As minor as it may seem, it is a disturbing revelation for people who absolutely insist that it has a dash. There is also no “Jiffy” peanut butter, but rather just “Jif” peanut butter, no matter how much you remember otherwise. Then there is the fact that the beloved game toy “Rubix Cube” is actually “Rubik’s Cube,” named after the game’s designer Rubik. Even people’s names that all of us “know” are different than what you may think. For instance, the famous Indian civil rights leader is not “Mahatma Ghandi,” as a great many people are sure they know, but rather it is “Gandhi.” Go check these so far if you don’t believe me. I’ll wait.
Are you back? Good, although you will probably have to go check again, so keep an extra tab open on your screen. Next we move on to another popular and strange type of example of the Mandela Effect, and this is that many of the movie lines, characters, and even whole movies that we know and love simply don’t exist. A famous one is that Darth Vader never does say “Luke, I am your father,” in the Star Wars film Empire Strikes Back. Instead it is actually “No, I am your father.” In the movie Forrest Gump Tom Hanks’ character never says “Life is like a box of chocolates” as you have probably been quoting all of your life, but rather “Life WAS like a box of chocolates.” This seems wrong to a large number of people.
Oh, I’m not even done with you yet. In the movie The Silence of the Lambs many of you probably profoundly remember the line from Hannibal Lecter when he says “Hello, Clarice,” yet in reality he never says that at all at any point in the film. He actually merely says “Good Morning.” Doesn’t that seem odd for such an oft-quoted line? We’re just getting started here. Do you remember the iconic scene in Steven Spielberg’s movie ET the Extra-Terrestrial when ET says, “ET phone home?” How could you not? It’s an iconic scene and line that everyone of the era knows, only he never really said that at all, but rather “ET home phone.” It doesn’t even make any sense, but I am totally serious, open your tab.
In the Disney animated movie Snow White there is no line that says “Mirror, mirror on the wall,” but it is instead “MAGIC mirror on the wall.” Yes, really. The remainder of that very famous and iconic, and very wrong, line isn’t even “Who is the fairest of them all,” as many remember, but rather “Who is the fairest one of all?” This one really drives people crazy, as there is such adamant opinion that this must be wrong, but it is indeed correct, at least in this universe. Is this getting weird yet? The very famous Kevin Costner baseball movie Field of Dreams”also has the highly quotable line “If you build it they will come,” but this was never said and it misquoted. It was actually “If you build it HE will come.” I know, right? Go check it.
There are even whole movies that people distinctly remember that don’t actually exist, such as a comedy movie about a genie called Shazaam!, starring the comedian Sinbad. There are a large number of people that remember this film and even whole scenes from it, it is burned in their mind, but the movie in fact does not exist. There are numerous other little details from pop culture that you might take for granted but remember wrong. Did you know that the famous monkey Curious George never had a tail, as you may remember? The Monopoly Man from the popular board game Monopoly also does not have a monocle, nor has he ever been depicted with one. The Pokemon character Pikachu never had a black stripe on the tip of his tail, but has rather always been all yellow, and even the iconic character C3PO isn’t as you might remember, as he is not all gold, but has rather always had one leg that was silver. How could we miss that?
To be continued