Mandela Effect

By: Malena Esposito

*DISCLAIMER: Proceed reading at your own risk, for this article could ruin your childhood, cause sleep loss, and potentially drive you crazy.

Nelson Mandela was most commonly known for his anti-Aapartheid work as well as being the first black President of South Africa. He died in December 2013 due to a respiratory tract infection. But did he?

Hundreds of people, maybe even thousands, believed that Nelson Mandela died during his time in prison in the 1980s, complete with vivid memories of his death, making his 2013 death seem very bewildering. Apart from remembering it on the news and hearing his widow give a mourning speech, some even recall learning about it in school. On, Robert Crowder posted a comment saying that he found an old notebook giving a detailed report on Nelson Mandela’s death, stating that he had been ill for some time. A report had to be given every Friday in Crowder’s economics class on a current event that happened that week. The date of the report was March 11, 1983, with a check mark from his teacher remarking that they had seen his work. In addition to this freaky piece of evidence, a book on South African literature states that “the chaos that erupted in the ranks of the ANC when Nelson Mandela died on the 23rd of July, 1991 bought the January 29th 1991 Inkatha-ANC peace accord to nothing.” The book was published on October 1st, 1991 by the Western Cape Branch of the South African Council for English Education.

So, what does this mean? What is this abnormal sensation? Since 2013, this crazy conspiracy has been given the name of the Mandela Effect. Not to be confused with false memories, the Mandela Effect occurs when a large group of people have a clear memory of something happening that never took place in reality. The theory behind this conspiracy is that there are alternate universes in which the events actually happened. But it doesn’t just stop at Nelson Mandela’s death, either. In the past three years, more and more people have realized brand names, TV lines and song lyrics are not what they once seemed to be.

One of the most popular Mandela Effects is the book series we all remember from our childhood, the Berenstein Bears. Or was it? Apparently, the title was actually the BerenstAin Bears, as opposed to the BerenstEin Bears. However, while packing up for a move, user diamondashtry on Reddit found a VHS tape from this series. The front cover says “Berenstain Bears” while the spine label says “Berenstein.”

And how about the Monopoly man? How would you describe him? Maybe mustache MONOCLE, top hat? Wrong. He never had a monocle. Not once.

Then there is the TV classic, the Looney Toons – or so you thought. The show is actually called “Looney Tunes”, which, personally doesn’t make any sense to me. Why would a carTOON show be titled “Looney TUNES”, when the characters don’t have any musical talent at all?

Okay, now this one really messed me up. I grew up in a household surrounded by Walt Disney’s impeccable creations, so when my family and I heard this one, our minds were blown. In the 1937 classic “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves,” the Queen iconically asks “mirror mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?” It’s been quoted like that for decades now, except that isn’t what she actually says. In reality, she actually asks “MAGIC mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?”

Another popular Mandela Effect is from the song “We Are the Champions” sung by Queen. Everyone and their grandmother remember this song; it’s a classic. At the end of the song, many thought that the lyrics said “Cause we are the champions of the world”, often times singing the last three words louder than the others. Guess what? The words “of the world” were sung towards the beginning of the song; they are not mentioned at the end, making your entire life a lie.

The Mandela Effect also involves two of the most famous fictional characters ever, Darth Vader and C-3PO. Although the first effect has been floating around the internet for some time now, it is nonetheless important. Star Wars fans have been quoting the distinguished line from “The Empire Strikes Back” since its release in 1980. You know the line, the one that’s on shirts, mugs, and just about every piece of Star Wars merchandise ever. “Luke, I am your father.” Even James Earl Jones, the voice of Darth Vader, has quoted this line. But contrary to the popular belief, Darth Vader never actually said that. He said, “No, I am your father.”

The second Mandela Effect is on C-3PO’s appearance. He’s all gold, wouldn’t you say? Incorrect. His lower right leg is silver, the same section that is red in The Force Awakens. This could easily just be a trick of the eye since the colors are somewhat close together, but then why would they sell all gold C-3PO costumes and toys?

Whether or not you believe in the Mandela Effect, it’s almost undeniable that there is something sketchy going on here. Why would so many people have clear memories of something that never happened? Are there actually alternate universes in which these events occured? And these are only a few of the most popular Mandela Effects. Everything has been speculated, from Febreze/Febreeze to the color chartreuse. Who or what is behind this? Will we ever find out?