The Mandela Effect is widely recognised but is not always heavily publicised or spoken about in wide society. Which begs the question – why, and is someone trying to cover it up?
In the article we will be looking at what the Mandela Effect is and how it works, discussing the human elements at play and the possible theories and conspiracies which point to something well beyond our control.
What is the Mandela Effect?
The Mandela Effect is what we use to describe and explain something which we remember differently, particularly in the case of large groups of unconnected people who all believe in an alternative version of a song lyric, an image, or an event. It is often referred to as a collective false memory, because that is exactly what it is – unless it’s not, and something else is at play…
The Mandela Effect was conceived as a result of the death of Nelson Mandela in 2013 – which was met with surprise from those who genuinely believed that they had seen and read reports of his death almost 40 years previously, in the 1980’s. Those who believed he had already died cited printed reports and stories they heard relating to his death, with many of the believes completely unconnected.
Since then, there have been endless examples of the Mandela Effect at play across popular culture, history and beyond. Some of the most popular include:
· The ‘Heigh Ho’ song in Snow White and the Seven Dwarves – with countless people singing the line “It’s off to work we go” despite the original version only ever being “It’s home from work we go”
· Again, in Snow White, the famous line spoken by the Mirror – people quote and believe the line to be “Mirror Mirror on the Wall…”, however the line is actually “Magic Mirror on the wall…”
· The spelling of the Berenstain Bears animated program – which many swear was once the Berenstein Bears
· The existence of a monocle over the eye of the Monopoly Man – no such monocle officially exists in the original logo, and yet when people draw the man for themselves, they always believe he should and does have a monocle
· The Mona Lisa and her smile. This is an interesting one which taps into a different kind of theory – as how can humans possible be responsible for the expression on a painting changing? People believe that the Mona Lisa once had a cold and straight expression but that, more recently, the painting is represented with more of a smirk
How humans could be the cause of the Mandela Effect
As the Mandela Effect is largely cited to be a collective false memory, it seems obvious that humans are in some way causing such misinterpretations to exist. But how?
This is where it becomes interesting when you start to consider the way that our memories work and how we can in fact influence the thoughts and memories of others if we express our own views and memories with enough conviction.
Imagine that you attend an event or witness a specific situation play out. You might remember it one way, but someone else who was there recalls a detail in a slightly different way. Despite the fact that you were both there, an element of doubt is immediately planted in your minds as you cannot understand how both witnesses remember the event differently. And so, the person who believes their interpretation more strongly, and can express it with more conviction, is likely to be able to convince the other person that their own recollection is incorrect – thus potentially changing the memories of that person and causing them to believe entirely in a false memory.
In this instance, humans could be very much the cause of the Mandela Effect.
Science states that our brains can only hold onto limited details about certain events, and so it is perfectly plausible that our recollections can change according to the stories of others and the details that make most sense. If enough people sing “Heigh Ho, it’s off to work we go”, then why wouldn’t you join in and simply assume that this is the correct version?
And even if it wasn’t this complex, humans can still be entirely to blame by simply not listening properly or misinterpreting a situation to see or hear something completely different.
The challenge with this argument? How do you explain so many different people from all corners of the world, with no connection to each other, believing the same false memory? This is where other theories come into play.
Other possible explanations and theories
Humans are not the only possible and probably cause of the Mandela Effect, with a multitude of different theories and explanations tapping into various examples and ideas. Some of the most widely recognised theories and explanations include time travel and alternate realities and universes – whereby both versions are entirely correct but belons in a different time dimension or a different reality.
None of these theories can be wholly proven or evidenced, no matter how hard you try to find facts which point towards any of them being true. The Mandela Effect is, for the most part, a fascinating phenomenon which is used to explain and identify certain discrepancies between versions, stories, and memories held by people across the world and across different generations.
What causes it is up to you – what do you think?