Leonardo Dicaprio’s Oscar

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In the year 2016, Leonardo Dicaprio won the Academy Award for best Actor for his role in the acclaimed drama, The Revenant. Several people asked the question,”Dicaprio wins…again?  They claimed he won an Oscar before, for his memorable role in the famous 1997 movie, Titanic. But apparently, he never won an Oscar before 2016. As many recall, his acceptance speech back in 1998 was similar to the one he gave in 2016. This was not confused with the BAFTA ceremony held in February of the same year as that option was ruled out beforehand. Despite no previous telecasts of the actor giving an acceptance speech in the 1998 Oscar ceremony, how did everyone come to that conclusion?

The confusion

Many people got a strong sense of déjà vu when they saw his 2016 Oscar speech because of the uncanny similarity to the one he gave earlier. Reports show that the actor won his first Oscar in 2016, after being nominated six times in the course of 22 years.  He received his first nomination for his role in the 1994 movie, “What’s eating Gilbert Grape”. Some fans fervently insisted that his first win was for Titanic and they remember that many morning talk shows showed clips of his speech. In reality, the award actually went to Jack Nicholson for his performance in As Good as It Gets. Titanic won a record number of Oscars during the ceremony, so maybe people assumed Dicaprio won one of the awards, therefore fabricating his win. It is either that or the workings of a parallel dimension where he actually won the Best Actor award. 

The Mandela Effect

The other dimension theory throws opens the doors for the Mandela effect to step in. The effect manifests in the form of collective misremembering of common facts and events. It first emerged in 2010, when countless people on the internet falsely remembered Nelson Mandela was dead. It was widely believed he died in prison in the 1980’s. In truth, he was freed in 1990 and passed away in 2013. Paranormal consultant, Fiona Broome theorized that the collective misremembering arises from the movement between parallel realities. It is called the “sliding theory” and explains that within each universe, alternate versions of events and objects exist. Each universe is only slightly different from the other and situations like the Oscar win are the small differentiations between each reality. The theory offers a new, albeit far-fetched perspective on the effect.  There are other theories relating to witchcraft and black magic. However interesting they may sound, these theories are not scientifically testable.


The leading psychological thought on the Mandela effect is that memories are not pure. Memories can be created and affected by biases, imagination and creativity. Memory is not like a recording, but more like a narrative that the brain reconstructs out of multiple building blocks, which can get misplaced or mixed up. There are many factors that could distort how the brain interprets things and because of this, there is no concrete explanation for the phenomenon. In many of the cases, the distortions can be attributed to memory errors, social misinformation and peer pressure. The complexities of the human brain don’t end here. There are still many questions which remain unanswered and mysteries left unsolved. In the end, the Oscar goes to….Who knows?

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