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The Mandela Effect

Are we all remembering things that aren’t real?
Courtesy of Good Housekeeping

“Luke, I am your father” This has to be the most well-known line from the famous movie series Star Wars, right? Wrong. Darth Vader actually says “No, I am your father.” This is just one example of The Mandela Effect. The Mandela Effect, or false memories, is a phenomenon where a large group of people believe something happened when it didn’t.

 The start of this was when Fiona Broome was talking to other people about the death of Nelson Mandela in the 1980s. However, the South African president actually didn’t die in the 1980s and served his presidency during 1994-1999 and later died in 2013. (

Why does this happen? Although there is no clear explanation for this, there are some theories. When processing information, we take things in as we think they are versus how they truly are.

 ( Confabulations are another example of a cause for the Mandela Effect.  Confabulations are false or distorted memories that someone generates to fill holes in their mind. This usually happens when someone doesn’t have enough information to recall a memory exactly, so they have a false recollection of what happened.

 The news and social media are also a cause of the Mandela Effect. The spread of fake news can convince people to believe in untrue recollections of events. (  There are many examples of the Mandela Effect. A few of these include:

  •  Looney Toons vs Looney Tunes; while most people recall that the famous brand is Looney Toons, it is actually Looney Tunes, because it was originally all about the music, not the cartoons.
  • Mr. Monopoly with or without a monocle; when you picture Mr. Monopoly, he’s wearing a top hat, carrying a cane, with a monocle to his eye, right? Wrong. Mr. Monopoly is actually not wearing a monocle, but they may be confusing Mr. Monopoly and Mr. Peanut of Planters® Peanuts.  
  • The presence of Curious George’s tail; Curious George, the pet monkey of the man with the yellow hat, must have a tail, since he is a monkey. Actually, throughout all of the Curious George children’s books and shows, he never has a tail.

 Many people truly recall the ones that aren’t actually there. Sometimes it might feel like you have been lied to your entire life, but so has everyone else.


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