The Mandela effect refers to a situation in which a large mass of people believe that something occurred when it did not. More often than not, these false memories typically refer to pop culture or current events. It was only in 2010 that we termed the strange phenomenon, when self-described “paranormal consultant” Fiona Broome dubbed it the Mandela effect in reference to her false memory of the death of South African anti-Apartheid leader Nelson Mandela in prison in the 1980s—he actually died in 2013, after having served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999—which she claimed was shared by “perhaps thousands” of other people.
One prominent example of the Mandela effect comes from a 2010 study that examined people familiar with the clock at Bologna Centrale railway station, in Italy, which was damaged in the Bologna massacre bombing in August 1980. In the study, 92 per cent of respondents falsely remembered the clock had stopped working ever since the bombing when, in fact, the clock was repaired shortly after the attack. Years later, the clock was again stopped and set to the time of the bombing in observance and commemoration of the disastrous event.
While scientists suggest that these are examples of false memories shaped by similar cognitive factors affecting multiple people and families (such as social and cognitive reinforcement of incorrect memories or false news reports and misleading photographs that influence the formation of memories based on them) many believe they are proof that we’re existing in alternate realities.
We won’t try to find the answer to this loaded debate here. Instead, we’ve compiled 17 examples of the Mandela effect that will make you doubt your whole childhood:
Make it make sense.
With or without a ‘t’, we really hope these shoes stay in the past.
Why, Kellogg’s? Learn how to spell for the sake of our sanity.
Honestly, this one is hard to swallow.
There was never a ‘Jiffy’ peanut butter, only ‘Jif’. That being said, people might be mixing Jif with its competitor, Skippy.
This might be a simple confusion between him and the Planters peanut company’s mascot, Mr Peanut. Still, give the man a monocle!
In reality, it’s just yellow with a tiny patch of brown.
Not sure if it’s because we’re based in the UK, but this one never even crossed our minds. No hyphen, duh.
Many remember the clothing manufacturer’s logo featuring a cornucopia behind the fruits. It never did, apparently. At least they weren’t called ‘Froot’ of the Loom.
If you said Cheez-It, you’d be correct.
This one is absolutely Earth-shattering.
Most people recall chartreuse is a magenta pink colour. In reality, it’s a shade of green.
Even the biggest Star Wars fans—and Halloween costume sites—get it wrong. The robot isn’t all gold, he has one silver piece on his right leg.
In Forrest Gump, Tom Hanks doesn’t say the infamous “Life is like a box of chocolates” quote. Instead, he says “Life was like a box of chocolates.” We’re saying, life used to be good until now.
Turns out, this wasn’t a line in Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs either. In fact, the Wicked Queen says, “Magic mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?” Childhood ruined.
When breaking the news to his son, Darth Vader never said, “Luke, I am your father.” He dropped the Luke and went straight for the revelation. Say what?!
Hate to burst your bubble again, but the memorable line “Run, you fools!” was never said by Gandalf. Before his treacherous fall, you can clearly hear him saying “Fly, you fools!”