Take a Closer Look At the Mandela Effect

Margo Silliman , Staff Writer

October is a month of Twilight Zone vibes, when people explore conspiracy theories and whatever may lurk behind the basement door. Or, in the case of the Mandela Effect, whatever may lurk in the universe next door.

The Mandela Effect is a phenomena referenced when many people strongly remember a piece of the past a certain way, only to look back and find something different. Diving deeper into the conspiracy, some people believe these memories change because of a parallel universe that we’ve passed into where something different happened or because of time travelers who go into the past, change a small event, and set off a chain that results in confusion over the facts.

For example, when Nelson Mandela died in 2013, many people were shocked, thinking he had died in 1991 after he was released from prison. Eerily, these people have proof–the book English Alive published in 1991 states, “The chaos that erupted in the ranks of the ANC when Nelson Mandela died on the 23rd of July, 1991 brought the January 29th, 1991 Inkatha-ANC peace accord to nothing.”

The Mandela Effect is everywhere in popular culture. Buzzfeed compiled a list of examples; fans have surfaced with old Sex and the City merchandise that titles the show Sex in the City. The line from Star Wars isn’t, “Luke I’m your father.” It’s, “No, I’m your father.”

Looking at the Mona Lisa, sophomore Helen Ahajjam was shocked to see a smirk, having thought she was certainly straight-faced.

Does the Kit Kat logo have a dash between words? sophomore Morgan Cotrino thought so, until she looked it up.

To English teacher Gerard Wollak’s confusion, the children’s books The Berenstain Bears are said with an “-ain” at the end as opposed to “-ein.”

Lastly, the evil queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs said, “Magic mirror on the wall,” instead of the what junior Ethan Williams thought, “Mirror, mirror on the wall.”

Asking students and teachers around the high school, it becomes clear that these examples commonly confuse people. However, small spelling misconceptions beg the conclusion that perhaps some people just don’t pay enough attention.