PART ONE: The Mandela Effect Quiz | PART TWO: False Memories
PART THREE: The Devil | PART FOUR: The Mandela Effect Quiz II
PART FIVE: The Multiverse | PART SIX: Quantum Computers
PART SEVEN: The Mandela Effect Quiz III | PART EIGHT: CERN
PART NINE: CERN II | PART TEN: The Mandela Effect Quiz IV
PART ELEVEN: The Matrix | PART TWELVE: The Matrix II
PART THIRTEEN: The Mandela Effect Quiz V | PART FOURTEEN: Time Travel
PART FIFTEEN: Project Pegasus | PART SIXTEEN: The Mandela Effect Quiz VI
PART SEVENTEEN: PsyOps | PART EIGHTEEN: Ascension
PART NINETEEN: The Mandela Effect Quiz VII | PART TWENTY: Parting Thoughts
In the previous segment, I highlighted a quiz consisting of many questions that have direct correlation with causing people to experience The Mandela Effect. If you are stumbling onto this post, but aren't familiar with the phenomenon, I suggest clicking the link above and starting there.
In this entry I'll be going over some of the posited theories people have offered in explanation of The Mandela Effect. Naturally, there will be a handful of readers that will happen across this who do not share in the experience and/or have already settled into believing one of the most common arguments made against the phenomenon...
False Memories/Memory Confabulation
Regardless of where you stand with The Mandela Effect, like it or not, this theory (or as some state, fact) holds more than its fair share in weight when it comes to explaining what people are experiencing. It is the "Occam's Razor" heralded by those who refute the existence of The Mandela Effect. For those unfamiliar with the term, it basically means — in adapted layman's jargon — "the simplest explanation is usually the correct one". So in regards to this specific phenomenon — one relying solely on an individual's ability to recollect pristine, uncorrupted information from memory — it makes complete, logical sense that the main argument for discrepancies is false memories.
As mentioned before, our memories can be very fickle beasts. They can become diluted and sometimes even completely forgotten over time. They can become warped and twisted beyond recognition of what actual real events/information it's believed to represent. Subtle (or not so subtle) details may change or those not originally present may creep in. They can be implanted, influenced, and manipulated. To be frank, it's kind of scary just how fallible they can be.
And for those reasons alone, it may appear to be a lost cause referring to memories when explaining or defending The Mandela Effect. Except that's all people have. Their memories that they believe are concrete and absolutely factual. What a lot of people seem to forget, or don't care to factor in/sympathize with, is that many people remembering or misremembering these things don't mean any ill-will or harm. They aren't trying to purposely deceive you (well, the majority that is, there are always those who will attempt to take advantage of a situation). People just want to know what the fuck is going on!
To be fair, memory confabulation is most generally associated with illnesses, head/brain injuries, and sometimes alcoholism, but I think it's appropriate in this context. Besides, there's little doubt that The Mandela Effect may drive some to drink! I'm double-fisting vodka and whiskey as we speak!
Joking aside, memories play a pivotal role in our day to day lives. Many of us rely on them for our simple survival. There's no doubt that the ability to remember varies person to person, much like everything else that sets us apart from one another. Sometimes there's no rhyme or reason as to why we store some of the information we retain (like random "useless" trivia knowledge). But the fact of the matter is that many of us do have great memories. How do these people rationalize their experiences with The Mandela Effect? Who in their right mind would listen to someone positing the possibility of supernatural entities and/or parallel universes?
The Mind is a Beautiful Thing to Waste
When debating The Mandela Effect, many people offer explanations as to why people experience the "false" memories that they do. A lot are derived from how the brain actually works and how we just, in general, draw upon our memories. And of course, all of the distortion that can happen over time. But since that would take multiple blog posts (and extensive research) to cover, I'm going to trust that everyone on the internet is a professional doctor/psychologist, and dive right into it.
The BerenstEin Vs. BerenstAin Bears:
First up, one of the most debated topics associated with the phenomenon. Many people remember the children's book being spelled with an "E", contradictory to the actual "A" spelling. Whether before your time, or just not familiar, this family of bears holds a favored, nostalgic soft-spot for those who grew up with the books and/or television series. Sentiments about the correct spelling have divided large groups of people into two opposing factions, usually associated with the parallel universe theories, Universe "E" and Universe "A".
We'll go deeper into that theory in a future post.
Proponents for Universe "A", which is currently the actual reality, have cited various reasons for those suffering from this discrepancy. Like our mind's penchant for associating them with familiar names ending in "Stein": Frankenstein, Einstein, and other popular surnames (this is one I have trouble signing on with). The strong possibility that the "A" in the title, because written in cursive, could very easily be mistaken for an "E". Then there's the fact that the furry characters were created by authors sharing the same name. It seems unlikely that you'll be able to convince the surviving relatives of Stan and Jan Berenstain that they've been getting their family's name wrong their entire lives.
That last one is definitely a tough selling point for those championing Universe "E"!
Geographical and Human Anatomy Shifts/Changes:
These are harder topics to approach, but mostly because I'm really crummy with the subject matter — neither have been a strong suit. I've barely traveled anywhere within the US, let alone overseas, and I can't stand the sight of blood and avoid doctors like the plague, so what little I learned about our internal organs in school is fairly vague.
There are some triggers for me when seeing a world map, though. Can you notice any changes from what you remember?
The biggest for me is the seemingly shift of South America further East. When trying to visualize it, I always place it more directly below North America. This, Australia's, and sometimes even New Zealand's positioning are common subjects of confusion for those experiencing The Mandela Effect. People also claim that an entire land mass is missing West of Australia. There are others, but I haven't fully researched them.
Whether there have been shifts or not (though, I can't comment about disappearing land masses), one of the better explanations I've found tackling this matter is rather simple. That over time, as technology and methods of mapping out the world have advanced, so too has the world map become more fine-tuned and refined. Another factor may be that some maps are intentionally simplistic in nature, whether used as learning tools for children or convenience (think board games, for example), than being very specifically true to life. And it's very possible we have been exposed to these less accurate creations more often than not.
That last one may also explain why so many people are apparently misremembering Human anatomy. When younger, many of us were likely exposed to simplified diagrams of the human body. Grade school, cartoons, video games, commercials. This may be why some people believe a handful of our organs have been shifted around in our cavity. For example, our hearts (now more centralized) and stomachs (no longer centralized). To be honest, I thought the misconception that the heart was located more to the right of our chest was widely known, but I may be wrong. As for our stomachs, admittedly, I thought it was more centralized.
But when was the last time I saw a diagram depicting the human body (and actually studied it), specifically the chest cavity and the layout of our innards? I have no idea, I can't remember. Quite possibly not since high school. What I do know, however, is that when people cite commercials like Pepto-Bismol, where a company is attempting to highlight a specific region of the body to promote their product — offering an intended, simplistic graphic — it doesn't successfully support their claims. At least in my opinion.
Corporate Names and Logos:
Speaking of doubting some supporters of The Mandela Effect, the expressing concern over a widespread changing of company names and logos is one that almost turned me away completely. I thought to myself, "So what? That's normal." The reality is, companies change logos all the time. I can't say the same for the name change of a business (or rebranding of a product) and all the necessary legal processes involved in doing so, but it happens.
Some of the more common products cited:
Chic-fil-A or Chick-fil-A?
Fruit Loops or Froot Loops?
Kit-Kat or KitKat?
Looney Toons or Looney Tunes?
Febreeze or Febreze?
The list is quite extensive. I encourage you to check out some other examples. For a subject that made me scoff at The Mandela Effect, it eventually began to intrigue me more and more. Why? Because false memories could be at play here, but many times opposers of the phenomenon state that these were simply business changes and rebrandings of their products. But as mentioned last week, rebranding is one thing, however having almost all information and actual physical evidence supposedly being changed to the new iteration released to the public? There is a fairly good chance that you know some of these brands, the companies behind them, and the logos/commercials created to draw in audiences/consumers. Check them out on Google and/or YouTube!
This part of the phenomenon is one that fascinates me and, again, will be a focus when discussing different theories.
Included in this section, and one I forgot when originally posting, so I'm here slipping it in after the fact, is Jiffy peanut butter! I can't believe I didn't talk about one of the most annoying of my Mandela Effect experiences... The peanut butter I thought had obviously undergone rebranding, but instead I come to find that there is no trace of its existence, aside from others perplexed about its sudden removal from everywhere but their memory.
This is shrugged off by people stating what they believe to be the obvious. Your mind is pulling and mixing multiple memories and fabricating the Jiffy brand peanut butter. Basically, you remember products such as Jiffy pop popcorn and Jiffy corn muffin mix, pulling the Jiffy name, and combine it with memories of Skippy peanut butter, hence unconsciously forming the Jiffy peanut butter out of the actual Jif brand name.
This one irritates the hell out of me, especially if I'm supposed to believe that this is the strongest, most cohesive argument for my rememberance of Jiffy peanut butter. That not only I, but everyone else remembering the brand are all sharing in some fabricated delusion and coming to the same result by way of the same exact process. I just find that hard to believe.
Finally, the meat of my bewilderment, and one that many so easily brush off and say is ridiculous. That's okay, I can't blame anyone. But like I said before, I'm a movie buff and while I may not remember shit about geography and anatomy, I feel like I excel in the entertainment department.
A few explanations offered for some quotes, like "Luke, I am your father" Vs. "No, I am your father" from Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back, make sense. People believe that earlier, original versions of the movies contained different dialogue and/or scenes. They believe that VHS copies will show this, but I have yet to find a non-remastered copy. I'd imagine by now someone has posted it on YouTube, so I will have to investigate again. I wonder how those individuals would feel if it were discovered that all copies, even the original VHSs, contain the new line people argue against in support of The Mandela Effect. Would they become more open-minded, or just double back on their previous statements?
If it's proven that the original dialog of some of these movies were indeed changed via remastered editions, collector's editions, director's cut, etc? That would go a long way in helping piece together the puzzle that is The Mandela Effect. I'd welcome that reveal, because it beats the alternative, which basically consists of the claim that someone famously misquoted the lines and/or lyrics and those are the memories we pull from. For example, Chris Farley speaking the line "Luke, I am your Father" in Tommy Boy. From there, people continually spread the misquote until it became iconic pop culture.
This is a line of reasoning I am very resistant getting behind. It states that the majority of people experiencing these differences in memory are all being affected by the same random misquote, even if not being familiar with that source.
Oh, and while I'm at it — adding the section about Jiffy peanut butter above — did you know that C3PO has always had a silver leg (right side) from the knee down? I certainly hadn't!
It's the Little Things That Kill
When discussing The Mandela Effect, it can become a daunting task in trying to get across what people are genuinely experiencing. Or believe they are experiencing. A large part of the problem revolves around the fact that most of these changes cited are very small, almost indistinguishable tweaks. A single word. A change in a company's logo. While I agree that it's unlikely that all the mentioned changes people lay claim to are legit (there's bound to be falsities mixed in) and I can understand the point of view of someone not experiencing the phenomenon, but that doesn't make it any less real for others. For me.
And when it comes to the explanation of false memories/memory confabulation, I wonder at times how likely it is that so many people all misremember the same things the same way, out of all the other various possibilities that would potentially exist. Not only that, but in reference to movie quotes, getting the misquote from the same source, when in reality not everyone is familiar nor has been exposed to that source material.
I feel what is claimed to be the "Occam's Razor" of the Mandela Effect starts to become more complicated and unrealistic the more you research it. Says the guy about to delve into the unbelievable and supernatural, mind you. But I know that many readers who are already familiar with The Mandela Effect, or just coming across it for the first time, will believe that false memories are the culprit.
And that's okay. It's logical, comfortable, and safe. Yet, I still welcome you to come along and urge you to continue the journey with me. I mean, open-minded or not, we're crossing into the realm of the unknown. I find it fascinating and I hope you do too!
See you next time!
Part Three: The Devil
Do you believe The Mandela Effect is simply an issue of false memories? Do any of the individual explanations make sense and ring true with you? Do any of them seem contradictory or just as unbelievable and unlikely as the handful of other theories posited, of a more supernatural nature? Are you planning on following along as I delve into the other theories explaining The Mandela Effect? Are you interested in any alternative theory specifically? If so, which?