The Mandela Effect

Kaytlyn Harris, Staff Writer

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The Mandela Effect is a collective misremembering of a fact or event. Many theories have been found to explain what causes it, some more sensible than others. It is named for one of its most famous examples: Nelson Mandela. People mistakenly believe that he died in prison. Mandela was arrested in 1962 and sentenced to life in prison in South Africa, but he survived his sentence and was released in 1990. Then he became President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. Some people will say, “Wait, didn’t he die? I watched his funeral on TV?” He didn’t die until 2013 at the age of 95 due to a respiratory tract infection.

Many people often wrongly remember the Queen in Snow White say, “Mirror, mirror on the wall.” The correct phrase is “Magic mirror on the wall.”

Another example are lines from the famous movie Forrest Gump that everyone gets wrong: “Life is like a box of chocolates,” but the movie actually says, “Life was like a box of chocolates.”

And lastly the Berenstein Bears are a cherished childhood memory. However, the books are actually spelled “Berenstain Bears” with “a” in the last syllable, not “e” as so many people remember it.