The Mandela Effect: Fact or Myth??

Is it the Berenstein Bears or Berenstain Bears?!!

Is it the Berenstein Bears or Berenstain Bears?!!

Natalie Benoit, Co-Editor

When people first hear about the Mandela Effect, they immediately associate the term with the international political figure, Nelson Mandela. Although the theory is titled after Nelson Mandela, it does not necessarily only refer to him. The so-called “ Mandela Effect” is one of the most popular and newer conspiracy theories consuming social media.

The Mandela Effect, by most definitions, is when an a large portion of the population clearly remembers something that is different from how it is in reality. The theory suggests the possibility of alternate universes and time travel. Theorists believe the Mandela Effect reveals itself when an individual travels back in time, and as a result, a ripple effect transpires, creating a minor change.

The proof for this rippling effect has been discovered in conflicting arguments of certain movie quotes and in the proper spelling of popular brand names. For example, the majority of the population remembers the famous “Snow White” movie line as, “Mirror, mirror on the wall…” but when you watch the Disney film, she is actually saying, “Magic mirror on the wall…” While many supporters believe in this being evidence of the Mandela Effect, others have proof it is a simple misunderstanding for the audience. Check out Debunking Mandela Effects, for further details.    

The Mandela Effect’s name originates from Nelson Mandela when it was discovered that a portion of the world’s population remembers his death occurring while he was in prison during the 1980s. The South African human rights activist and former president was actually released from prison in 1990 and did not pass away until 2013.

One of the most popular Mandela Effects is the controversy over the title of the American children’s book, “The Berenstain Bears”— or is it “The Berenstein Bears”?

Much of the American population remembers the series as being spelled with “-stein” as opposed to the actual “-stain” spelling. This controversial Mandela Effect, along with several others, have been exposed through popular YouTube sensation Shane Dawson. Dawson discusses “The Berenstain Bears dispute as well as the confusion surrounding the iconic TV show, “Sex and the City”… or “Sex In the City”?? Other YouTube stars have also bandwagon on the controversy, like Tana Mongeau. Both Dawson and Mongeau use foul language in their videos, so their videos are advised for a mature audience.  

Time travel, alternate/parallel universes or even false advertising may all be contributing to the rise of this new conspiracy, the Mandela Effect. There’s certainly no doubt that this theory will continue to influence social media and its public as more “evidence” continues to appear.