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These are among the most popular topics at the Mandela Effect website:

For a far longer list of reported memories, see the Memories page links.

Real, Lies, or Memorex – the Mandela Effect

Yes, I’m being flippant about the Memorex reference  (from an old commercial) but this headline truly worries me: Study suggests memories can be lies.

Real, lies, or memory - the Mandela EffectIt’s not that I doubt the study or its importance. We do need to know more about how memories work.

However, I’m worried about the  social cue that headline conveys.

I’m concerned that it’s compounding the “you can’t trust your memories” messages I’ve been seeing in recent years.

Psychologically speaking, internalizing that message can be tremendously destabilizing.

I hope people don’t take that study as the final word in this field. After all, doctors and scientists have gone back & forth about memories – including young children’s memories – for decades. This is just the latest breakthrough, and its relevance will be proved over time. For now, it’s startling, so it’s in national (USA) news.

And lf course, the Mandela Effect is a sub-sub-category of memories, in general. They’re anomalies we don’t fully understand… yet.

I’m posting this because it may be important to compartmentalize memories by categories. I don’t mean just two bins: the Mandela Effect, and Everything Else.

Instead, I’m talking about the myriad kinds of memories we have – how strong they are, when and where we acquired them, how they connect to one another, and so on.

Too often, I read comments and emails from people with one or two Mandela Effect memories, and they regularly close with a line like, “Am I losing my mind?” or “Am I going crazy?”

It worries me that they may be serious about those concerns: They’re worried that the memories they feel certain of… may be false, and – to them – that becomes a systemic concern. They awfulize. They wonder, “Okay, what else am I wrong about…?”

That’s not something anyone can evaluate, online. Not even me. (Yes, I’m being flippant; obviously, I’m not a mental health expert. But, I am absolutely serious about my concerns when I read news headlines that could tilt the scales dangerously, among people who are already feeling troubled.)

So, my post today is to assure you that this latest study doesn’t mean all – or any – of your memories are dangerously flawed.

I’ve already talked about the importance of fact-checking memories that don’t quite fit the world we’re in. That’s in my video, shown below.

But, having ruled out confusion, etc., I think it’s important not to internalize news stories that could be destabilizing.

Sure, if you need to talk with a professional – a doctor, for example – please do that for your peace of mind.

Meanwhile, I still say “trust your memories.” Whether their factual content is accurate or not, they came from somewhere. And that “somewhere” may have been mistaken.

If so, that’s human error. It doesn’t mean you’re losing your mind… it just means you heard whatever-it-was from someone who misspoke, or was working with flawed information (possibly through no fault of their own).

Or, yes, it could be the Mandela Effect.

Time Travel and Real Science – the Mandela Effect

Some Mandela Effect experiences might be linked to time travel.

How would that work…?

Time travel and real science - the Mandela EffectWell, you might have gone forward in time – a day, a year, or another short leap that wouldn’t seem obviously out-of-sync with present time.

Let’s say that’s what happened to those of us who remembered Nelson Mandela dying before 2013.

Maybe, staring at the TV back in 1988 (or whenever), we “slid” forward to 2013 and saw Mandela’s funeral on TV.

A blink (perhaps literally) later, we were whisked back to 1988… and went out to the kitchen for a snack from the refrigerator.

In our minds, Mandela had died. We felt sad, but knew his health had been shaky after a hunger strike in prison.

After that, each of us got caught up in school or work or other daily activities. We didn’t think anything about the funeral… until, one day, Nelson Mandela was on the TV. And he wasn’t dead.

It seemed like a “what the ____?” moment, but we figured we must have been mistaken. (That didn’t make sense, because the memory was so clear, but… well, what other explanation could there be?)

And then, in 2009 or so, we discovered that others remembered Mandela’s earlier death.  Many of them remembered the exact same details as we did, too. (Cue the “Twilight Zone” music? That’s how it felt, to me.)

And sure, you could use this same scenario for memories like the Berenstain/Berenstein Bears, Jif/Jiffy peanut butter, the number of US states, and so on.

All of them could be explained as time travel so brief, we didn’t even notice it. (Okay, some alternate history memories fit that concept better than others. I still resist the idea that the Mandela Effect has a one-size-fits-all explanation.)

Anyway… today, I was reading a Higgypop article about serious scientists working on time travel. It’s fascinating. For me, one quote from Professor Tamara Davis stood out:

Tamara told the BBC, “something out there is having an anti-gravity effect, it’s pushing rather than pulling. We don’t know what that is, but it makes up most of the Universe. We call it dark energy.”

“By understanding this mysterious energy, we could be a step closer to time travel. It’s thought that dark energy may be the key to manipulating a wormhole and taking advantage of its route to another point in time.”

I was also intrigued by a reference by Johannes Handsteiner, talking about quantum entanglement.

Einstein, who hated the notion, called this “spooky action at a distance” and defined it as two particles behaving as one no matter how far apart they are.

Those are just a few interesting tidbits from that article. As a Mandela Effect researcher – and, like you, someone fascinated by possible explanations –  I recommend reading it.

If you’re a time travel enthusiast, watch this short video. (If you’re confused, don’t worry. I kept pausing it and rewinding it, saying, “Wait, what…?” LOL)

In general, I haven’t a clue what’s causing the Mandela Effect. Time travel is as good a guess as any, and it’s among my favorites. (You may have better explanations. I’m constantly impressed by the theories that readers suggest.)

The Higgypop article sparked my interest, as some of its ideas were new to me.

Resources

What are your thoughts about time travel as a Mandela Effect explanation? (Comments at this article will be open for one week.)

When Time-Travel Goes Pear-Shaped – the Mandela Effect

In February 2018, scientists raised a troubling question, especially for those who think the Mandela Effect may relate to time travel.When time travel goes pear-shaped - Mandela Effect

Extrapolating from lab tests, it looks like time can only travel from past to present, not vice versa.

(I’ve kept expecting an “err… umm” retraction, but I haven’t seen one, yet.)

Here’s one article about this:  Physicists Have Confirmed a Pear-Shaped Nucleus, And It Could Ruin Time Travel Forever

The following highlights may explain the problem.

Physicists have confirmed the existence of a new form of atomic nuclei, and the fact that it’s not symmetrical challenges the fundamental theories of physics that explain our Universe.

“We’ve found these nuclei literally point towards a direction in space. This relates to a direction in time, proving there’s a well-defined direction in time and we will always travel from past to present,” Marcus Scheck from the University of the West of Scotland told Kenneth MacDonald at BBC News at the time.

According to the laws of physics, at the time of the Big Bang*, equal amounts of matter and antimatter had to have been created, but now, billions of years later, we’re surrounded by heaps of matter (solid, liquid, gas, and plasma), and there appears to be almost no naturally occurring antimatter.

“This is a puzzling feature, as the theory of relativistic quantum mechanics suggests we should have equal amounts of the two,” mathematician Gianluca Sarri from Queen’s University Belfast in the UK writes for The Conversation.

“In fact, no current model of physics can explain the discrepancy.”

It’s a pretty out-there hypothesis, but Scheck says that this uneven distribition of mass and charge causes Barium-144’s nucleus to ‘point’ in a certain direction in spacetime, and this bias could explain why time seems to only want to go from past to present, and not backwards, even if the laws of physics don’t care which way it goes.

Of course, there’s no way of proving that without further evidence, but the discovery is yet another indication that the Universe might not be as symmetrical as the Standard Model of Physics needs it to be, and proving that could usher us into a whole new era of theoretical physics.

This research intrigues me, because time travel (or time manipulation) has been part of many Mandela Effect conversations.
But, I’m anticipating at least one logical argument: Perhaps someone traveled back in time and planted the nuclei that suggest a one-way flow of time. If so, it’s an effective red herring – for now anyway.
Tesseract - Mandela Effect
*Those who believe in the “big bang” theory of the Universe may not be entirely happy with other recent announcements: Massive Genetic Study Reveals 90 Percent Of Earth’s Animals Appeared At The Same Time and Sweeping gene survey reveals new facets of evolution. (Those are two different views of the same basic information.)
Of course, creation, evolution, and “12th planet” histories are an entirely different topic from the Mandela Effect. But, such interesting and radical theories are emerging, I decided to alert you that “everyone knows” histories may be changing. In my opinion, they’re tilting in interesting directions.
Whether or not the possibility of time travel affects Mandela Effect theories – well, that’s another question. (And yes, I suppose the best answer is, “Only time will tell.”)

A Fun Mandela Effect Test

This week, I discovered a quirky, fun test related to the Mandela Effect. It’s created by AlternateMemories.com.

The test is: Take the Mandela Effect Test.

A Fun Mandela Effect TestI took the test and my results were around 50%. I’ll attribute at least half of that score to normal mistakes.

  • Several questions were related to movies I’d never seen but knew about from ads. So, my guesses were more from pop culture than memory.
  • Some were about topics I’d studied casually, but didn’t remember clearly. Again, I was guessing.
  • Less than half of my answers were things I was certain about. Did I get them right, in this reality…? I haven’t a clue. (I didn’t double-check. As is often the case, this week is particularly busy.)

Nevertheless, I think the quiz is great fun.  I wouldn’t take the results very seriously.

In my opinion, it’s more of a great conversation starter.

After taking the test, I contacted someone at AlternateMemories.com. My questions were more rushed than tactful, as I asked him about the intent of his site.

(In the past, I’ve linked hastily to commercial sites, podcasts, and videos… and then been chagrined to discover their agendas and motivations weren’t aligned with my beliefs or what I’m doing.)

Today, the replies I received from someone at AlternateMemories.com were straightforward and more than a little witty. Frankly, I like that kind of dialogue.

Being immersed in this topic for nearly 10 years – and perhaps with tunnel vision, at this point – I’m delighted when others see fresh, new ways to explore the Mandela Effect.

So, I recommend taking the test for a few chuckles, and perhaps some “Hmm… what is the correct answer, in this reality…?” explorations.

And, as I said, I think it’s great conversation fodder.

But don’t hit the panic button if your test score shows you’re nearly 100% impacted by the Mandela Effect.

Instead, it might reflect how much you’ve tuned into pop culture, which can play fast-and-loose with facts, and deliberately misquote (or downright misrepresent) events and media, to avoid potential trademark liabilities.

Click here to take the test, yourself.