Many people ask me to explain the Mandela Effect.
There is no single, universal explanation for all the alternate memories people have shared.
(And I definitely can’t explain Berenstein/Berenstain Bears memories. That memory is just weird.)
The Mandela Effect: Some real-world explanations
- Most likely, flawed news reporting – like “Dewey Defeats Truman” and pre-written obituaries, published by mistake – led some people astray. (Perhaps one person saw a mistaken news report and told two people… who told two people, and so on.)
- In some cases, rumors and wishful thinking achieve headline status. In the past, Elvis sightings were an example of this.
- Sometimes, fiction and fact are confused. That happened with The War of the Worlds 1938 radio broadcast. (Some people took it seriously.)
- Memories can be flawed. Ask any divorced couple why they broke up, and you’re likely to hear two conflicting stories, apparently believed by the respective party. The more they tell their version of the tale, the truer it seems to become – to them, anyway.
Other websites (and doctors and textbooks) cover those topics far better than I ever could.
The lighter side of Mandela Effect explanations
While the Sliders concept makes the most sense to me, I also like the holodeck concept presented in Star Trek’s episodes with Professor Moriarty.
If you want more nuts-and-bolts science, consider Dr. Fred Alan Wolf’s theories.
In this excerpt from a 2010 interview, Dr. Wolf talks about reality and dreaming. Though his most relevant dream theories start at about the 6:36 point, to understand the concepts best, watch this entire YouTube video.
To learn more about some of Dr. Wolf’s theories and their connection with science, see his paper, The Dreaming Universe – Q&A
And, to delve more deeply into the quantum theories related to this, see his early, simple thesis, Dreaming Universe Paper.
Some suggest we’re time travelers, but – perhaps due to “doorway effect” – we don’t realize it.
Physicist Fred Alan Wolf suggested that in his book, The Yoga of Time Travel.
In the Introduction of that book, he reminds us, “… a scientific basis for time travel was established more than a hundred years ago… Albert Einstein and Hermann Minkowski showed how it was theoretically possible in 1905 and 1908.”
“…let me tell you a secret: Some of the remarkable people you meet in life are time travelers. A few of these people know it; the others time travel without realizing it, but they do it just the same. These are the people who appear older than their years or, yes, often enough considerably younger.” [Emphasis added.]
How readers explained the Mandela Effect
I compiled it from all 500+ comments – some of them very long and detailed.
A few suggestions were preposterous or even silly.
But many were science-based and well explained by scientists working in related fields.
The Mandela Effect – Theories and Explanations is so long – and sometimes technical – I recommend the paperback edition.
(Ask your public library to order a copy so you can borrow it and take your time reading it.)
Take the Mandela Effect with a grain of salt…?
In general, I think Mandela Effect discussions should light and fun.
For many of us, this website was the most fun when it was in the “what if…?” phase of whimsical speculation.
If you start taking the Mandela Effect seriously or – worse – start thinking it’s a conspiracy, or that you’re losing your mind, talk with a professional about it.
The Mandela Effect still intrigues me. Now and then, I stumble onto an alternate memory that astonishes me.
I urge you to treat this topic lightly.
I believe the future is far more interesting than endlessly dissecting the past… whatever did or didn’t happen.
Look to the future. That’s where we’re going. The rear-view mirror is fine as a reference, but to get where you want to be, keep looking forward.