50 Mandela Effect Examples That Are Seriously Mind-Bending
If you've ever had a memory of something so vivid that you became flabbergasted upon learning it never happened, you'll be happy to know there's a name for the phenomenon...and you're not alone in this seemingly alternate reality.
Every product is independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
The Mandela Effect
What in the world is the Mandela Effect? In a nutshell, it's having memories that don't match with current reality and history. Fiona Broome, one of the people who coined the term, launched a website in 2009 to document the phenomenon, explains that the Mandela Effect is "is what happens when someone has a clear memory of something that never happened in this reality." But why is it called the Mandela Effect? Well, that brings us to our first example of it.
Nelson Mandela's death
In her explanation of "The Mandela Effect," Broome cites how she and a number of other acquaintances have clear memories of activist and former South African president Nelson Mandela dying in a prison years before his actual passing, complete with a televised funeral. However, in reality, Mandela passed away in 2013 from a respiratory tract infection. This raised the question: How can so many people, strangers even, have the same memory of something that didn't happen as they remember it? If you're curious about Mandela's final days, these are the last photos of him ever taken.
What could we possibly remember incorrectly about that curious little monkey from popular children's literature? There's some debate about whether or not the character is illustrated with a tail. Many remember Curious George as having one in the books written by H.A. Rey. But, no, George never had a tail.
The Berenstain Bears
While we're on the subject of children's book characters, we'd be remiss without mentioning that sweet country bear family The Berenstain Bears. Wait, do you think we've hit a typo? Many report the family name spelled Berenstein, with an "ein" instead of an "ain." But, no, they are the Berenstains. Always have been and likely always will be.
Peanut butter pandemonium
Another popular Mandela Effect example has to do with a classic peanut butter brand. Jif was introduced in 1958 (after being rebranded from Big Top peanut butter). There are PB&J lovers, however, who recall its name as Jiffy. Its possibly they are mixing it up with rival Skippy, but Jif has always simply been Jif.
Rich Uncle Pennybags
Ah, the Monopoly Man ("real" name: Rich Uncle Pennybags). Ever the shrewd business tycoon, he was always dressed to the nines in his top hat and monocle. He did wear a monocle, didn't he? Apparently, he did not. Guess Rich Uncle Pennybags had great vision after all because he was never drawn with the eyepiece. Many of us just picture him that way in our alternate memories. Forget the monocle debacle, we bet you never knew this Monopoly rule.
In 1932 aviator Charles Lindbergh experienced the unthinkable: His 20-month-old son was kidnapped. While a host of people remember the event remaining a cold case, with the child never to be seen again, that's not what happened. Sadly, the toddler's body was found a little more than two months after the initial kidnapping took place. According to an autopsy report, the child had been killed by a blow to the head not long after he was abducted.
Yabba Dabba Doo
They're the most popular Stone Age family, but with such international recognition, why is it so many people don't know how to spell the Flintstones' family name? A lot of times, the first "t" in Flintstones is dropped, with the animated brood referred to as the Flinstones. Nope, their name has always had two of the letter "t." The Flintstones aren't alone with misspellings, these are the most misspelled words in every state.
That's All Folks!
In other animated Mandela Effect oddities, Bugs Bunny and crew are all members of the Looney Tunes family. Yes, that's Tunes, not Toons. This alternate memory is a little more understandable. After all, they're cartoons, so spelling it Looney Toons would make a heck of a lot more sense, don't you think? There actually is a logical explanation for it, though!
As per The Mandela Effect website, one of the more notable alternate memories is the canonization of Mother Teresa. It appears a large segment of the population recalls her becoming a saint back in the 1990s. This, however, isn't the case. According to CNN, Mother Teresa was declared a saint in 2016 by Pope Francis. These are 12 Mother Teresa quotes to live by.