What is the Mandela Effect? | Iris Reading
What is the Mandela Effect?

What is the Mandela Effect?

What is the Mandela Effect?

Have you ever been so sure of something happening only to find out later that you had it all wrong? Fiona Broome was one person who was sure her memory was correct but ended up not matching current reality. Beginning in 2009, she started documenting these memories on her website, The Mandela Effect. Broome explains that the Mandela Effect is, “what happens when someone has a clear memory of something that never happened in this reality.” In other words, our minds have created a false memory. 

Things picked up steam in 2013 when South African and philanthropist, Nelson Mandela passed away. Many swear that Mandela died in prison years before. This common memory coined Broome’s site and caused people to search for other false memories they may have. The collective memories below will have you questioning other memories you have that may not be true.

Curious George’s tail

Picture this lovable children’s character in your mind. Does he have a tail? If you said yes, you’d be amongst the majority of internet users polled. However, the chimp never had a tail.

TV’s Stone Age family’s name

Yaba daba doo! TV’s classic cartoon’s name is often misspelled, causing it to be one of the most expensive typos to date. Many spell the Flintstones with one letter “t” when in fact, there were always two.

Darth Vader

The most die-hard Star Wars fans swear that Darth Vader says, “Luke, I am your father.” It always surprises others when they are corrected, learning that Darth Vader really said, “No, I am your father.”


The droid from Star Wars is often misremembered as much as Darth Vader’s famous words. Picture him in your mind. Is the robot gold and only gold? A real fan will tell you that there is silver on his leg.

Only you can prevent forest fires

Name that character who is always looking out for America’s wilderness. Smokey Bear, that’s who! Not, Smokey the Bear as many people recall his name being.

We are the champions

The movie Bohemian Rhapsody was one of the most talked-about films of 2018. Much of the talk surrounded their song, “We are the champions.” Music lovers remember Freddie Mercury ending the song with “of the world.” However, he doesn’t. Go ahead and listen for yourself!

Sex and the City

HBO’s hit series of four best friends living in New York City has fans questioning what the title actually was. Some fans swear that the title of the show’s pilot episode was “Sex in the City.” No, the title has always been “Sex and the City.” 


Ask a stranger how to spell the tasty chocolate bar KitKat, and they’ll most likely hyphenate it. There has never been a hyphen in the name nor a space between Kit and Kat. The candy bar has always been one word.  

Leonardo DiCaprio

Actor of James Cameron’s “Titanic,” Leonardo DiCaprio is a decorated actor. In 1998, the film dominated the Academy Awards, except for the award for best actor. DiCaprio didn’t receive an Academy Award until 2016 for his role in “The Revenant.”

101 Dalmatians

Disney’s film about 101 puppies being kidnapped to make a fur coat is one of their most popular flicks. Cruella is caught before she is able to commit a horrible crime. Many swear that her last name is DeVille, when it is spelled DeVil.

The Berenstain Bears

One of the most popular examples of the Mandella Effect is The Berenstain Bears. There is no typo here. The children’s book has always been The Berenstain Bears with an “a.” Not The Berenstein Bears with an “e” like so many “remember” it to be.

Has this opened your eyes to how it can be so easy to believe in a false memory? Trust your memory again by improving it with Iris Reading’s Maximizing Memory online course. Ideal for both students and professionals, you’ll learn practical techniques to remember more of what you read. Now you’ll never question the title of a book or TV show again. Click to learn more.

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