NASA black hole space

Have You Experienced the Mandela Effect?

Remember the Berenstein Bears? Even for those who never read the books, the characters are such a huge part of pop culture that everyone has heard of them. There’s just one problem: they are actually the BerenstAin Bears, and we’ve been spelling it wrong this whole time.

Berenstein Berenstain Bears computers mandela

As Vice explains, this bizarre realization is due to something called the Mandela Effect, wherein a huge amount of people collectively “remember” something that doesn’t mesh with reality. While the common sense explanation is that “BerenstAin” is simply a less familiar name to Western audiences than BerenstEin would be, there are those who believe that this is actually a glitch in the Matrix, the ultimate sign that parallel universes exist, and that those who who think it was BerenstEin at some point slipped into this reality without realizing it.

Oops. Maybe that explains John Titor?

I can’t say I’m a believer in the idea that my Berenstein memories are the result of some reality-hopping shenanigans, but we live in a weird universe, so who knows. Either way, as someone who got weirded out by the BerenstAin thing when I first read it, it’s fun to spot other examples of the so-called Mandela Effect. Here are a few you might have noticed:

fruit loops froot loops mandela

Froot Loops spells its name with two Os, formed by pieces of the cereal. It is not, and has never been, “Fruit” Loops. Hey, nobody ever said that toucans knew how to spell.

Sinbad Shazam Genie movie

No, Sinbad never played a genie in a nineties movie called Shazaam, though lots of people seem to think they saw such a film when they were younger. Most likely, this is due to people misremembering a real 1996 genie movie, Kazaam, where the ancient magical being was played by Shaquille O’Neal. Sinbad has spoken at length about the fact that people always seem to think he starred in a movie that never really happened, and the theory grew popular enough that College Humor made its own version for an April Fools prank in 2017.

Street Sharks Roxie

You probably never watched Street Sharks, a lesser-known Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles imitator which followed a crew of mutant shark vigilantes who all had a notable disdain for pizza, but liked eating everything else. However, a lot of people seem to recall a female shark character named Roxie… who never existed.

As it happens, this false collective memory is the result of a middle school prank by writer Jordan Minor, who finally spilled the beans in a 2016 editorial on Geek.com. Basically, back in the early 2000s, he was the editor for the TVTome.com page for Street Sharks,  and he filled the page with fake information. Ironically, some people “remember” the made-up character of Roxie as their favorite (or least favorite) part of the show.

What about you folks? Any reality slips happening? Do you have any examples of when you were impacted by the Mandela Effect?

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