by BRANDON UTLEY
Be prepared to have your mind blown.
Have you ever heard of a show called The Berenstein Bears? You know, the children’s show based on the beloved book series about a family of bears. Everyone seemed to love that show and book series back in the day.
But what if I told you that it never existed?
That’s right. The name The BerenSTEIN Bears has never been real. The name has always been The BerenSTAIN Bears.
I know, you’re pretty shook right now, and you’re not alone. Actually, you are part of the 93 percent of people who remember the show being spelled with an ‘E.’
This memory lapse is part of a phenomenon called the Mandela Effect.
The term “Mandela Effect” is used when a large percentage of the population remember an event or item as being a certain way, when it actually has been completely different all along.
It was named after the late Nelson Mandela, who died in 2013. Many people distinctively remember him dying during his time spent in prison back in the 1980s.
There are hundreds of examples, but not all are as common. Some of the most popular examples are listed in the accompanying graph.
From popular movie quotes to the physical appearance of some of pop culture’s most beloved icons, this phenomenon has left people questioning their very existence.
YouTuber Shane Dawson made a video about the Mandela Effect and some of the explanations in August of 2016. This video brought more attention to the phenomenon and people started to create theories as to why this occur.
One theory that was based on the principles of quantum mechanics says that people experiencing the Mandela Effect have switched over to a parallel universe. People believe that somewhere in our lifetime, some of us have switched into a universe where certain things are not as we remembered.
Another theory, which is slightly more believable, is time travel. Some people believe that, somewhere in the future, time travel exists and people have been traveling back and forth, causing a small butterfly effect.
As fun as these theories are, neither one of them are true.
The reason people cannot remember the color of Pikachu’s tail, or the spelling of Febreze, is a phenomenon called “confabulation.” This is defined as an unconscious process of creating a narrative that the narrator believes is true but is demonstrably false.
The results of the informal study above, based on 85 respondents, can all be explained using this definition.
For example, the movie quotes and names have gained so much popularity one way, that people never paid enough attention to what the exact line or phrase was.
As for the physical appearance of the characters, most of the mistakes are based on simple forgetfulness. Most people wear suspenders when dressing up a Mickey Mouse, so people just assume that Mickey wore suspenders.
Overall, the Mandela Effect is a phenomenon that leaves many things open to discussion and causes a large amount of confusion, but it can all be explained by a glitch in our memory.
Sorry, everyone: There are no parallel universes or time travelers (that we know of) – just simple human mistakes.