The Mandela Effect is a recent phenomenon that is believed to be caused by confabulations, or false memories, involving certain events happening at different times that "were believed to be remembered," and different spellings of products "than perceived."  The term was coined by Fiona Broome, a paranormal consultant, in 2010 [1]. However, it was most likely not largely widespread until the deaths of Jan Berenstain and Nelson Mandela in 2012 and 2013 respectively. Some believe most older millennials and generations before were born in an "alternate universe" but were shifted into another one within the past several years (thus explaining the minor differences).


Berenstain Bears

Perhaps the most prominent example of the Mandela Effect is the Berenstain Bears, a popular American children's book series and cartoon. Thousands, perhaps even millions, of millennials who once watched the TV series, as well as the younger baby boomers and "Gen X's" who were read the books as children, remember the spelling as "Berenstein" rather than the correct "Berenstain". YouTuber Jabrils published a video in September 2015 trying to disprove the "alternate universe" theory (that is, in the alternate universe it was spelled "Berenstein") (Video Here). Jabrils, in the video, says that "recalling a memory" in reality is actually not recalling it at all, but rather "reconstructing it from nothing or from scratch" [2]. YouTube channel New Rockstars lists examples in TV Guides that do have the spelling as "Berenstein" as well as a book where Panda neighbors move in, which according to the cover shows Papa Bear pissed off (possibly proving Papa Bear is a WASP) [3].

'Stein' is the German word for "stone" and it appears frequently in English, for example in the name of Albert Einstein. People familiar with English words including 'Stein' are likely to remember the name as 'Berenstein' incorrectly.

Snow White

One of the first lines in the movie Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs by the "evil witch" is "Magic mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all [4]. However, many remember the above-line as "Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?" A YouTuber by the name of Become One That Can See somewhat proves that the lines actually are "Mirror, mirror on the wall" by showing book-proof. The book shown is from the 1970s [5].

Death of Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela died on December 5, 2013. However, some people seem to remember him dying while he was still in prison, sometime during the 1980s. Fiona Broome, the one who coined the term "Mandela Effect", wrote in an article how she remembers news reports about his death, his funeral and even riots in nearby-South African cities. One commenter mentioned March 1983 based on his journal writings surrounding the supposed event [6]. However, she later found out Mandela was in fact still alive and shrugged it off, only to find out at a convention many others remember exactly what she did [7].

According to, a 1991 book called English Alive, 1990: writings from High Schools in Southern Africa mentioned his "death" on July 23, 1991 [8]. However, according to, Nelson Mandela and Mangosuthu Gatsha Buthelezi met at a summit meeting in Durban, calling for a ceasefire on the exact same date the book claimed he had died [9].

Looney Tunes

To Be Added Later

Possible Explanations

Occam's Razor

Occam's Razor is a philosophical aspect basically stating that the simpler assumption of two (or more) assumptions is more likely to be true. In other words: the more assumptions you make, the less likely it is to be true! Jabrils uses this explanation to help explain his misremembrance of the series being spelled "Berenstein".

Spelling/Suffix Popularity

For the Berenstain Bears conspiracy, another explanation made by Jabrils is the popularity of the suffix "stein". Mike Berenstain, son of the late Stan and Jan Berenstain (creators of the book series), submitted an email with a link to a recalling in an autobiography by Stan Berenstain. This recalling was during Stan's 4th-grade year during roll call when the teacher stated "there was no such thing as a 'Berenstain' spelling" (See reference #2)

Book vs. Movie Confusion

For the Snow White Conspiracy, it is entirely possible that post people misremembering the witches line as "Mirror, mirror on the wall" instead of "Magic mirror on the wall" were thinking about the book's quote rather than the movie's. According to, the book is originally German, and the lines "Spieglein, spieglein" translates via Google to "Mirror, Mirror". Alternate Memories or possibly even Occam's Razor could be the cause of this misremembrance [10].

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  1. About - Mandela Effect
  2. Berenstein Bears & Mandela Effect Explained? - YouTube
  3. Berenstain Bears Conspiracy PROOF? - AKA Berenstein Bears Explained! - YouTube
  4. Snow white, the Queen and the Magic Mirror 1 - YouTube
  6. Nelson Mandela Died in Prison? - Mandela Effect (Comment by Robert Crowder)
  7. Nelson Mandela Died in Prison? - Mandela Effect
  8. Timeline Shift | Mandela Effect: South African book from 1991 Nelson Mandela Died on 23 July, 1991
  9. Buthelezi and Mandela meet and call for cease-fire | South African History Online
  10. Mirror, Mirror, and Mandela Effect Research - Mandela Effect
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