by:Akhil,Vaishnavi and Keerthana
I absolutely love conspiracy theories and everything to do with them. Sometimes they’re over-the-top crazy theories, and sometimes they actually make sense. But in the end, they are the gateways to imaginative and realistic stories that may be real.
One of my favourite personal conspiracy theories is about the Mandela effect.
The Mandela effect is a concept in which people, with no relation to each other, believe that a particular event transpired when it actually never did.
An easier way of explaining the theory is implying that certain people share a memory of an instance that didn’t occur or occurred differently than how they actually remember it in their minds.
The Mandela effect gets its name from an event in 2013 following the passing of world-renowned leader Nelson Mandela. During this time, many people believed that Nelson Mandela had already passed away in jail in 1980 despite him living on for another few years. The kick here is that the group of people that believed he was dead from 1980 were unrelated and had never met before.
How then did all these unrelated people share a similar memory that had never happened? False memories?
Ok, let us assume some of them did have false memories of the event. But most of them went on to vividly describe the memorial service for Nelson Mandela and a speech given by his wife during his funeral. How could these then be false memories when each one of them recounted similar events that never transpired?
My conspiracy theory is that the Mandela effect is real (like literally!) and is not a mere play-of-the-mind. Many speculations (crazy people like me) support my stance, and I’ll be exploring the three most feasible and believable of the lot.
The most appropriate explanation for the Mandela effect is the existence of alternate realities. To be more specific, parallel universes. The scientific approach to this concept is a wary and tiring path to tread, so I ask you this.
Do you really believe we are the only planet blessed with life in this universe? Is there not a minute chance that there is one more lifeform out there? Is our universe the only one to exist? When we can imagine such a vast nature for the universe, then why not a parallel one?
Now that I’ve (hopefully) convinced you that parallel universes exist, let’s explore how it actually works.
Basically, events transpire differently in our parallel universes. Different decisions lead to different outcomes and therefore lead to different realities. Like what if Hitler had actually won? That’s definitely not a reality I want to remember. So, sometimes discrepancies occur when these parallel universes accidentally spill into our reality. What causes these accidental merges? I don’t know. But are you seriously going to tell me that everything that has happened in history till now was supposed to be precisely that way? I don’t believe that. A small change anywhere in the past could cause changes in the future, and it would become so different that it would have to exist separately as an entirely new entity.
That is why parallel universes, although with no proof of existence, are such a convincing way of explaining the Mandela effect.
Next in line, we have an all-time favorite that is absolutely bonkers but also believable. Time travel.
The concept of time travel is reasonably straightforward. If someone traveled through time to the past or the future and changed the events of what had occurred or what was supposed to occur, the history of that reality would change.
This concept actually ties into our previous claim of parallel universes. But here, instead of looking at reality like separate lines of existence, there is only one reality with an uncountable number of branches. Each branch, representing a change in that reality, would eventually grow into its own reality with branches of its own.
Explained well by movies like Back To The Future and Tenet and novels like A Wrinkle in Time and The Time Machine, time travel caused different events to transpire in a particular reality. These events resulted in the creation of new realities. The interaction between these various realities is what causes the Mandela effect.
In an iconic scene in the movie Star Wars, the character Darth Vader reveals that he is the father of Luke Skywalker to Luke himself. The original line goes, “No, I am your father.”, whereas most of the fanbase remembers the line as “Luke, I am your father.”. The fanbase swore that the line began with the word Luke, but on rewatching the film are bewildered to find out that that is not the case. They even found merchandise as evidence that supported their view, but it was never proven.
This is a small but plausible example to prove the Mandela effect through the merging of realities.
Finally, the theory that even I would say is a bit far-fetched is the ideology that we are all living in a real-life simulation.
Two factors question this theory but don’t disprove it. First, it would mean that everything we do to the smallest detail, like dropping a spoon, is written down and executed like a movie script. This, to me, is highly unlikely. Second, for us to be in a simulation, someone would have had to create everything in our simulation and would be controlling everything. This also seems too complex to imagine as it implies someone is controlling our whole lives.
But some factors support the theory of a simulation. The number of reports and actual captured footage that show abnormal events like people appearing out of nowhere or objects strangely duplicated could all be ‘glitches’ in the system. These could all be errors that the ‘people’ running the program forgot to correct.
Our constant development in the type of technology that humankind can create is another factor that proves that we may be able to actually run simulations like our world in the future. So, what if we are a simulation running in the future, being controlled by really advanced beings?
The story of The Matrix explores this unique, abnormal perspective on our reality and does an admirable job of convincing the audience that we are actually living in a simulation.
Now that I’ve finished ranting about the Mandela effect and trying to convince you that it’s true, I’d like to end this by saying that the Mandela effect, at the end of the day, is a conspiracy theory. It may be true, although it has a higher chance of not being legitimate. But there is also no proof otherwise to state that the Mandela effect is not real.
There are no hard distinctions between what is real and what is unreal, nor between what is true and what is false. A thing is not necessarily either true or false; it can be either true or false.