A bizarre conspiracy theory known as the ‘Mandela Effect’ is emerging, and more and more people are buying into it.
The theory is named after many people’s belief that Nelson Mandela actually died in prison rather than going on to rule South Africa and dying in 2013 – claims memories from a parallel universe could seep over into this one.
Fiona Broome, a paranormal consultant and creator of the Mandela Effect, explains on her website: “Many of us — mostly total strangers — remember the exact same events with the exact same details.
“However, our memories are different from what’s in history books, newspaper archives, and so on.
“This isn’t a conspiracy, and we’re not talking about ‘false memories’.
“Many of us speculate that parallel realities exist, and we’ve been “sliding” between them without realising it.”
The theory really gained traction last year when boxing legend Muhammad Ali died in June at the age of 74.
However, despite widespread coverage of his death and his ensuing funeral, many believe they remember ‘The World’s Greatest’ dying several years ago.
People took to social media to express their disbelief at Ali’s then recent death.
One person wrote: “Mandela effect!!! I remember Muhammad Ali dying in the 90s.”
Another added: “RIP Mohammed Ali, this is the second time you have died, MANDELA EFFECT strikes again”.
Other theories that fall into the Mandela Effect include the belief that Hurricane Katrina did not strike in August 2005, but rather four months earlier, and Dirty Dancing’s Patrick Swayze survived his cancer battle in 2009.
Ms Broome says she hasn’t got “a clue” what causes the out-there phenomenon.
However, psychiatrists have offered up a solution – the misinformation effect.
According to an article in the scientific journal Learning & Memory: “The misinformation effect refers to the impairment in memory for the past that arises after exposure to misleading information.”