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Efecto Mandela

Definition of Efecto Mandela

The Mandela Effect, Efecto Mandela in Spanish, refers to those false memories that a group of society shares. For some reason the brain plays a trick on us and we remember something that never happened. In other words, we collectively make things up even though they never happened.

SYNONYMS FOR Efecto Mandela

  1. Collective conspiracy
  2. Deception
  3. False memories

ORIGIN OF Efecto Mandela

This is a term that blogger and paranormal pseudoscientist Fiona Broome coined when she detailed the memory of former South African President Nelson Mandela’s death in prison in the 1980s, despite the fact that the leader lived until 2013.

Yet Broome was able to describe the memory of the media coverage of the former president’s death and even his widow’s speech. But none of that happened.

If Broome’s thoughts had been isolated, that would have been a determining factor. However, Broome discovered that many other people thought exactly the same as she did, even though the event never happened.

She was not the only one who felt this had happened and as a result the concept of the Mandela effect was “born”.

There are many examples of the Mandela effect in popular culture.

Some experts explain that memories are constructed periodically throughout our lives, but modified by external and internal stimuli; so that changes occur throughout our lifetime of the original memories and the experience itself.

Other practitioners explain the Mandela effect as a form of confabulation.

A very common similarity to explain this confabulation are the so-called “honest lies”, that is to say, an individual creates a false memory without the intention of lying or deceiving others, the only thing he or she unconsciously wishes to do is to fill the gaps in his or her own memory.


Conspiracy theorists believe that the Mandela effect is an example of parallel universes present in society. However, doctors have a very different explanation of memory and how some memories, although vivid, can be false.