Photo: Deanna Krueger

Are you sure you remember it like that?

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By Gabrielle Angeli Estranero Olano

Most of us claim to have short-term memory loss when we can’t recall the name of someone we had just met or forget the thing we were just told to do. Whether you’re 19, 43 or 68 there are millions of things inexplicably burned into your memory from your childhood.

Young adults today still remember the words to the opening theme of Timothy Goes to School and what to say when Swiper came along. But are you truly sure you remember these things correctly?

As a kid, you probably watched Ash from Pokémon travel around the Kanto region battling random people along with his trusty sidekick Pikachu on your not-so-flat screen TV. Pikachu’s adorable cry and appearance has made him an essential aspect to the Pokémon world. How could you forget his little yellowtail with the black tip whipping the asses of other Pokémon?

Well, you didn’t forget ‘tailwhip,’ but you most-probably forgot how Pikachu’s tail really looked like. If you agreed without questioning the description of Pikachu’s tail, you didn’t realize that his tail doesn’t have a black tip. You probably also didn’t realize that our favourite cartoon monkey, Curious George doesn’t even have a tail. Go on, google it.

Of course, you remember learning valuable lessons with Sister Bear, Brother Bear, Mama Bear, and Papa Bear from The Berenstein Bears. Wait a minute, we mean The BerenstAin Bears. Oh, you thought it was spelt with three E’s? Sike.

Why does it seem like half the world remembered all these things the same way, not knowing that they’ve been remembering it wrong the whole time? You’re definitely not the only one who spelt it with an E instead of an A.

There’s actually an explanation for it all, known as the Mandela Effect. It is a phenomenon in which a large number of people share the same false memories of the past, deriving its name from Nelson Mandela. It originated from when many believed that Mandela had passed away during his imprisonment in the 1980’s. Because it strangely involves a significant amount of people having the same false memories, this phenomenon is known to be related to the idea of alternate realities.

So could it really be that we are living in parallel universes and the things we’re nostalgic about are actually different from what we had always thought it to be? Surprisingly, there are people who have gone further into research to prove this idea.

In 2016, a post about a VHS tape of The BerenstEin Bears with legitimate visual proof had surfaced on Reddit, and in 2017, labels with “Berenstein” were shown to be attached to Mama Bear and Papa Bear plushies. Did the Berenstein Bears themselves ever spell out their own name?

Based on the evidence, it seems that The BerenstEin Bears did, in fact, exist, despite writers claiming it has always been with an A. Honestly, the production team probably wasn’t getting their shit together.

There’s a whole list of things that many people falsely remember, and realizing it now is ruining nostalgic moments with this huge mind-fuck. For example, the Monopoly guy doesn’t have a monocle (which is totally a missed opportunity) and Darth Vader said “No (not “Luke”), I am your father”.

Hopefully, all of that wasn’t too much to handle.

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