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Metaphysics & Psychology

The Mandela effect in action: How the concept of multiverses explains errors in geographical knowledge

The Mandela effect in action: How the concept of multiverses explains errors in geographical knowledge 1

The phenomenon, which is called the Mandela Effect, is becoming more and more common in the world. It is a strange phenomenon when many people have vivid memories of things, people or events that are different from the actual facts. It can refer to biographies of famous people, historical events, or even movies. 

For example, some people are convinced that in the scene of the police chasing the bandit, the latter shoots the policeman several times and misses, although in reality this was not the case in this scene, and the bandit did not even have a weapon.

The Mandela Effect was revealed in 2010 when Fiona Broome, a researcher of anomalous phenomena, found herself believing that South African politician Nelson Mandela had died in prison in the 1980s. However, Mandela was actually alive and well in 2010 and only died in 2013 from a respiratory illness at his home. 

After Fiona Broom shared her observations on the Internet, it turned out that many people were also convinced of the death of Mandela in the 80s and had vivid memories of detailed reporting on the news. Some even claimed to have read about it in school textbooks. Subsequently, it turned out that a similar effect can be applied to many other things, but it was from the first observation that this phenomenon was called the Mandela Effect.

Mandela Effect also found in Geography?

Many people have erroneous ideas about the location of countries and even their shape. They believe that countries used to be in a different place on world maps than they are now. New Zealand is an example of this. Can you determine its location without looking at the map? Is it in the northeast or southeast of Australia? Or maybe in the west or even in the east?

The correct answer is that New Zealand is in the extreme southeast of Australia, about 1200 miles from the mainland. However, for many people this answer seems to be wrong. They have different ideas about the location of New Zealand, which have been formed since childhood. Some believe that it is located much to the south, while others believe that New Zealand is located almost off the coast of Australia in the northeast. One Reddit user described his point of view, and another user was shocked by his misconceptions.

“I remember very well that it was to the west of Australia. I was 16 years old when I bought myself a desktop globe for self-education and on it New Zealand was located precisely in the west of Australia. I also remember thinking that it would be easy to remember, so as it is in the west, on the same side as the USA.”

“When I read about this, I specifically went to my sister’s wall map, which I had been looking at for many years. I was sure that New Zealand was located in the northeast of Australia. And so I looked at the map and saw that on it’s actually in the southeast and quite far from the continent, it was like a punch in the stomach for me!”

The Mandela effect in action.  How the concept of multiverses explains errors in geographical knowledge

The Mandela effect in geography has influenced not only New Zealand, but also some other countries, such as Sri Lanka. Check yourself: where do you think Sri Lanka is located? If you said that it is in the south of India, then you are mistaken. In fact, Sri Lanka is located in the southeast of India. But many people believe otherwise and believe that it is in the south. This Sri Lankan mystery has been discussed on The Mandela Effect website.

“I asked the five closest people where they think Sri Lanka is and then asked them to draw how it is located relative to India. They all remembered that Sri Lanka is located directly below India in the south and drew accordingly. At the same time, I myself the Indian and the interviewees were also Indians and Sri Lanka is our closest neighbor by the sea. And yet they were all wrong.”

Also, a similar phenomenon can be observed in the example of Cuba. Many people think that it is much closer to Florida than to Mexico, but in fact, the distance from Florida to Cuba is 142 miles, and from Mexico to Cuba – 133 miles. 

Another example is Japan. Many believe that it is located much to the south and closer to China, but in fact it is to the north and closer to Russia. 

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Greenland is another country that has “disappeared” off the map for many people. Few people know that it is located very close to Canada (only 14 miles from Canadian territories) and at the same time much larger than they think. Greenland is about 21 times the size of Iceland.

The most amazing geographical phenomenon associated with the Mandela Effect is the Svalbard archipelago in the Arctic Ocean. This is a large island, with an area of ​​61,022 km², with a rich history dating back to the 12th century, its own culture, traditions and population. However, many people believe that Svalbard appeared on the maps quite recently and did not exist before.

The Mandela effect in action.  How the concept of multiverses explains errors in geographical knowledge

Nunavut is not just a piece of land, it is a vast territory the size of France, Texas and California combined. Some people have never heard of such a place or seen it on maps. It would seem that this is the opinion of uneducated people, but such errors can be characteristic even of people who are well versed in geography. 

Why? Perhaps they are simply convinced that the world looked different in the past. They saw it on maps in textbooks, on TV and in other sources. When they look at modern maps on the internet, they may find it hard to believe what they see.

Some people who study the Mandela Effect believe in the concept of multiverses. They argue that there are a huge number of parallel worlds around us, in which our reality has countless alternative versions. In one of these worlds, for example, you may like green instead of red, while in another, countries may have completely different locations on the map. 

If a person unconsciously moves from one such reality to another, then he may not even notice the differences and continue his life, unaware of the changes. However, his memories may contain other facts about people or the location of countries.


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