24 Comments

  1. Quarantain? Who has ever said or written quarantain?

    In other words, this was a CIDU for me, until I clicked on the link and made it to Mandela effect #4. The cartoon above is, of course, two of the Berenstain Bears. One of the claimed Mandela effects (i.e., widespread examples of a false memory) is that apparently many people remember them as the Berenstein Bears. I provide this information so others won’t have to click through a slide show.

    It seems to me that it would have been funnier, and a better example of a Mandela effect, if Papa Bear had been surprised by the spelling quarantine and asked if it didn’t used to be quarantain.

  2. Well of course a generation of Berenstain Bears readers wouldn’t get this. The original Berenstain Bears didn’t look anything like these 2. Even their 1962 breakthrough book was redrawn with these new bears in the 2002 reissue.. I’m sure people, i.e. me, wouldn’t even recognize them in a bookstore. I find only superficial character in the new look, while experiencing deep almost visceral personality and mood in the original. How about we call these redraws, the “Berenstein” Bears and the originals, the “Berenstain” Bears? They’ve both changed, one inside, and one outside, of our brains. [Geezer from the 60s]

  3. I remember, long before the Berenstain Bears, the cartoons by Stanley and Janice Berenstain in one of the magazines my mom subscribed to. They featured a human family and appeared to be inspired by Jean Kerr’s book “Please Don’t Eat the Daisies.” And of course I noticed the difference in spelling between Stanley and Janice Berenstain in the magazine and Leonard Bernstein on TV. They never changed their name from Berenstain to Bernstein but they did change their names from Stanley and Janice to Stan and Jan.

  4. All I got was a heading about Mandela Effect (something to do with Nelson Mandela? I thought), so thanks for the #4 explanation so I don’t have to look it up.

  5. Well, I wasn’t far wrong:
    In her explanation of “The Mandela Effect,” Broome cites how she and a number of other acquaintances have clear memories of activist and former South African president Nelson Mandela dying in a prison years before his actual passing, complete with a televised funeral. However, in reality, Mandela passed away in 2013 from a respiratory tract infection. This raised the question: How can so many people, strangers even, have the same memory of something that didn’t happen as they remember it?

  6. Incidents of “” do occur, but some of the items on that list seem about as authentic as those on lists of “actual mondegreens”, and it’s hardly relevant when a “paranormal consultant” (*) merely claims that other people made the same mistake that she did.
    The logical explanation in Mandela’s case would be a repeated conflation with any one of a number of other apartheid activist killed in custody by South African authorities, in particular with “Steve Biko”, whose death was memorialized in a song by Peter Gabriel in 1980.
    P.S. (*) – That self-proclaimed title is both incredibly accurate and highly amusing.

  7. You’re being kind calling that “not the world’s best article.” The author has a very shaky grasp of what the Mandela Effect is: somebody thinking the Challenger exploded in 1985 rather than 1986 really doesn’t apply.

  8. There’s a lot of psychological phenomena shared world building that is astonishing but in my opinion the Mandella effect is really weak and insubstantial. Most are misremembered details and it’s not really that they are shared as there aren’t many ways to misremember and often there is something else that confuses them. Mandella confused for Biko; rememberence of *cartoons* about Henry the VIII and the turkey leg (of which there are *many*) for an actual portrait.

    The only two which actually astound me are that, yes, I really could swear it was the Berenstein bears. And I could also *swear* it was Mia Hamm who tore of her sports Jersey. ….. But…..no-one but me has that second memory.

  9. A misspelling I only noticed a few weeks ago: I always thought it was entrepeneur, not entrepreneur, not that I write it down very often. I should probably have known as it is connected with “enterprise”, but still, I was surpised to discover my missing-r error.

    Of the 40 Mandala-affect ex-samples in that article, some are a bit feeble. Misremembering the Challenger shuttle explosion as 1985 rather than 1986 is neither here nor there (well, for the general public, not for family, friends and co-workers and so on). But if a lot of people misremembered Apollo 11 as happening in 1970 instead of 1969, that would be genuinely odd given the whole “by the end of the 60s” urgency of the mission.

    Talking of 1969 and 1970, the movie Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood last year went to a lot of trouble to recreate the general environment leading up to the time of the Sharon Tate murder in summer 1969, yet the movie had characters flying US-Europe in a 747 jumbo. Reasonably famously, the 747 didn’t start commercial service until 1970, and obviously started with the short, bubblier upper deck of the earliest models. The 747 the film-makers put in the movie had the extended straight-line upper deck of later models that came in well into the 1980s. Perhaps film-makers of a certain age Mandelassumed that the 747 has ALWAYS been flying, and maybe even that just having a 4-engine plane was enough of a marker of old times in this modern world of twin-jets, especially for a younger audience. But even without the technical error, showing people crossing the Atlantic in smaller 707s or DC-8s would have been more evocative of the time.

  10. I’m not sure what Kevin A is talking about. The bears in this comic obviously don’t closely resemble the actual characters, as this comic was not drawn by the Berenstains. But the Berenstains’ drawings look fairly consistent to me dating back at least to the 80s, when I was reading them. I wouldn’t be surprised to find that their first few books didn’t look the same, but surely not enough different as to be confusing.

  11. True confession: I referred to the cartoonist couple as the Berensteins for the longest time. That’s how I understand the joke, anyway.

  12. I think the confusion about spelling the authors’ name depends largely on how one thinks it’s supposed to be pronounced. No matter whether it were “…stain” or “…stein“, the “original” (Germanic) pronunciation would be “[stine]”, although I suppose some Americans might think of the latter spelling as being “[…steen]”. The reason I never had trouble with the spelling was that I misremembered the pronunciation as “[…stane]”.
    P.S. Even though I’ve never read any of their creepier books, I’ve never liked those bears (they were simply too saccharine and moralizing for my taste).

  13. @Powers The bears in the panel are the revised (or better, evolved) look of the Berenstain Bears. The original look was quite different; instead of that smooth curled-under fur you see here, they had a dense pack of individual black and whitish hairs sticking nearly straight out from their head and down the Dad’s chin. Also the original noses [or what ever that protruding part is called] were more extended and pronounced.
    I just did a Google image search and found most of the pictures were the later look. The cover of the original book, “The Great Honey Hunt by Stanley and Janice Berenstain” has the original look. There are a few videos of the original-look book being read aloud in the regular search.
    I lived out in the country on a lake (less than an hour from NYC) and the 1962 version of “The Great Honey Hunt” may be the only Berenstain Bears book I ever saw in my grade school years.. It was at someone else’s house (or possibly school). I have almost always (not always) had the name right through the years because I’d heard it on television.

  14. The origin of the Mandela Effect term has long puzzled me because Nelson Mandela being released from prison and then becoming president of South Africa almost immediately post-apartheid was big international news. I don’t think I’ve ever actually heard from anyone who thought he died in prison, but apparently such people are numerous.

    Now folks who remember the Berenstain Bears as the Berenstein Bears, those people I have encountered. I long recalled the correct spelling because I had a lot of the Bears books when I was a kid, some with the old-style artwork (which is different, but not unrecognizably so, I would argue) but most with the new, and my parents actually corrected me when I spelled the name with a “stein” back then.

  15. One of the more well-known “Mandela Effect” examples, the line “Hello Clarice” that was never said in Silence Of The Lambs but has been used in countless Hannibal Lecter impressions used to really puzzle me. For several years, I thought folks dropping “Hello Clarice” bits were referencing the 1952 Disney short cartoon “Two Chips and a Miss”, where Chip and Dale compete for the affections of a female chipmunk nightclub singer named Clarice. Chip and Dale say, verbatim, “Hello Clarice” in unison when she opens her dressing room door.

  16. @ Kevin A – Just to make searching easier for everyone else: the adjective in the title is “big”, not “great” and the Wikipedia article on “The Big Honey Hunt” shows both the original and the revised covers.

  17. It was always my understanding that everybody did remember Mandela having been release from prison and becoming president. It was only when he died years later that so many people (including me) was convinced he’d died years earlier (but post-presidency). Not really that odd, when a once-famous person suddenly falls out of the spotlight.

    I’m sure when Kissinger dies, the majority of my generational cohort will think I was sure he died decades ago

  18. One of my favorite Mandela Effect things is Bill Buckner’s error in the 7th game of the 1986 World Series without which the Sox would have won the series on the spot. Real baseball fans can tell us just how inaccurate that last sentence is and why it’s unfair to Buckner, but we have this need to put the entire blame on one person or one incident for anything that goes wrong.

  19. Has the Mandela Effect been around long enough that it merits a ‘Geezer’ tag?
    I think the guy who everybody was convinced died in prison was Steve Biko. But those people don’t know his name, and ‘that guy’ is not a valid search term, if you expect specific results.
    I never liked the bears, so didn’t care about the ‘stain or stine’ thing. Does a bear’s last name have any effect on what it does in the woods?

  20. If it’s name was Rockefeller – it might have more elegant things to use even in the woods.

    In my teddy bear figuring village one thing which was lacking (since there are no woods) was public toilets. The honey store was one of those places – if you didn’t buy something they would not let you use the facilities. The village was helped out by the installation of a out house near the ski/snow mountain in winter – playground in summer (courtesy of the Senior Bears group whose sales stand is located there. Later when the pond area was developed a second, more countryish outhouse opened there.

    But last year the problem was solved – a new municipal building including school appeared and there is a door to the left for the boys room and one to the right for the girls room – right from outside so it can be used when the building is otherwise closed. Long lines formed the the day they opened. 🙂

    Yes, we are silly – and there is papa Berenstain bear in the village – courtesy of a toy giveaway at Burger King years ago..

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