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Historical Events  Art
Easter Island statues

Where did you get that hat?

MMDE: Easter Island statues did not have hats

Current: Some Easter Island statues wore hats

One look at the picture of the Easter Island statues wearing hats makes most people ask if they are real, along with comments along the lines of them looking silly, or more generally out of place.

These images are so striking that the hats are being reported as a Mandela Effect, because many people are sure they would have seen them and remembered them before. In other words, it's not a case of them misremembering, but instead the past has somehow changed for them.

Some hats appear red, and some of their eyes are painted blue too.

They are called the Moai, and represented deceased ancestors. They were carved by the Rapa Nui people of Easter Island in Polynesia around 1300 years ago.

Historical Events  Books
Aladdin

What nationality was Aladdin?

MMDE: Arabian

Current: Chinese

Arabian Nights is one of the most famous stories ever told.

It's unique blend of adventure, magic, mystery and exotic locations has thrilled countless generations down the years. So you'd have thought something as fundamental as the apparently obvious race of the lead character, Aladdin, would be known to all by now. Guess what? He's been Chinese all along.

The Aladdin story is part of the "One thousand and One Nights" told by Scheherazade, a concubine who's life literally depended on her not completing a story in order to keep the Sultan hanging on for more, because if he thought he'd no futher use for her, he''d have her killed.

The legend goes that Aladdin, the story, was created as part of this, along with the Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves story and the Seven Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor, amongst others.

Historical Events  People
Queen Victoria

Are you amused now, your majesty?

MMDE: Queen Victoria did not take cocaine

Current: Queen Victoria took cocaine

We think of drugs, and the war on drugs, as a modern phenomenon, but these all have origin stories. When first created, there would have been no indication how things would ultimately play out in terms of side effects and the long term impact on society. In fact, it's not just drugs which were freely available before legisltaion - dangerous substances were too. It was possible to walk into a chemist in the 19th century and buy cocaine, opium and even arsenic.

Queen Victoria took cocaine in the form of chewing gum, with of all people a young Winston Churchill. Today this sounds ridiculous, but back then it's immidiate physical effects would not have been seen as harmful.

Historical Events  TV
Jack Daniels Whiskey

"Where's me Spinach?"

MMDE: Popeye's enemy was always called Brutus

Current: Popeye's enemy was sometimes Bluto, sometimes Brutus

Everyone remembers Popeye always chasing Olive Oyl for her affections. His rival, a loud, bearded, beefy sailor featured in many storylines. What was that sailor's name in most episodes? If you said "Brutus", you'd be wrong. Sure, there was a name change involved later, but for most of the episodes he was actually called "Bluto".

He's shown as not very smart, instead relying on his strength to carry out whatever caper he's involved with. Usually, just when Popeye seemed defeated by this, he'd flip open his can of trusty spinach and then, with his new but short-lived superhero strength, be able to defeat him once more.

In fact his name was changed in 1957 from Bluto to Brutus due to fear of a copyright infringement. Since then, there have been attempts to portray them as separate people - twins in fact.

Historical Events  Books
Jack Daniels Whiskey

Not all he's cracked up to be?

MMDE: Humpty Dumpty is an egg

Current: Humpty Dumpty is not an egg

What is Humpty Dumpty?

As soon as most people see the name, a mental picture of a fat egg with thin arms and legs perched precariously on a wall springs up. Why is this? References today show many images this way, but there's nothing in the original which remotely indicates he was in any way connected to eggs.

In fact one origin story has him as a cannon. This make some sense - it was on a wall, it is described as being broken beyond repair by "all the kings horses and all the kings men", i.e. an army, and has been linked to a battle in Colchester, England, during the English Civil War in 1648.

Historical Events  Brands
Jack Daniels Whiskey

Who created Jack Daniel's whiskey?

MMDE: Jack Daniel

Current: A slave on the Daniel estate

Who created Jack Daniel's whiskey? This might sounds like a stupid question, since there definitely was a Jack Daniel who started distilling at the age of 8, yet if you thought he was the creator you'd be wrong.

Jack Daniels is now the top selling American Whiskey in the world.

It was actually, of all people, a slave, known as Nearis "Nearest" Green, who created it and passed his skills along to young Jack. The story has "apparently" been known all along, yet even the 150 year old company promoted the myth it was Dan Call, the owner of Nearis, who passed on to Daniel his distilling know-how.

Historical Events  TV
Steve Bartman

Cubs v Martins, October 2003

MMDE: Steve Bartman caught the ball

Current: Steve Bartman did not catch the ball

Some people remember in 2003 Steve Bartman caught a ball that was still in play, ruining the game for the Chicago cubs. They recall he had to be escorted by police out of the stadium and remember he got a lot of threats. People at the time questioned whether he kept the ball.

The problem is now they find he never caught the ball, but instead deflected it from the catcher's glove while trying to catch it, causing it to be a foul ball. This is so strange to them because they remember hearing a lot about it when it happened and talking about it with others. They are sure he caught it.

Historical Events  Art
Mona Lisa

Enigmatic

MMDE: Never been known

Current: Always been known

She's the subject of the most famous portrait in the world, but who was the subject of the Mona Lisa?

Many people remember this as being a big mystery, and are surprised to hear today all the reports of her being the wife of Francesco del Giocondo.

Her name - Lisa del Giocondo - is even listed officially in the Louvre.

The idea of so many people remembering, and being sure of that memory, of no-one knowing who she was is being classed as a Mandela Effect, since that's exactly what's happening here.

Historical Events  Movies

Who feels lucky?

MMDE: Do you feel lucky, punk?

Current: Do I feel lucky?

Remember the famous scene in Clint Eastwood's 1972 movie "Dirty Harry", where he's just chased a robber down, points his gun at him and asks "Do you feel lucky, punk?". If so, you might be experiencing a Mandela Effect, because that's not what he said.

Movie misquotes are a special case when it comes to the ME. The idea that many of people misremember something which never happened is what defines it. The interesting part is that so many misremember it the exact same way, and some are certain it's not down to faulty memory and the original really was different to the way we see it today.

In the Dirty Harry case, the line is "You've got to ask yourself one question. Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?".