Historical Events  Books
Historical Events  Books
Science fiction

World's first science fiction story?

MMDE: 1818

Current: 2AD

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein might seem like a stereotype to some today, with it's monster and mad scientist ideas having been done to death many times since it first appeared in 1818. This is misleading, however, because at that time the concepts were truly original and shocking; so much so that the first notion of science being at the heart of fiction in a story created an entirely new genre - science fiction.

Brian Aldiss claims Frankenstein represents "the first seminal work to which the label SF can be logically attached".

The Frankenstein story contributes to the widely popular narrative of science fiction originating in the victorian era, with further works from Jules Verne and HG Wells etc reinforcing this. This means the idea that the true origins turn out to be a couple of thousand years earlier is quite a shock to them.

Historical Events  Books
Mickey Mouse Suspenders

"Alas, poor Yorick, I knew him well"

MMDE: In Hamlet

Current: Not in Hamlet

It's a really famous line from a really famous play, so do you remember "Alas, poor Yorick, I knew him well" being in Shakespeare's Hamlet?

It turns out the actual line is very different, in fact it is "Alas, poor Yorick, I knew him, Horatio".

The original text is:

Let me see. (takes the skull) Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio, a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy. He hath borne me on his back a thousand times, and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is! 

Historical Events  Books
Three little pigs

Three little pigs: "I'll huff, and I'll puff, and I'll blow your house ___"?

MMDE: Down

Current: In

The story about the Big Bad Wolf trying to blow down the three little pigs house was first published in the 1840's, but it's thought to be much older than that.

Ask people to complete the line, and you may be in for a surprise. If they answer "Down", they may be experiencing an MMDE, because all references today show it as "In". 

The fable continues to the modern day, with the pigs appearing in the Toy Story and Shrek movies and they even feature in a full production stage musical. There's been some controversy over the years regarding their names, but the consensus today seems to be Browny, Whitey and Blacky.

Historical Events  Books
Cinderella

Something to hide?

MMDE: Cinderella's ears are shown often

Current: Cinderella's ears are not shown

Remember Cinderella? Notice anything unusual about her - in particular, her ears? People are claiming they were never shown in the Disney cartoons, right up to the modern-day Wreck-it Ralph movie - which is all CGI.

In fact here ears weren't shown in earlier depictions of Cinderella, but it's was only really picked up since the Disney films, the first being in 1950. 

Cinderela as a story, where the skills and talents of an unknown servant were suddenly brought to light by some wonderful event, can be traced back over 2,000 years.

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  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  Books
The Diary of Anne Frank

Eternal poinancy

MMDE: The Diary of Anne Frank

Current: The Diary of a Young Girl

Many people are suprised to learn that Anne Frank was born in Germany in 1929, because they know she later died in a German concentration camp. That's not the issue here, however - it's the title of her famous work: was it "The Diary of Anne Frank" or "The Diary of a Young Girl"?

This is unusual for a Mandela Effect because there is a great deal of residue for the "misremembered" version, including a well-known stage play.

It's included in several top books of the 20th century lists, and since it was written in 1947, the copyright has expired so it is now available online, where the title is shown as "The diary of a young girl".