Historical Events  Geography
Historical Events  Geography
Bermeja Island

Ramesses II Passport

MMDE: Ramesses II (1279-1213 BC) was issued a passport in 1974

Current: Ramesses II (1279-1213 BC) was not issued a passport in 1974

Sometimes the Mandela Effect is pointed to as explaining historical facts which seem to appear from nowhere, and they are expected to be much more widely known.

One such is the curious fact that Ramesses II was actually issued a passport in 1974, even though he'd been dead for thousands of years.

It was necessary to do this because his 3,000 year old body had to be flown to Paris for repairs, and the legislation in force did not take into account how long ago the individual died.

Historical Events  Geography
Bermeja Island

Where is Bermeja Island?

MMDE: The Gulf of Mexico

Current: Bermeja Island does not exist

There's a curious anomaly regarding an island which appears on maps drawn in the 16th century. Situated off the North coast on the Yucatan Peninsula in the Gulf of Mexico, it's called Bermeja Island.

The problem? No one can find it in real life.

Neither a detailed survey in 1997 followed by an extensive one in 2009 conducted by the National Autonomous University of Mexico turned anything up, despite there being a very compelling incentive to do so - oil rights from the 200 mile border surrounding it.

The first mention of the island was on a map published in Madrid in 1539.

Historical Events  Geography
Grand Central _

Grand Central __ ?

MMDE: Grand Central Station

Current: Grand Central Terminal

This MMDE is likely to have a logical explanation, but it's persistence is baffling nevertheless. 

Grand Central Station does not exist. It did from 1900 till 1910, after which it changed it's name to Grand Central Terminal.

The odd thing is the old name is still very much recognised the world over - ask anyone outside the US to complete the phrase "Grand Central __" and they'll likely respond with "Station", even if they've never set foot in the US. 

It doesn't help things when current reports still refer to the old name, such as in this example from the New York Times. Although, it's said the old name is still used "affectionately" so they may be doing the same.

Historical Events  Geography
Einstein

Where did tomato sauce originate?

MMDE: Tomato sauce originated in Italy

Current: Tomato sauce originated in Mexico

Pizza, Spaghetti, Lasagne, Tortellini... what do they all have in common? Tomato of course! So when you think of where the first tomato sauces came from, you'd be forgiven for assuming it must have been Italy.

However, that's not the case - it was Mexico, and the earliest documented use is a recipe from 1540. This was taken to Spain shortly afterwards by Bernardino de Sahagún, a Franciscian friar.

The first country to use tomato sauce with pasta was Italy, and that's used in a recipe from 1692, and the first recorded use in France is at the relatively later date of 1807.

Historical Events  Geography
London Bridge

Where is London Bridge?

MMDE: London

Current: Arizona

Come on everybody, sing along with the children's nursery rhyme: "London Bridge is falling down, falling down...".

Is there anything to this? It turns out there is. Not to be confused with the equally famous Tower Bridge, distinguished by its, err, twin towers, London Bridge originally had houses and shops built on it and was in poor repair after standing for nearly 150 years since it's construction in 1831. Yes, it really was falling down.

So the City of London decided a new one was needed, and to fund this would sell the old one. It was bought by Robert P. McCulloch, a US oil magnate who wanted to use it as a tourist attraction to a new city he founded by Lake Havasu, Arizona. There's no truth in the rumor he thought he was buying Tower Bridge, by the way.

The bridge was purchased for $2.46m, disassembled, and was finally opened on 23 September, 1968 in Lake Havasu City.

Historical Events  Geography
Switzerland

Is Switzerland is a third world country?

MMDE: Switzerland is not a third world country

Current: Switzerland is a third world country

When you think of third world countries, it's usually the most poverty stricken. So if someone told you Switzerland is one, you'd probably ask what they've been smoking.

However, it turns out there is a reason it's true. The origins of the terms First World, Second World and Third World to describe global areas goes back to the cold war, when the groups meant (broadly) "those aligned with the West" (First World), "Those aligned with the East" (Second World) and "The rest".

After the fall of the Soviet Union, the term "Second World" fell into disuse, so it just left the countries not aligned to either of the first two left over, and since Switzerland is neutral, it logically falls into the Third World category.

Historical Events  Geography
Library of Alexandria

How many books were lost when it was destroyed?

MMDE: Thousands

Current: None

It was a noble goal - to house a copy of every book in the world in one place. That was the vision of the rulers of Alexandria 2,300 years ago. They built a library with huge storage areas to house the scrolls, and it attracted scholars the world over to study and contribute.

However, in the year 5 BC it was said to be destroyed in a catastrophic fire. The legend is this was a disaster for all mankind, and the loss of such irretrievable knowledge "set mankind back 1000 years". Many people have been led to believe this, and it comes as such a shock to them to hear no books or scrolls were lost, that it's being pointed to as a Mandela Effect.