The Mandela Effect

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Emailed on March 29, 2019 in The Friday Forward

Remember a late 90's movie called Shazaam, starring the American stand-up comedian, Sinbad (David Adkins), as an incompetent genie who granted wishes to two young children?

Maybe you do, maybe you don't, but the point is: Shazaam does not exist. 

Hundreds of Redditors, who have used the popular social news site to discuss their memories of Shazaam, have scoured the internet to find evidence that the movie existed but each has repeatedly come up empty-handed.

It appears that this passionate group of mid-90's movie lovers are sharing the same false memory of Shazaam.

I say "false memory" fairly confidently because Sinbad himself has even taken to Twitter to deny that he ever played such a role.

The conspiracy: Large groups of people who share the same false memory is not a new concept.

These groups tend to believe in a theory called "The Mandela Effect": a theory that a large group of people with the same false memory used to live in a parallel universe (the name comes from those who fervently believe that Nelson Mandela died while in prison). 

While it appears that this particular instance is just a large group of people getting Sinbad and Shaq confused (from his 1996 film, Kazaam), it's an interesting theory.

Have any vivid memories of your own that turned out to be fiction? 


Sean SteigerwaldComment