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The Mandela Effect

Last updated: September 22, 2017 at 0:03 am

Last week while I was researching an article on A.I and Advanced Robotics for my site I came across a very interesting phenomenon called “The Mandela Effect”. As it turns out The Mandela Effect has been all the rage, especially on YouTube, and has people going somewhat berserk for the past 2-2.5 years.

The Mandela Effect has been defined as the collective misremembering (confabulation) of details or events by a large group of unconnected people. The term Mandela Effect was coined by a paranormal researcher by the name of Fiona Broome after the rather peculiar instance, where many people around the world seemed to have an erroneous recollection of Nelson Mandela dying in prison in the mid-1980s when he actually died on December 5th, 2013. This “effect” has snowballed in popularity since then as people began to find further examples of subtle and not so subtle changes in brand names and logos, historical events and cultural memes such as iconic quotes and lines from popular films, songs and books. For people who regularly misplace car keys, glasses etc. this may not seem so uncommon but there is much more to this than meets the eye as I found out when I started looking into this. 

What first piqued my interest is the fact that The Mandela Effect has been dismissed offhand by many (and the mainstream media of course!) as a collective failure of memory. Not only did I find this somewhat implausible but if you, like I, have read the Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot you will be familiar with the experiments that were done by the quantum physicist Karl Pribram in his attempt to find out how and where memories are stored in the brain. It is generally believed that each memory a person has is in a specific location somewhere in the brain cells. These memory traces are called engrams and scientists believe that it is only a matter of time before they will be found. It goes beyond the scope of this article to go into details about Pribram’s findings (read the book if you are really interested), but suffice it to say that if it hasn’t been established with any level of certainty where and how memories are stored in the human brain, the phenomenon described as the Mandela Effect cannot be brushed off as a simple “global lapse in recall”.

The number of effects that have been reported has reached such an extreme that they have ordinary, everyday people who are not into quantum physics and/or string theory at all talking about multiple dimensions, shifts to parallel universes and other realities, changes in timelines and timelines merging, time travel and the like. This is quite extraordinary in itself if you ask me. Some people also believe that the Mandela Effect is being caused by scientists at CERN who are somehow messing with space-time which is of course almost impossible to prove. Before going off the deep end let’s not forget that quite a few of the Mandela Effects that have been reported can probably be explained, by companies changing branding and logos, misspelling and misquotations, different versions of popular films, songs or books, or even Photoshopping and video editing internet trolls. I simply don’t have the time to dive into all of these claims since there are so many, but since I have a curious and open mind (and like quantum physics) I didn’t roll my eyes in disbelief and blame the Mandela Effect on “the overactive imagination of tinfoil hat wearing YouTubers”. [ you may have done ;-)]

The rule of thumb that I used while evaluating instances of the Mandela Effect is can this particular example be explained as NOT being caused by a change in logo, misspelling/misquotation/different version etc. etc. beyond a reasonable doubt. (yes, because I went to Law school but decided on a different career path before finishing my degree)

And boy, oh boy did my deep dive pay off.

There are many, many Mandela Effects that have people thinking that they are going crazy and some of most infamous (as far as I can tell) are:

– What used to be called The Berenstein Bears is now apparently called The Berenstain Bears, with no residue that The Berenstein Bears ever existed to be found in mainstream sources. I’m not familiar with these children’s books so I really can’t speak to that.
– Darth Vader apparently never said “
Luke, I am your father” in “The Empire Strikes Back” but “No, I am your father”. This phrase has apparently changed itself on every DVD and online clip of this scene. I didn’t buy the Star Wars DVD’s so, again, I can’t vouch for that but the phrase “Luke, I am your father” does seem to be changed when watching several random online clips.
– The phrase “
of the world” was apparently never part of the original and extremely popular song “We are the champions” by the rock band Queen. It is still on live recordings online but seems to have vanished from all original recordings. Again, I don’t own any Queen cd’s but check it out for yourself if you have copy that has this song. Let me know if it still has the “of the world” line at the ending and I’ll update the article.

But now for the kicker!

The fourth most infamous Mandela Effect that I want to list here has to do with one of the most iconic movie quotes EVER, namely, “Life is like a box of chocolates” from the movie Forrest Gump. This one was reported by many as a Mandela Effect as the line seems to have changed on DVD’s and (get this) even VHS tapes to “Life was like a box of chocolates”.

Since I think Forrest Gump is one of the cutest movies ever made I have a copy at home and the first thing I thought when I watched this change online was “…well, this one is clearly incorrect and weird. Paramount Pictures licensed millions upon millions of items of Forrest Gump merchandise to plaster this phrase all over the planet, so it wouldn’t even make business sense to change it to “Life was like a box of chocolates” as it would make the Forrest Gump paraphernalia kind of useless.

Fasten your seatbelt for what’s next.

I took out my Forrest Gump DVD and, yes indeed, on the back cover is printed clear as day, “Life is like a box of chocolates….” in English and “La vie c’est comme une boîte de chocolates…” in French. While thinking, ….there it is, case closed…, I put the DVD in my laptop anyway just to be absolutely sure and lo and behold the line that came out in the movie was “Life WAS like a box of chocolates”.

Now THAT got my attention. 🙂

This is a photo that I took of the back cover of my Forrest Gump DVD.

The first video in the playlist below is a screen recording of the DVD in which I show the “Life is like a box of chocolates” clip with 3 different subtitles running. While the English subtitles show “…was like a box of chocolates as the character Forrest Gump says “……was like a box of chocolates”, the translation in both French and Dutch remains “….Life is like a box of chocolates even though the character is saying “…was like a box of chocolates” i.e. in past tense. The DVD that I own also has Arabic, Bulgarian and Romanian subtitles but I only checked the languages that I have a native (Dutch and English) or basic to intermediary (French) command of. The other videos in the playlist are other reported cases of the Mandela Effect which are quite interesting to watch if this is the first time that you’ve heard about this. What I also found out is that there is a movie coming out in 2018 (it’s currently in post production) called The Mandela Effect which is based on the phenomenon I just described. This movie could simply be an attempt to invalidate the claims that have been made or perhaps even confirm them but whatever the reasons, someone is investing their money in taking this effect to the mainstream. (or just capitalizing on the phenomenon’s popularity). See: The Mandela Effect Set For Big Screen Treatment on

After having watched the videos above you may wonder if there is any scientific basis for all this and the answer is YES there is, but you will have to familiarize yourself with the basic concepts of quantum physics and string theory if you aren’t already familiar with them. At the very least you should watch The Elegant Universe first before going to the videos below if you are a quantum mechanics/string theory newbie.

Please watch the entire playlist below with full attention if you really want to have a deeper understanding of some of the principles that may or may not lie behind the Mandela Effect. 

There are a few additional resources that you can keep track of if you would like to stay up to date about the developments regarding the Mandela Effect. I will list some of them here and you can of course do your own exploration online.

Mandela Effect Twitter page

Test Mandela

Last and certainly not least: while looking into the Mandela Effect I came across a website of a fellow citizen journalist that I very highly recommend: Think On Your Own. I used his video about the “Jiffy Peanut Butter Mandela Effect” in the first playlist. We connected earlier today and will discuss a further exchange of information and collaboration going forward so keep an eye out for that!

How Algorithms Are Shaping The World

We live in a world that is increasingly being designed for and run by algorithms. Algorithms are highly complex computer programs that can solve problems and even determine espionage tactics, stock prices or what script will be a successful movie. An obvious, but key distinction, needs to be made here between automation and AI. Automation is just a machine performing a rote, repetitive task – like the work robots currently do on auto assembly lines. With AI, machines actually observe and learn new capabilities – on their own.

That’s the essence of machine learning. Computer programmers don’t have to write every line of code for an algorithm to execute a function; they just have to design the algorithm to learn from the “experience” of a data set. It’s not like Google’s developers wrote every line of code for self-driving cars; rather, the algorithms observed real life drivers and now draw from that database to make the right decision. 

In the talks in this playlist presenters Kevin Slavin and Christopher Steiner warn that human beings are now writing code that they can't understand, and are losing more and more control of their lives by depending on complex algorithms to manage their decisions.

Sources: and R. Hessel's article: Are Robots Going To Replace CEO's?

Biophotons: The Human Body Emits, Communicates With, And Is Made From Light

Increasingly science agrees with the poetry of direct human experience:  we are more than the atoms and molecules that make up our bodies, but beings of light as well. Biophotons are emitted by the human body, can be released through mental intention, and may modulate fundamental processes within cell-to-cell communication and DNA.

Nothing is more amazing than the highly improbable fact that we exist. We often ignore this fact, oblivious to the reality that instead of something there could be nothing at all, i.e. why is there a universe (poignantly aware of itself through us) and not some void completely unconscious of itself?

Consider that from light, air, water, basic minerals within the crust of the earth, and the at least 3 billion year old information contained within the nucleus of one diploid zygote cell, the human body is formed, and within that body a soul capable of at least trying to comprehend its bodily and spiritual origins.

Given the sheer insanity of our existential condition, and bodily incarnation as a whole, and considering that our earthly existence is partially formed from sunlight and requires the continual consumption of condensed sunlight in the form of food, it may not sound so farfetched that our body emits light.

Indeed, the human body emits biophotons, also known as ultraweak photon emissions (UPE), with a visibility 1,000 times lower than the sensitivity of our naked eye. While not visible to us, these particles of light (or waves, depending on how you are measuring them) are part of the visible electromagnetic spectrum (380-780 nm) and are detectable via sophisticated modern instrumentation.[1] [2]

The Physical and “Mental” Eye Emits Light

The eye itself, which is continually exposed to ambient powerful photons that pass through various ocular tissues, emit spontaneous and visible light-induced ultraweak photon emissions.[3] It has even been hypothesized that visible light induces delayed bioluminescence within the exposed eye tissue, providing an explanation for the origin of the negative afterimage.[4]

These light emissions have also been correlated with cerebral energy metabolism and oxidative stress within the mammalian brain.[5] [6] And yet, biophoton emissions are not necessarily epiphenomenal. Bókkon’s hypothesis suggests that photons released from chemical processes within the brain produce biophysical pictures during visual imagery, and a recent study found that when subjects actively imagined light in a very dark environment their intention produced significant increases in ultraweak photo emissions.[7] This is consistent with an emerging view that biophotons are not solely cellular metabolic by-products, but rather, because biophoton intensity can be considerably higher inside cells than outside, it is possible for the mind to access this energy gradient to create intrinsic biophysical pictures during visual perception and imagery.[8]


Our Cells and DNA Use Biophotons To Store and Communicate Information

Apparently biophotons are used by the cells of many living organisms to communicate, which facilitates energy/information transfer that is several orders of magnitude faster than chemical diffusion. According to a 2010 study, “Cell to cell communication by biophotons have been demonstrated in plants, bacteria, animal neutriophil granulocytes and kidney cells.”[9] Researchers were able to demonstrate that “…different spectral light stimulation (infrared, red, yellow, blue, green and white) at one end of the spinal sensory or motor nerve roots resulted in a significant increase in the biophotonic activity at the other end.” Researchers interpreted their finding to suggest that “…light stimulation can generate biophotons that conduct along the neural fibers, probably as neural communication signals.”

Even when we go down to the molecular level of our genome, DNA can be identified to be a source of biophoton emissions as well. One author proposes that DNA is so biophoton dependent that is has excimer laser-like properties, enabling it to exist in a stable state far from thermal equilibrium at threshold.[10]

Technically speaking a biophoton is an elementary particle or quantum of light of non-thermal origin in the visible and ultraviolet spectrum emitted from a biological system. They are generally believed to be produced as a result of energy metabolism within our cells, or more formally as a “…by-product of biochemical reactions in which excited molecules are produced from bioenergetic processes that involves active oxygen species,”  [11]

The Body’s Circadian Biophoton Output

Because the metabolism of the body changes in a circadian fashion, biophoton emissions also variate along the axis of diurnal time. [12]  Research has mapped out distinct anatomical locations within the body where biophoton emissions are stronger and weaker, depending on the time of the day:

Generally, the fluctuation in photon counts over the body was lower in the morning than in the afternoon. The thorax-abdomen region emitted lowest and most constantly. The upper extremities and the head region emitted most and increasingly over the day. Spectral analysis of low, intermediate and high emission from the superior frontal part of the right leg, the forehead and the palms in the sensitivity range of the photomultiplier showed the major spontaneous emission at 470-570 nm. The central palm area of hand emission showed a larger contribution of the 420-470 nm range in the spectrum of spontaneous emission from the hand in autumn/winter. The spectrum of delayed luminescence from the hand showed major emission in the same range as spontaneous emission.

The researchers concluded that “The spectral data suggest that measurements might well provide quantitative data on the individual pattern of peroxidative and anti-oxidative processes in vivo.”

Meditation and Herbs Affect Biophoton Output

Research has found an oxidative stress-mediated difference in biophoton emission among mediators versus non-meditators. Those who meditate regularly tend to have lower ultra-weak photon emission (UPE, biophoton emission), which is believed to result from the lower level of free radical reactions occurring in their bodies. In one clinical study involving practitioners of transcendental meditation (TM) researchers found:

The lowest UPE intensities were observed in two subjects who regularly meditate. Spectral analysis of human UPE has suggested that ultra-weak emission is probably, at least in part, a reflection of free radical reactions in a living system. It has been documented that various physiologic and biochemical shifts follow the long-term practice of meditation and it is inferred that meditation may impact free radical activity.[13]

Interestingly, an herb well-known for its use in stress reduction (including inducing measurable declines in cortisol), and associated heightened oxidative stress, has been tested clinically in reducing the level of biophotons emitted in human subjects.  Known as rhodiola, a study published in 2009 in the journal Phytotherapeutic Research found that those who took the herb for 1 week has a significant decrease in photon emission in comparison with the placebo group.[14]

Human Skin May Capture Energy and Information from Sunlight

Perhaps most extraordinary of all is the possibility that our bodily surface contains cells capable of efficiently trapping the energy and information from ultraviolet radiation. A study published in the Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology in 1993, titled, “Artificial sunlight irradiation induces ultraweak photon emission in human skin fibroblasts,” discovered that when light from an artificial sunlight source was applied to fibroblasts from either normal subjects or with the condition xeroderma pigmentosum, characterized by deficient DNA repair mechanisms, it induced far higher emissions of ultraweak photons (10-20 times) in the xeroderma pigmentosum group.  The researchers concluded from this experiment that “These data suggest that xeroderma pigmentosum cells tend to lose the capacity of efficient storage of ultraweak photons, indicating the existence of an efficient intracellular photon trapping system within human cells.“[15]  More recent research has also identified measurable differences in biophoton emission between normal and melanoma cells.[16]


In a previous article, Does Skin Pigment Act Like A Natural Solar-Panel, we explored the role of melanin in converting ultraviolet light into metabolic energy:

Melanin is capable of transforming ultraviolet light energy into heat in a process known as “ultrafast internal conversion”; more than 99.9% of the absorbed UV radiation is transformed from potentially genotoxic (DNA-damaging) ultraviolet light into harmless heat.

If melanin can convert light into heat, could it not also transform UV radiation into other biologically/metabolically useful forms of energy? This may not seem so farfetched when one considers that even gamma radiation, which is highly toxic to most forms of life, is a source of sustenance for certain types of fungi and bacteria.

The Body’s Biophoton Outputs Are Governed by Solar and Lunar Forces

It appears that modern science is only now coming to recognize the ability of the human body to receive and emit energy and information directly from the light given off from the Sun. [17]

There is also a growing realization that the Sun and Moon affect biophoton emissions through gravitational influences. Recently, biophoton emissions from wheat seedlings in Germany and Brazil were found to be synchronized transcontinentally according to rhythms associated with the lunisolar tide.[18]  In fact, the lunisolar tidal force, to which the Sun contributes 30% and the Moon 60% of the combined gravitational acceleration, has been found to regulate a number of features of plant growth upon Earth.[19]

Intention Is a Living Force of Physiology

Even human intention itself, the so-called ghost in the machine, may have an empirical basis in biophotons.

A recent commentary published in the journal Investigacion clinica titled “Evidence about the power of intention” addressed this connection:

Intention is defined as a directed thought to perform a determined action. Thoughts targeted to an end can affect inanimate objects and practically all living things from unicellular organisms to human beings. The emission of light particles (biophotons) seems to be the mechanism through which an intention produces its effects. All living organisms emit a constant current of photons as a mean to direct instantaneous nonlocal signals from one part of the body to another and to the outside world. Biophotons are stored in the intracellular DNA. When the organism is sick changes in biophotons emissions are produced. Direct intention manifests itself as an electric and magnetic energy producing an ordered flux of photons. Our intentions seem to operate as highly coherent frequencies capable of changing the molecular structure of matter. For the intention to be effective it is necessary to choose the appropriate time. In fact, living beings are mutually synchronized and to the earth and its constant changes of magnetic energy. It has been shown that the energy of thought can also alter the environment. Hypnosis, stigmata phenomena and the placebo effect can also be considered as types of intention, as instructions to the brain during a particular state of consciousness. Cases of spontaneous cures or of remote healing of extremely ill patients represent instances of an exceedingly great intention to control diseases menacing our lives. The intention to heal as well as the beliefs of the sick person on the efficacy of the healing influences promote his healing. In conclusion, studies on thought and consciousness are emerging as fundamental aspects and not as mere epiphenomena that are rapidly leading to a profound change in the paradigms of Biology and Medicine.

So there you have it. Science increasingly agrees with direct human experience: we are more than the atoms and molecules of which we are composed, but beings that emit, communicate with, and are formed from light.

Article Resources

[1] Herbert Schwabl, Herbert Klima. Spontaneous ultraweak photon emission from biological systems and the endogenous light field. Forsch Komplementarmed Klass Naturheilkd. 2005 Apr;12(2):84-9. PMID: 15947466

[2] Hugo J Niggli, Salvatore Tudisco, Giuseppe Privitera, Lee Ann Applegate, Agata Scordino, Franco Musumeci. Laser-ultraviolet-A-induced ultraweak photon emission in mammalian cells. J Biomed Opt. 2005 Mar-Apr;10(2):024006. PMID: 15910080

[3] Chao Wang, István Bókkon, Jiapei Dai, István Antal. Spontaneous and visible light-induced ultraweak photon emission from rat eyes. Brain Res. 2011 Jan 19 ;1369:1-9. Epub 2010 Oct 26. PMID: 21034725

[4] I Bókkon, R L P Vimal, C Wang, J Dai, V Salari, F Grass, I Antal. Visible light induced ocular delayed bioluminescence as a possible origin of negative afterimage. J Photochem Photobiol B. 2011 May 3 ;103(2):192-9. Epub 2011 Mar 23. PMID: 21463953

[5] M Kobayashi, M Takeda, T Sato, Y Yamazaki, K Kaneko, K Ito, H Kato, H Inaba. In vivo imaging of spontaneous ultraweak photon emission from a rat’s brain correlated with cerebral energy metabolism and oxidative stress. Neurosci Res. 1999 Jul;34(2):103-13. PMID: 10498336

[6] Y Kataoka, Y Cui, A Yamagata, M Niigaki, T Hirohata, N Oishi, Y Watanabe. Activity-dependent neural tissue oxidation emits intrinsic ultraweak photons. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2001 Jul 27;285(4):1007-11. PMID: 11467852

[7] B T Dotta, K S Saroka, M A Persinger. Increased photon emission from the head while imagining light in the dark is correlated with changes in electroencephalographic power: support for Bókkon’s biophoton hypothesis. Neurosci Lett. 2012 Apr 4 ;513(2):151-4. Epub 2012 Feb 17. PMID: 22343311

[8] I Bókkon, V Salari, J A Tuszynski, I Antal. Estimation of the number of biophotons involved in the visual perception of a single-object image: biophoton intensity can be considerably higher inside cells than outside. J Photochem Photobiol B. 2010 Sep 2 ;100(3):160-6. Epub 2010 Jun 10. PMID: 20584615

[9] Yan Sun, Chao Wang, Jiapei Dai. Biophotons as neural communication signals demonstrated by in situ biophoton autography. Photochem Photobiol Sci. 2010 Mar ;9(3):315-22. Epub 2010 Jan 21. PMID: 20221457

[10] F A Popp, W Nagl, K H Li, W Scholz, O Weingärtner, R Wolf. Biophoton emission. New evidence for coherence and DNA as source. Cell Biophys. 1984 Mar;6(1):33-52. PMID: 6204761

[11] Masaki Kobayashi, Daisuke Kikuchi, Hitoshi Okamura. Imaging of ultraweak spontaneous photon emission from human body displaying diurnal rhythm. PLoS One. 2009;4(7):e6256. Epub 2009 Jul 16. PMID: 19606225

[12] Masaki Kobayashi, Daisuke Kikuchi, Hitoshi Okamura. Imaging of ultraweak spontaneous photon emission from human body displaying diurnal rhythm. PLoS One. 2009;4(7):e6256. Epub 2009 Jul 16. PMID: 19606225

[13] Eduard P A Van Wijk, Heike Koch, Saskia Bosman, Roeland Van Wijk. Anatomic characterization of human ultra-weak photon emission in practitioners of transcendental meditation(TM) and control subjects. J Altern Complement Med. 2006 Jan-Feb;12(1):31-8. PMID: 16494566

[14] F W G Schutgens, P Neogi, E P A van Wijk, R van Wijk, G Wikman, F A C Wiegant. The influence of adaptogens on ultraweak biophoton emission: a pilot-experiment. Phytother Res. 2009 Aug;23(8):1103-8. PMID: 19170145

[15] H J Niggli. Artificial sunlight irradiation induces ultraweak photon emission in human skin fibroblasts. J Photochem Photobiol B. 1993 May;18(2-3):281-5. PMID: 8350193

[16] Hugo J Niggli, Salvatore Tudisco, Giuseppe Privitera, Lee Ann Applegate, Agata Scordino, Franco Musumeci. Laser-ultraviolet-A-induced ultraweak photon emission in mammalian cells. J Biomed Opt. 2005 Mar-Apr;10(2):024006. PMID: 15910080

[17] Janusz Slawinski. Photon emission from perturbed and dying organisms: biomedical perspectives. Forsch Komplementarmed Klass Naturheilkd. 2005 Apr;12(2):90-5. PMID: 15947467

[18] Cristiano M Gallep, Thiago A Moraes, Samuel R Dos Santos, Peter W Barlow. Coincidence of biophoton emission by wheat seedlings during simultaneous, transcontinental germination tests. Protoplasma. 2013 Jun ;250(3):793-6. Epub 2012 Sep 26. PMID: 23011402

[19] Peter W Barlow, Joachim Fisahn. Lunisolar tidal force and the growth of plant roots, and some other of its effects on plant movements. Ann Bot. 2012 Jul ;110(2):301-18. Epub 2012 Mar 20. PMID: 22437666