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Researchers cannot begin to explain how collective memory works, though many psychologists and philosophers have presented theories. One interesting facet that deals with the memory of the masses is the Mandela effect, a phenomenon where a large number of people share a "memory" that isn't true. It sounds like something from a science fiction novel, but the truth is far more bizarre. In psychiatry, this is confabulation, a false memory adopted by a significant population. As with any strange event, there are other explanations for the Mandela effect, including the parallel universe theory.

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1. Origin of the Mandela Effect

The Mandela Effect was named after the South African president Nelson Mandela. It seems that many people held the belief that Nelson Mandela had died in prison in the 1980s. The memory was so realistic that a lot of people remembered news clippings reporting the death and other intimate details. The blogger Fiona Broome used this example to coin the term Mandela Effect in 2010.

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