Mandela Effect – Shared in Real Time

Grill Pan

The Mandela effect. Whether you are in the CERN camp, or the collapsing timeline camp, or believe something else altogether about what is actually causing the phenomenon, most of the readers of this blog will know what I am talking about when I mention the term. We are speaking of objects and or events that seem to shift or change details and make us question our memory and sometimes our sanity. Famously, and collectively we talk about a group experience, hence the name. In a sentence the world seemed and seems to be split between two versions of the life and death of South African President Nelson Mandela. But the phenomenon can be, and is often very personal, which is a lesser known experiential aspect, but that in no way makes it less interesting.

In any case most Mandela effect experiencers find their discoveries, or realizations, to be one of stopping in our tracks and then questioning reality and very often our brain capacity for accurate memory. Searchable written records are no help as they participate in the event. Individual experiences however often lack even the group context to contemplate, which can be very helpful or at the very least, comforting, when one ponders the oddities of a shifting and seemingly changeable reality.

But how many of us have heard of, or actually experienced a Mandela effect shift with another person in real time? Its happened to me a few times- not many, and the last time was just yesterday morning.

My husband Tom walked into the kitchen and set about gathering some items to fix a Sunday brunch. He went to our gas burning stove and then turned to me, as I was standing right there with him, and asked, “Where is the grill pan?” We store 3 separate cast iron pans on top of that stove. A large one, an ancient small one (my favorite) and a medium-sized pan that has the ridges built in for stove top grilling.

I looked at the stove and saw all three pans right there in front of him. “Its right there.” I said, wondering what the heck he was talking about. I could visually see all three pans. He pointed to the mid-size pan and said, “That’s not it.” Now that was hard to believe, so I walked the two steps it takes to cross our little kitchen and looked intently and closely at the pan. Indeed, it was not the grill pan at all. Its bottom was perfectly flat and smooth.

“Huh” I said, “That makes no sense.” Now- to be fair we have a fairly nice collection of cast iron, including a similar sized and flat cast iron pan, but most of the collection is stored in cabinets or in the basement. I thought the medium flat bottomed pan was currently in the basement. I pondered how it could have been brought upstairs and put in the place of the grill bottom pan. Also, where would the grill pan have gone? Who would move it and why? I had only recently- in the past two days, grilled some lovely zucchini slices in it. I didn’t remember moving it or having any reason to even consider doing so. We do have Dad living in the house and a care provider, so there are other people around but neither one of them would have reason to use or move that pan, let alone switch it out with the flat bottomed version.

I started to question my memory – as I often do of late it seems, and went downstairs to the basement kitchenette to check the pans we keep on the stove there. And there, just as I had thought was the mid-size flat bottomed pan. But we had two of those, didn’t we? So I still wasn’t sure what was going on.

I walked back upstairs and said to Tom. “I’m at a loss. I have no idea where that grill pan is or why in the world it would be moved.” Tom shrugged and went back to the stove, planning on using the pan without the grill bottom. Again, I was standing right there. He looked down at the pan and said. “The pan has a grill bottom again.” At first I thought he was kidding. But no, he wasn’t. There it was. The grill bottom pan.


Tom said, “I guess we are back in the reality where the grill pan is indeed on the stove.”

One thing is for sure, at it makes me very happy to state: I am married to a man who accepts that this phenomenon is real and we deal with it together.

These sorts of things happen often in my life, and in his, and I am sure in yours as well, but they don’t happen often as a real time or shared experience. So what exactly is going on here? I can’t tell you for certain, but I can tell you that reality is simply more fluid and shifting that we have previously been taught, imagined or believed. Keep your eyes open and you will see for yourself!

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