The Mandela Effect which disturbs and affects me the most is the geographical changes. I look at maps almost every day and the world I see is so different from my memories of it that it leaves me shaken. Although I touched briefly geography in my last article on the Mandela Effect, I want to look at this in a bit more depth and detail.
Remember the ‘Land down Under’? Australia was always known as such, for a reason. It was ‘under’ everything else, meaning it was far south of the equator and distant from almost everywhere else, especially the closest large country, which is Indonesia. My friends and I used to talk about visiting Australia, but whenever we looked at it on a map, we commented on how isolated it was and how expensive it would be to fly there. In this parallel dimension we’ve slipped into, Australia is now part of Asia. There is no separation between the Australian continent and the southernmost islands of Indonesia. You can now literally swim from the northern tip of Australia to Papua New Guinea and the surrounding islets. If you’re an Australian, I suppose this could be either something to celebrate or mourn. If you enjoyed the isolation and remoteness that you had in the earlier reality, then this new reality sucks. However, if you’re an Asian-Australian and wished you could be closer to your relatives, congratulations.
Japan is another country that I look at and say to myself, “That looks all wrong!” Japan was always a long and thin country, so to speak. I remember this because I used to hear someone say that they lived in ‘Western Japan’ and I replied, “Oh come on. There is no real Western Japan. There’s only Northern and Southern Japan.” The current version of Japan (or at least Honshu) is now shaped like a comma. In this reality, Japan really has acquired a ‘West.’ Shikoku is currently an East-West island. Hokkaido bears no resemblance whatsoever to its former incarnation. It’s badly misshapen and enlarged.
Panama is another country which has metamorphosed from an North-South oriented land mass to an East-West one. I remember reading about the Panama Canal when I was young; I recall seeing photos of the men building it. They dug out a straight line from the Atlantic to the Pacific, in an East-West orientation. In this version, the canal now goes Northwest to Southeast! In the old version, people would lie on beach on the Pacific Coast and watch the sun set looking due west. Currently, people who visit a Pacific Coast beach in Panama will be looking southward or even southeastward.
Cuba is now a bizarre sight to look at. In the old world, Cuba was a small country located 90 miles off the southern tip of Florida. It lay to the southeast of the North American landmass. Its size and shape were not particularly noteworthy. Presently, Cuba is an Orca whale-shaped island, twice the size of its former self, and provides an almost seamless bridge from the Yucatan to the Eastern Caribbean.
Moving over to Europe, Denmark formerly situated itself far to the south of Sweden. The northernmost tip of Denmark pointed toward Stockholm. Nowadays, in this reality, Denmark is located to the west of Sweden! It has seemingly moved itself hundreds of kilometers northward to snuggle in between Norway and Sweden. I wonder how the Swedes feel about their new neighbors.
Italy has always been the most easily identifiable country in Europe. When kids first begin studying a map of Europe, the first country they learn is Italy; the reason is simple. Italy juts down from the continent into the Mediterranean and is shaped like a boot. In our parallel dimension (PD), Italy has been ‘pulled’ westward. It now points in a more southeasterly direction and the heel of the boot is much more pronounced than it used to be. Sicily has shifted hundreds of kilometers to the north and now almost joins the mainland of Italy. No matter how often I look at the map of Italy, I can’t shake the feeling of unreality which envelops me.
These countries are the most obvious and outstanding examples, but it is certain at this point that every single country has changed and shifted in PD. It appears that all of the countries in the Northern Hemisphere have moved en masse toward the north pole which, by the way, has disappeared. Welcome to the new world.
Addendum: I wanted to collect some new examples of the Mandela Effect and did a quick search on youtube. When I entered the search term ‘New Mandela Effects’, I was confronted with page after page after page of channels that are, apparently, produced by teenagers. Their headlines are always in all caps; the descriptions are nearly identical and are some variation of this: OMG! NEW MANDELA EFFECTS. THIS WILL BLOW YOUR MIND. The accompanying photo of the channel shows the teenager with an exaggerated look of surprise and shock with pictures of Jif peanut butter and febreeze floating above his head. The channels have different names, but with the nearly identical headlines and photos, they are obviously being produced from a common source. I would guess that the source and producer of these channels is Intelligence. Perhaps they are trying to surround the topic of the Mandela Effect with a lot of noise and mindless trash in the hope that people will dismiss it.