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Conspiracy theories and Mandela Effects surprise Grady students

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Bella McDonald

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YouTuber Shane Dawson, who has more than 18 million subscribers, amasses over 4 million views on each of his conspiracy theories videos, with the highest-viewed video having 21 million views.

Shane Dawson

YouTuber Shane Dawson, who has more than 18 million subscribers, amasses over 4 million views on each of his conspiracy theories videos, with the highest-viewed video having 21 million views.

Have you ever wondered if things aren’t what they seem? Conspiracy theories or examples of the “Mandela Effect” can give curiosity to people about worldwide issues that may not seem believable.

A conspiracy theory consists of a speculation about an event that has happened but has some sort of speculation or a pre-formed conclusion about the event. The Mandela Effect got its name when people across the world seemed to remember that former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, died in prison in the 1980’s. Others were sure that he was released from prison in 1990 and died in 2013. This raised the idea that a parallel universe existed because of how a person can remember an instance so distinctively, but it turns out to be completely different.

“I love watching conspiracies and Mandela Effects on YouTube.” freshman Isabella Madrid said. “They just interest me so much, it’s almost addicting.”

Shane Dawson, Bella Fiori, and Buzzfeed Unsolved are YouTubers who use their channels to express their beliefs about Mandela Effects and conspiracy theories with evidence. Dawson currently has 135 videos in his “Conspiracy Theories & Creepy Videos” playlist on his channel.

“Shane Dawson is my all time favorite YouTuber because he can be so funny one time, and then the next be so serious with his conspiracy videos,” sophomore Mary Winer said. “They’re just extremely interesting to watch and they really make you think.”

Bella Fiori is an Australian beauty-guru who also has a degree in criminology. She posts conspiracy theories every Monday on her series “Mystery Monday”.

“Bella Fiori’s channel is very intriguing. I love that she’s your average beauty and lifestyle YouTuber with a side of mystery.” Madrid said. “At first she gives off this ‘oh she’s just a pretty girl’ look but she knows what she’s talking about and is very confident.”

Conspiracy theories and Mandela Effects are very confusing and touchy subjects for some people. There are many debates as to whether they are rational or not. These theories appear to be very popular among high school students because of how curious they are of what’s really going on in the world.

“When I come home from school or if I’m just really bored of playing Fortnite, I pull up YouTube and just look up conspiracy videos and documentaries on Netflix,” freshman Colton Hall said. “I’ll sit and watch them all day because they really get me thinking about what the government could be hiding from us that we don’t know about.”

Some well-known conspiracy theories are the Illuminati and New Order, that the moon landing in 1969 was a hoax, and that 9/11 was planned. These are the most believable theories among people because they have been talked about repeatedly for so long that they seem to be true.

People use their own evidence to attempt to prove that the moon landing was a hoax. In the video of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin planting the flag and walking on the moon, some people claim that in the reflection of the helmet’s glass, you can spot a camera reflecting off of it making it look like a set. Some also say that it is fake because there appears to be artificial wind moving the flag, but in space, there is no wind.

“The moon conspiracy must be the most believable one for me because there’s so much evidence that could lead to the whole thing being fake,” sophomore Avery Forster said. “You can see the reflections, fake wind, and stage props letters underneath the ‘moon rocks’.”

Mandela Effects are very puzzling when first heard. People swear that they remember something one way, but then see it another way and don’t know how to react.

“The first time I ever heard of a Mandela Effect was that the monopoly man doesn’t have a monocle. I could’ve sworn to you that that man has a monocle but I heard that he never did,” Hall said. “It’s freaky.”

One effect that people remember is the Oscar Mayer brand being spelled “Oscar Meyer” with an “e” instead of an “a”. A commercial of this brand included a song of how to spell it and spelled it with an “e”.

Another effect is the famous saying in “Forrest Gump” that actor Tom Hanks says when he is on the bench waiting for the bus. People remember it as “My mom always said life is like a box of chocolates, you’ll never know what you’re gonna get” but really the phrase goes “My mom always said life was like a box of chocolates, you’ll never know what you’re gonna get.” as in past tense.

“It’s ‘life is a box of chocolates’. Like there’s no other way,” sophomore Lucy Fazenbaker said. “I’m pretty sure that’s what it says on the back of the DVD cover. That’s absolutely crazy. I would recreate that scene with my friends and we would never think to say ‘was’ we would always say ‘is’ because that’s how he says it.”

If you go online, you can find many websites and videos that can thoroughly explain conspiracies they have conducted with hard evidence. Once you get started on one of the many Shane Dawson’s “MIND BLOWING CONSPIRACY THEORIES” videos, it’s hard to stop watching because he sucks you right in with his close camera angles and eerie music to set the scene.

“Honestly, some of those conspiracies are unbelievable like that celebrities are lizards but some like 9/11 and the Illuminati have such good evidence that it really sees like it could be true,” Forster said. “I feel like Mandela Effects are just figments of everyone becoming slowly brainwashed and forgetting everything because of how short our attention spans are but I guess it is truly a thing.”

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Bella McDonald, Writer

Bella enjoys swimming and yearbook, as well as her dog. She is excited to start writing for Nexus.

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The arts, cultural and news magazine of Henry W. Grady High School in Atlanta, Georgia