mandela effect: australia

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Photo by Catarina Sousa on

I might be a little obsessed with the Mandela Effect. My husband doesn’t experience the phenomenon which I accept. But it’s incredibly frustrating trying to convince him that what’s going on is something other than a shitty memory or the edges of insanity. Especially when all the evidence supports his version of reality, not mine. Given this, I really appreciate the fact that my sister, some friends, and I share many of the same Mandela Effect memories. Not to mention the many people who share their experiences online. It helps me feel less dismissive of my recollections.

This morning, my sister and I were discussing our memory of Australian city locations, the position of the continent relative to other countries, and differences in its shape. (We pretended to ignore my husband’s groans of protest and rolling of eyes.) Neither my sister nor I claim to have stellar geography skills unlike my husband who loves studying maps of all kinds. We do remember broad strokes though, especially when we have reference points.

Neither of us has been to Australia but we’ve studied maps of the continent for specific purposes. My sister used to have a pen-pal in Adelaide. She’s studied the map to see exactly where in Australia her friend lived. I have a friend in Melbourne. But even before that, I studied maps of Australia, fantasizing about the itinerary I might follow depending on how much time and money I had for a vacation there.

In all of the maps and tourist information I examined, until fairly recently, Sydney was in the southwest corner of the country, essentially where Perth is now. Perth was further north. I’ve longed to see the Sydney Opera House and I “knew” (until this year) that I might be forced to choose between visiting Melbourne in the east or Sydney in the west.

My sister swears she remembers Adelaide being further west along the south coast. I never carefully took note of that city. We both remember the Great Australian Bight being less prominent and the northern coast not having the Gulf of Carpentaria. Definitely not at its current size if it existed at all.

But that’s not all. Melbourne was located on the east coast, not on the south coast. I also remember much more ocean between Australia and Papua New Guinea and Indonesia. I also remember New Zealand being positioned much further north in relation to the continent of Australia. Unlike me, my sister remembers New Zealand being off the west coast of Australia. We both remember Tasmania being a little larger that current maps show.

Broad strokes. There are other town locations that don’t look right to me but I didn’t study them as closely so I can’t be sure. There were national parks with names that were different than those that currently exist. While I don’t remember the names of these parks, I think I’d know them if I heard them.

There is another weird thing I’ve noticed about the naming conventions used for towns and cities. I’m not certain of this but it seems as though aboriginal-sounding names were not that common ten years ago. Looking at the map today, I was surprised to see so many towns with what I assume are aboriginal names.

Anyway, I wanted to share my memories in solidarity with others who might find this page and seek validation or confirmation of memories that shouldn’t exist based on the available evidence. I still don’t understand why everyone doesn’t experience these discrepancies. If there’s some “glitch in the programming”, I would think more people would be affected. It’s also possible that it just hasn’t caught up to everyone yet. Who knows. I sure don’t.

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