The Mandela Effect and CERN Debunking Conspiracy Theories

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Photo by Gregory Fullard on Unsplash

Key Takeaways

  • The Mandela effect is a phenomenon of collective false memory.
  • CERN’s Large Hadron Collider has been the subject of conspiracy theories.
  • There is no evidence linking the Mandela effect to CERN or the Large Hadron Collider.
  • CERN scientists have debunked claims of reality alteration and inter-dimensional portals.
  • Public interest in CERN’s work is appreciated by scientists.


Recently, CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, made headlines as it restarted its Large Hadron Collider (LHC) after a three-year hiatus. The LHC is the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator, designed to collide particles at high speeds to study the fundamental building blocks of the universe. However, alongside the excitement surrounding CERN’s scientific achievements, there has been a surge in conspiracy theories and misinformation surrounding the organization and its work. One such theory is the alleged connection between CERN and the Mandela effect.

The Mandela Effect

The Mandela effect is a phenomenon where a large group of people remembers an event or detail differently from how it actually occurred. The term originated from the false memory that many people had of Nelson Mandela dying in prison in the 1980s, when in reality, he was released and became the President of South Africa. This collective false memory sparked discussions and theories about alternate realities and parallel universes.

Conspiracy Theories and CERN

Conspiracy theorists have latched onto the Mandela effect and linked it to CERN and its Large Hadron Collider. They claim that the LHC’s experiments are altering reality and causing these collective false memories. Some even go as far as suggesting that CERN intentionally changed the spelling of popular products, such as Oreos’ ‘Double Stuf’ cookies, as a way to test the boundaries of reality manipulation.

Debunking the Claims

However, CERN scientists and experts have repeatedly debunked these claims. They emphasize that the LHC’s impact on reality is minimal compared to natural particle collisions that occur in the Earth’s atmosphere every day. The energy levels produced by the LHC are nowhere near enough to alter the fabric of reality or create inter-dimensional portals, as some conspiracy theorists suggest.

Public Interest and Scientific Appreciation

Despite the baseless claims and misinformation surrounding CERN and the Mandela effect, scientists at the organization appreciate the public’s interest in their work. Clara Nellist, a physicist at CERN, acknowledges that conspiracy theories can be frustrating, but she sees them as an opportunity to engage with the public and educate them about the real science happening at CERN.

Engaging with the Public

Nellist and her colleagues actively participate in public outreach programs, giving talks, and answering questions to address concerns and dispel misconceptions. They emphasize the importance of critical thinking and scientific literacy in evaluating claims and distinguishing between genuine scientific research and unfounded conspiracy theories.


While CERN’s Large Hadron Collider has been the subject of conspiracy theories and misinformation, there is no evidence linking it to the Mandela effect or reality alteration. The Mandela effect is a phenomenon of collective false memory, and CERN scientists have debunked claims of inter-dimensional portals and intentional reality manipulation. Despite the controversy, scientists at CERN appreciate the public’s interest and actively engage with the public to promote scientific literacy and understanding.

Written by Martin Cole

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