Sorry, But There Is No ‘Berenstain Bears’ Parallel Universe

Sorry, But There Is No ‘Berenstain Bears’ Parallel Universe


Most of us are familiar with the so-called “Mandela Effect,” the phenomenon where multiple people share the same false memories, which is supposedly evidence of parallel realities. Of course it’s named after Nelson Mandela, who some claim to remember dying in prison – which simply didn’t happen, as he famously went on to become a long-running American Idol judge. (If you don’t remember that, maybe there’s something wrong with you.)

One of the most frequent examples of the Mandela Effect involves The Berenstain Bears, the series of children’s books about everything from junk food, to Jesus, to school shootings for some reason. Specifically, a lot of people remember the spelling as “Berenstein” not “Berenstain” – one YouTuber even posted video evidence that the “Berenstein” dimension exists, and is localized entirely within his apartment apparently.

Of course, there is no Berenstein-verse, the characters were named Stan and Jan Berenstain, the creators of the bears (and also several unnecessarily horny 1960s cartoons). The reason why so many people think it’s “Berenstein” is that it’s a tricky name to spell, so much so that even pieces of official tie-in merchandise got the name wrong over the years, including multiple VHS tapes.

And seemingly a line of stuffed animals even printed both spellings on the tag –

According to the couple’s son (who thankfully wasn’t simply named “Brother”) there has always been confusion over the spelling of the name and its pronunciation. And the real culprit here isn’t tears in the fabric of the space time continuum, it’s a 19th century immigration officer who misinterpreted the Berenstain’s ancestors as they were while fleeing Ukraine. They pronounced the Jewish name “Bernstein” with a thick accent that was mistakenly transcribed as “Berenstain,” thus confusing millions of internet users more than a century later.

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Thumbnail: HarperCollins 

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