51 or 52 United States?

Mandela Effect - 51 or 52 states?Many people recall the United States including 51 or 52 states, not 50.

The interesting point is that the memories are fairly consistent, and include Puerto Rico as a state.

One teacher suggested this is a common misunderstanding.

The daughter of another teacher said that she clearly recalls her mother teaching students that the 52 states included Puerto Rico.

So, is this simple confusion or a glimpse into alternate geography in another timestream?

Ben Conroy said:

My experience doesnt involve a memory as much as a strange coincidence. For years I firmly believed there to be 52 states in America. Quite a shock when I found out there was only 50,

After this, I must have asked 25-30 people (in Europe, as I’m Irish), literally everbody I met, how many states in America. Every one said 52. After I said there was 50, their reaction remained ‘oh yea. wierd.’

Maybe theres another explanation for it, but occasionally I still ask and hear 52!

I encourage anybody reading this to ask people away from America (who wouldn’t know as readily) and see how many times 52 is replied!

Joy replied:

I’m from Portugal, and I thought it was 52 states in America too!

Victor agreed:

What the heck? I always thought there were 52 States in America. I’m from Brazil btw.

Jasper Allen (in the U.K.) said the same:

I was also taught at school that America had 52 states.

Siphakeme said:

i grew studying that the US has 52 states too

Kassia said:

52 States (I am European),etc, etc.

aragami agreed:

52 states in the US

miss_fionna said:

I also remember being taught that there was 52 states with Alaska being number 51 (even though at this point I only remember there being 50, and that was over ten years ago.

Kate said:

I seem to have a fuzzy memory of 52 states as well. And i remembered it was 52, because it was the same as the number of cards in a deck. Suddenly at some point it was 50, and I remember thinking…I ‘know’ it was 52. Suddenly teachers were telling me…’You’re confusing this with the number of cards in a deck” which I thought was weird because that’s how we remembered it as kids.

Pam said:

I can say that I live in the US and for some reason I could swear that 52 states has a familiarity. I know I have a couple times had to really think before I said 52 or 52 because I knew it was off somehow. Or I would reword my phrase to not mention a number because I just was not sure anymore.

David (who has an alternate Mandela memory) confirmed confusion about the states:

I am US History teacher in the US and my American students often mistakenly think there are 51 or 52 states at which I just shake my head and say,”kids today.”
I think it’s because there was a lot of talk about Puerto Rico becoming a state, which would have been the 51st… but it hasn’t happened yet.

L. said:

Also, I remember my mother always saying 52 states instead of 50 when I was growing up and getting annoyed because she was a teacher and thats such common knowledge.

Josh asked:

To the people who remember being taught about 52 States, do you remember the names of the other two?

miss_fiona said:

I remember arguing with our teacher over the number because I had been taught that there was fifty until that point. According to her Hawaii was the 51st state, but I don’t remember what she said was the 52nd.

Hoss listed the 52 states as he recalls them, including Puerto Rico and D.C.:

1. Alabama, 2. Alaska, 3. Arizona, 4. Arkansas 5. Colorado 6. California, 7. Connecticut, 8. Delaware, 9. Florida, 10. Georgia, 11. Hawaii, 12. Illinois, 13. Indiana, 14. Idaho, 15. Iowa, 16. Kentucky, 17. Kansas, 18. Louisiana, 19. Massachusetts, 20. Maryland, 21. Mississippi, 22. Maine, 23. Missouri, 24. Michigan 25. Minnesota, 26. Montana, 27. New Jersey, 28. New York, 29. North Carolina 30. New Hampshire, 31. Nevada, 32. Nebraska, 33. North Dakota 34. New Mexico, 35. Oklahoma, 36. Ohio, 37. Oregon, 38. Pennsylvania, 39. Puerto Rico. 40. Rhode Island 41. South Carolina, 42. South Dakota, 43. Tennessee, 44. Texas, 45. Utah, 46. Virginia, 47. Vermont, 48. Wisconsin, 49. West Virginia, 50. Washington, 51. Wyoming, 52. Washington DC

So, I think the question really is: In an alternate timeline, did Puerto Rico already become a state? Or, did the District of Columbia become one, separately or as well?

Or, is this simply confusion over districts, territories, and states?

Note: Comments that say that there really are 50 states in this timestream, will be deleted. We already know that. That’s exactly why 51 or 52 states seem like an anomaly, and worth discussing at this website.

Illustration credit: Addicted04, at Wikipedia.

186 thoughts on “51 or 52 United States?”

  1. This is one of the memories I don’t share. For me it has always been fifty “nifty” United States (I learned the song in elementary school). However, I do remember sometime in late elementary (so around 1988-91) having to do a maths “project” relating to the stars on the flag. At that time, both Puerto Rico and Guam were talking about voting to petition for statehood and it was looking very likely that they would be granted statehood if petitioned. Our “project” was to figure out how to best arrange the stars assuming either or both nations achieved statehood.

    I’m not sure exactly what year it was. I know I was most likely in 4th (88-89), 5th (89-90), or 6th (90-91) grade. I mention this all because I find it interesting that these years seem to show up pretty consistently in people’s memories as being when potential shifts may have occurred or when certain ME events happened in other timelines. I’m curious if others who remember 50 states also remember the push for statehood for those countries at that same time.

    It occurred to me that when a major event happens in one timeline, it might possibly correlate to a similar, but lesser, event in a connected or similar timeline. Kind of like ripples in a pond. So, for example, in one timeline Mandela dies in jail. In the next closest, he has a surgery or major illness in jail, but lives. In the next closest, that may be the moment he is put in jail. In the farthest timeline (but one where he might still exist) he may not even be famous, but he might stub his toe or get a paper cut. The next farthest timeline would not be altered as it would be the first timeline in which he did not exist.

    These are the kinds of things I think about while washing dishes, lol!

  2. I know I had a belief that there were 52 states at one point, because when the movie “51st State” came out I remember being confused, because there were already 52, and the 51st state was already accounted for. I’m from the UK. I couldn’t say what I believed the extra states were, except that one was almost certainly the District of Colombia. The other could have been Puerto Rico, or Guam or something, I don’t remember. I think if it wasn’t contiguous, I would have remembered though, so most likely I believed there was an extra state squished into the American landmass somewhere, or maybe one of the existing ones was split, like the Dakotas, or Carolinas.

  3. Oh, and not to discount anybody else’s memories but I also grew up thinking the U.S. had 52 states but I’m pretty sure I know why.

    My parent’s generation grew up with 48 states and then Hawaii and Alaska were added so they would frequently say things like, “the states plus Alaska and Hawaii” or “the continental states plus two.”
    Having never known a time with 48 states I morphed this into 50 states “plus Alaska and Hawaii” thus forming the 52 number.

    I know other people will have different reasons for this but that may explain it for some other folks.

  4. I have a theory about why some Americans may know on one level that there are 50 states but also have a memory of there being some slightly greater number of states, and specifically that the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are in some sense states.

    As a child, you may have watched beauty pageants (think Miss America or Miss USA) or other events in which all there were contestants or representatives from each state. The District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are usually treated as “states” for these purposes so there are 51 or 52 contestants. You and your parents may have remarked on this, perhaps when choosing favorite contestants or keeping score at home:

    “How do you get to be in the Miss America contest?” “You have to win the contest for your state.”

    “So there is only one woman from each state, right?” “Right, only one for the whole state.”

    “Miss Puerto Rico sure has a great smile.” “Yes, she does. I think she will be a finalist for sure.”

    “Say, is Puerto Rico a state?” “I think so. Puerto Ricans are definitely Americans. The Garcias moved here from Puerto Rico and they did not need to become citizens.”

    “Are you sure Puerto Rico is a state?” “It must be. Remember, when I was your age, Alaska and Hawaii weren’t states. Wasn’t there a vote on this a few years ago?”

    This might cause the young viewer to conclude that Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia must be states, because there is Miss Puerto Rico competing for Miss America and a parent concluded that Puerto Rico had to be a state.

    (I have chose a beauty pageant as the example but the same think could happen with a sports tournament, a planned vacation, learning about another person’s background, etc.)

    This information, which you learned in a more personal and interesting manner, may have conflicted with the abstract political and geographical information you were being taught at school, but you have forgotten the latter and remember the former.

    Some questions for those with memories of more than 50 states:

    1. Many people have learned to recite the states in alphabetical order very fast or have heard others do it. Do you remember anyone doing this with more than 50 states?

    2. Likewise, many of us had to memorize the state capitals for school. This is a challenging feat and often called for drills or mnemonics. Do you remember the capitals of more than 50 states? Do you remember drilling or being tested on this? Did you have a mnemonic for remembering this information?

    3. What about politics? Do you also remember there being more than 100 US senators? Do you remember electoral maps showing how Puerto Rico or other additional states voted? (Note that the District of Columbia participates in presidential elections under the 50-state scheme.)

    4. On the other hand, do you remember there being something different about the additional states, like they were not represented in Congress, did not get to vote for president, did not speak English, or anything like that?

    1. Reader, I’m taking this at face value and approving it because I’d be interested in people’s replies to your questions. It could bring more depth to the 50/51/52 states discussion.

      1. I thought of one more question, which is whether anyone remembers a flag with more than 50 stars.

  5. Fiona,
    I’ve submitted this to post here as I realize I posted it in the wrong place (alternate geography memories) earlier.

    Have you come across any people who remember states not being states?

    I know you mentioned somewhere the Tennessee being two states memory.

    I grew up in Maine. I distinctly remember “going to America” when we would go south to NH or Massachusetts.

    I remember being in my mom’s old wood paneled jeep. I remember being on the road and I remember going to the United States of America. And my home, Maine, was not one of those states.

    Am I alone in this?

  6. I was always convinced there were 52 states. I can’t name them but I was sure that Washington D.C. was a state.
    I remember being very confused when the film “51st state” came out.

    On an aside, I spoke to a colleague about this and he said he has a vivid recollection from school (London), where they had to name all the states, he named Alaska and everyone laughed at him saying that wasn’t a state. Chances are that they were just mis-informed however.

    For reference, I was born Jan 1988 in London and have lived in England my whole life.

  7. Fiona, I recall in history class that Cuba and the Philippines were annexed by McKinley after the Spanish-American war. They were both struck out in the 20s or 30s.

  8. I’m 27, American (born and raised) and while I know there are only 50 states, my automatic response has always been 51. For as long as I can remember even, but I can’t remember what the 51st state is. Well, that’s not true. I know Hawaii and Alaska (never sure which was first) are the last two states. So the odd one out falls before them, I just don’t know what it is. And I honestly don’t remember ever being corrected as a child that there weren’t 51. Now as an adult I’ve been corrected so many times that whenever it comes up I have to pause and remind myself to use the right number. I’ve just been thinking I was confused. This website is kind of freaking me out.

  9. I’m flipping out I am from the USA, and while I know there are only fifty states, I get an extremely strong, odd, familiar feeling from the fact that there were 52 states. It’s like I don’t truly have sharp memories about the other two states, but my subconscious knows deep down that there are/where 52.

  10. I’m 32 and from Ohio. I remember sometime during my school years being taught that instead of the original 50 states, we had 52 – the add-ons being Hawaii and Alaska. In fact, my son asked me the other day how many states there were and I told him 52!! I just asked my 29 year old brother what he remembered being taught and he said 52 as well. We’re also in the “BerenstEin” club over here! Berenstain doesn’t look or sound right to us and we grew up on this. So trippy!

  11. Hello, I do remember there being 52 states as well, the 51st and 52nd being Hawaii and Alaska. I remember being taught that these two states were added later, and prior to that The United States had began with 50 states.

  12. I remember in middle school when we were learning the states (again). There was a question on a worksheet asking how many states there are, I wrote down 51. My teacher looked at me like I was insane and I couldn’t figure out why until he told me that there’s only 50. I was embarrassed at the for getting such a seemingly easy question wrong.

  13. I’m Australian—born in 1990. Convinced there were 51 states until I came across this page from a Berenst(E)ain article.

    I travelled to the USA a couple of years ago and remember being confused there were two “Washington states”—Washington and Washington D.C.

  14. The only numbers I’ve ever heard were 50 and 48. I remember the US only having 48 states at one point, but I don’t remember it ever having more than 50.

    I have occasionally wondered exactly why Guam and Puerto Rico weren’t states, and about the fact that people living in Washington D.C. have no voting representatives in Congress. It seems rather unfair. I have felt that it goes against the “taxation without representation” principle, and that those territories should be considered states so that they can be represented in Congress. That’s actually a moral qualm I have with the way the US does things, and not a memory of things being otherwise. If anything, 50 states and three major territories with no voice always stood out to me as blatant political manipulation. It actually makes me wonder if the people from timelines where the US had 52 or more states remember a version of the US that was more honorable than the present incarnation.

  15. Right I don’t know if this is some kind of led thinking due to reading about this but since finding out about it I have a distinct memory of Muhammed Ali dyeing and now this one is mental not only do I remember there being 52 states I also have a weird memory of America changing from 52 states to 50 I have no recollection as to why just a distinct feeling that I read somewhere they were reducing the number of States from 52 to 50 and even the flag being changed with the number of stars how can this be?!

    1. Matthew, you’re not alone with that memory. At this site and in private conversations, I’ve heard that same kind of comment from people with similar memories.

      Decreasing the number of American states is an odd one. As far as I know, Texas is the only state that has (in theory, anyway) the right to leave the USA if they decide to. So, that could be one of the two that left, in that alternate reality. The other one…? California and Vermont seem possibilities, at least in our reality. Or, two states could have combined, such as West Virginia and Virginia, or Rhode Island could have been annexed by Massachusetts or Connecticut.

      At the very least, it’s fun to speculate which two states made up the 52, and — if the number later decreased — which two changed the number back to 50.

      Cheerfully, Fiona

  16. I was born in 1963 in New Zealand. We were taught at school that the USA comprised 51 states and the 51st state was Hawaii. This was so ingrained in my memory that when the movie “Fifty First Dates” was released, i thought it was called “Fifty 1st States. Then when I found out the real title of the movie I concluded it must be a play on words because coincidently the movie was set in Hawaii. I commented this to lots of people back when the movie was first released and no one ever challenged me because they also believed there were 51 States.

  17. I’ve lived in The States my whole life, and I’ve always had to stop and think before I say something about the number of states, because I always want to say that there are 51, but it’s like that knowledge and the knowledge of there being 50 states are fighting for dominance in my head. I don’t know what the 51st state is, but it’s not like you list all 50 states in your head when you’re trying to remember how many states there are. You just try to remember what number you were taught. I can’t remember which number we were taught in school. It’s also weird because my brain is like an information sponge. I remember almost every random fact that I read, and you would think that the number of states would be a pretty basic, easy to remember fact. Did anyone else think that Alaska was an island, and not because of the way it appears on maps of The States? I had a lot of arguments with my mom when I was in 1st grade because I swore (and still swear to this day) that my teacher told us that Alaska was an island. She’s dead now, and I didn’t stay in contact with any of those classmates, but I really want to know if she really taught us that or if I just somehow misunderstood.

  18. I was born and raised in America, and have been enthralled with geography and history for the majority of my 30 year life. As a very young child I touted my abilities to recite all 50 states and their capitals from memory, and recognize all 50 states by shape. However, my 80 year old grandmother was and still is convinced that there are 52 states, Alaska and Hawaii being the most recent additions. My 50 year old mother also swears she was taught that there were 52 states growing up, but cannot remember when her memory switched to 50 states and does not recall a specific reason for her change in stance neither. It has been a source of many heated discussions, which end in cross-referencing 60+ year old atlases, 30 year old encyclopedias, and the internet.

  19. I’m very glad to have found this site, as up until a few hours ago I was absolutely positive that there were 52 states, and recall clearly being taught this in school. I even remember painting the 52 stars on the American flag when I was at primary school in the early 1980s in England.

    Like others, I was also taught that Hawaii and Alaska were the last two states to join, and I also remember thinking “what is this nonsense!!!” when the film “The 51st State” came out, being sure that something strange must have gone down that I wasn’t aware of regarding the reclassification of some of the states. How can this be? Everyone I know was taught that the USA has or at least did have 52 states.

    I particularly remembered this fact because I love mathematics and knew that 52 = 4 x 13 and that there were originally 13 colonies. This is too bizarre!!!

    The only thing on the planet hat I know of that potentially has the power to mess with the timeline is the Large Hadron Collider over there in Switzerland at CERN. Could any of these inconsistencies be connected?

  20. I have heard various people on this site describe paradoxical duel memories. I share many (if not most) of the alternate memories listed and mentioned here, but have only one set of duel memories, and that is regarding the states. I clearly remember 50 states AND 52 states. In regards to my 52-state memory, I remember my OCD feathers always being fuffled over the uneven number of states, but inwardly aknowledged that mathmatical symmetry was not a higher priority than national inclusion. And then, coexisting with that memory, I remember wondering if the flag could be easily redesigned (in an as asthetically pleasing/symmetrical form as the 50-star design of this timeline) to accomodate any new states that could theoretically be added to the existing 50.

    Having alternate memories can be strange. To anyone who hasn’t experienced duel memories, let me tell you – it’s even weirder.

  21. I am from the USA and I remember being taught that there are 50 states and 1 district. Hench 51?? I always got confused when referencing the District of Columbia because I wanted to call it a state and was quickly corrected by my US government teacher. I have always known there are 50 states, with Hawaii and Alaska being the newest additions and Washington D.C. being a district not a state.

  22. I’ve been at this for a day now. I can’t seem to get away from it, which makes me suspicious that it may just be another program to keep me thinking. If that’s the case, it’s working.

    I remember being taught that Alaska and Hawaii were 51 & 52. It seems very odd to me to think there were 48 and those two made 50. I also recall in the mid to late 80’s New Jersey was to become North Jersey and South Jersey. I remember it being a done deal, but it never happened. I remember people talking about Puerto Rico possibly becoming a state, but also never occurring.

    I have also had many of the memories listed here of celebrities dying so i will not repeat … But won’t it be interesting when it happens to someone not so famous?

    I have also noticed that the longer I explore a subject on the Mandela Effect … I start to question my initial response, even if i was 100% sure. Like Mirror, mirror.


  23. Star Trek The Next Generation
    Season 2
    Episode 12
    @ 3:00 into the show, a price of debris is beamed onto the ship. The debris has on it an old NASA symbol with a flag. If the debris was intact, you would clearly count 52 stars.

  24. Hi Fiona,

    Elle stated on June 27th 2015 that they remembered Texas being 3 separate states. I think I can back that up, as well as bring in the ME on the topic, with a little dissection.

    The Star Trek The Next Generation Season 2 Episode 12 ‘The Royale’ reveled a USA flag with 52 stars. It is layer stated in the episode that this occurred between 2033 & 2079. This may not be an ME event but I feel there is an ME message here. Let me explain…

    – The Stardate equals 23 (coincidence? No. A sign to pay attention)
    – Pierre Fermat’s last theorem is mentioned casually, this is a formula that deals with Dimensions.
    – 52 star flag is shown on space debris, with old an NASA symbol. Later it is revealed that 52 stars happened between 2033-2079, which takes us off of the ME, but not the message. This is the topic to which the signs point, which is confirmed by Picard’s next statement…
    – Picard states “we have a bit of a mystery on our hands
    (this spoken after the flag is shown)
    – Episode involves a ship lost in time
    – dialog of interest: “Illusions designed to deceive us” & “Recalibrating frequencies”.
    – Landing party explores a simulated 20th century Earth with an *unseen* building with a revolving door.
    – There is a character in the episode named *TEXAS*. He is from LUBBOCK TX. and is getting a divorce, he’s almost broke from gambling. By the end of the episode he loses everything. Texas is broke (broken?). Significant dialog – “do I hit Texas?” This character Texas represents North Texas.
    – Mickey D is another character. This may seem like grasping but stay with me. Mickey D’s is what? McDonalds. He’s dressed like a clown with poka dot shirt and striped suit. Significant dialog – bellboy speaking to Mickey D. “when I was a kid I looked up to you. The suit and the fancy shoes.”. There is the McDonald Observatory located in the mountains just outside Austin TX. since 1933. This character represents Central TX.
    – The Bellboy is shot in the back and killed by Mickey D. Shades of the Clark assassination? The bellboy represents South TX.

    Like I said, not a Mandela Effect event, but I feel this is a message to what may have occurred concerning the other 2 states on another dimensional timeline.

  25. My kids, 19 and 23, both said 50 states. But my husband who’s 50, said 51 states and was sure that I was lying to him haha. Myself, I always have to stop and think about it. I’m inclined to say 52 most of the time but not sure why. My husband attended grade school in WA and then moved away to ID. I attended grade school also in WA and moved away to OR, so maybe WA state was randomly teaching it all wrong as our schools were only 5 miles apart. We did not know each other growing up and even weirder is that we found a picture of two kids that maybe looked 11 or 12 years old that looks exactly like me and my husband. In the picture, my husband has a pack of smokes rolled up in his Tshirt sleeve. But he’s never smoked. Around age 15 or so, I began smoking. But we did not meet until I was 17 and he was 18, when we both had just randomly moved back to WA state.(that’s another weird story) I’m pretty sure he used to carry my smokes for me in his sleeve when we were dating. I always wondered if it was from an alternate dimension or reality. We have no idea where this picture came from. But we are positive it’s us.

  26. I always was confused by the number of states. I always thought there was 51 or 52 even though I knew Puerto Rico Guam etc were not states. For some reason those numbers stuck in my head instead of 50. Even now I have to force my mind to change the number to 50 when I think about how many states there are. I think hmm is it 51 or 52? No it is 50! 50! 50!

    For anyone who has read 1984 could the Mandela effect be related to revisionist history being forced upon us to accept the new reality even though we know it’s wrong? The job of the main character was to scrub media to change the “truth” of events to match what the govt said it should be. A major example is that the character is forced to learn 2+2=5 not because it is correct but it that he should believe what the govt tells him he should believe.

  27. I’m from Germany and I remember being taught in school that there are 52 states.
    I’m not sure about the numbers of stars on the flag though, I never bothered to count them but I think I was told that there are 52 as well. Some time later (like 5-10 years ago) I read something about them wanting to keep it at 50 stars though, even if a new state should ever be added. That was the first time I ever got confused about how many states the US has.

  28. I am an intelligent, college graduate US citizen my whole life and for some unknown reason I always have trouble with this question or 50 or 52 and have to really think about it before answering. I know I confuse 52 weeks of the year with 50 states in the union.

  29. Hey, I am honestly shocked to learn about this. I’m from England, and I was born in 1984. About 4 years ago I happened to see a copy of the film “51st” state in a second hand shop, and I turned to my partner at the time and said “I don’t get it” and she replied that the UK was the “extra state.” But that made no sense to me because I know that there are 52 states. I asked her how many states there are 51 or 52? She said 50, and I thought she was either joking or stupid. Honestly, I still don’t believe it when I see it written. I have distinct memories of there being either 51 or 52 states and when I ask someone “Are there 51 or 52 states?” and they often scoff with their reply of “Huh? There’s 50.”

    I get a reaction like I’m asking people if there are 8 or 9 colours in the rainbow…

    Anyway, I’m very glad to have learnt about this shared problem with clashing memories. I very clearly remember being told there are 52 states when I was very young (like around aged 10) and I am a very intellegent person let me assure you. I also have an incredibly good memory especially when it comes to facts. I do feel like I’m a bit hazy when I try and think about the number of states in America though, as if I almost have a memory of both 51 and 52 and it’s a different feeling to “not being sure.” 50 absolutely sounds wrong though, and this idea of 48/49? I’ve never ever ever heard there to be any number assosiated with states to be in the 40s.

    I also remember “Tank man” being run over, we talked about him being a martyr at the time when I was a kid, I remember having the vague recollection Nelson Mandella dying decades ago, and when he died recently I felt like “Hasn’t he been dead for ages?” and being very confused by why so many were upset about it.

    But… It wasn’t until I heard that apparently New Zealand has moved that I really got interested. How on earth can people believe a country can move? There must be some really stupid people out there to think that either a country has moved, or they didn’t know that it’s North East of Australia. If you don’t know that you must be an idiot! I had a map on my wall when I was a kid though so I know my geography very well. I used to remember where New Zealand is by thinking “Tasmania is the island just below and to the right of Australia, and New Zealand is the island just above and to the right of Australia.” Easy to remember right?

    Well, lets just say after I Googled it just now I am almost in tears…

    Sri Lanka has always felt odd to me too, and Hawii seems further away from the USA than it should be. I think maybe because my memory is so good it might be why I can remember so many of these “duel memories.” Either way this is really messing my head up and I feel like I need to go and lie down for a while…

    1. Fleecemaster, welcome to this community! You’re among friends, and many have had felt surprise and even overwhelming confusion about what’s going on. It can be a shock to discover the scope of the changes from what we recall.

      You are fine. Trust your memories. This may be a slightly different reality than you’re used to, but most everything is still the same. (Otherwise, you’d have noticed that everything was different.)

      I do my best to keep this a very space place to discuss Mandela Effect topics. Feel free to comment, ask questions, and make observations about the changes you’ve noticed or aren’t sure of.

      1. Thank you ! I feel welcome! 🙂

        I’ve posted up in another thread about some theories I’ve collated from reading through these threads, I’ve only just found your article on multi-universes though, which actually covers most of what I said, so sorry about that!

        Someone pointed out in the “moving geography” thread that his friend drew this picture:


        This is EXACTLY how I remember it too, there’s no pointy bit going towards Papua New Guinea, it had a small buldge but nothing like what it is now… It’s like a pointy witches hat now! lol

        By the way due to the merging of the timelines, those who, for example, live in New Zealand would have such strong memories of the “correct” timeline that it would over-ride any “time-sliding” memories, as I think you call them 😉

        The things that will be a bit hazy for people will be the “fringe” memories, like places they don’t know that well, and it will take them a while for the new memory to “re-adjust” For example: this “Wales on the East of Scotland” thing is completely ludicrous to me. By the way I don’t mean that insultingly, I believe that’s what they remember, but because I’m from the UK my memory would be dominated by the shape it is in this timeline. Those who don’t see it regularly will feel like “Oh, that doesn’t look right, I must have remembered wrong” then the new memory should start to “set” and they will accept the new reality.

        I have lots of other insights if you’re ever interested to know more…

        1. Thanks, Fleecemaster.

          While I understand your feelings about Wales’ location, the “completely ludicrous” phrase does come across as insulting. Sorry, but the fact is: I read that kind of rhetoric every day. It’s always about someone else’s alternate memories, and it’s not a nice way to say it.

          On one hand, I understand the discomfort people feel when they have one or two alternate memories. Their first reactions can be to distance themselves, as far as possible, from others’ many alternate memories they don’t share. At times — and I’m not saying this is the case, here — it seems like they’re comforted by the idea that, if they’re a bit mad, it’s only a small madness.

          The more appropriate response, at least in text (so no one hears any residual sarcasm, if there is any), is something along the lines of, “Oh, how interesting!”

          But I do see your point about the things we’re faced with, almost daily, that will nudge us into adopting the current reality. And, I can see it leading to the idea that it (whatever “it” is) has always been that way, across all realities and for everyone.

          The Wales topic interests me. The lore of the Formorians stands out as an enigma. They left Ireland by water. No one knows where they went.

          Without wandering too far off-topic, into the Annals of the Four Masters, and so on… I think it’s possible that there is an alternate Wales, and — in the context of the realm of the Tuathai — that Wales might well be in a different location.

          The east of Scotland works for me, because it would place the Formorians closer to Scandinavia, and I see some remarkable parallels between them and people/creatures of Norse lore.

          It’s speculation built on speculation built on thready lore, but there it is.

          I do appreciate your insights, and I’m glad you explained your phrasing.

          1. Wait what. Is going on here??? Wales isn’t on the northeast side of England right under north umberland?
            I’m from America, so I know this isn’t my part of the world but I could have sworn on a stack of bibles about learning how the Vikings went into north umberland and Wales.. and how king egbert conquered north umberland and Wales…. maybe that’s how my mind put them together??? But the map of the UK looks very strange to me now… it looks like other countries are not where I thought they were either… and Scotland looks way bigger.

            Oysters!!! Sorry this is off topic on the other side of the pond.

          2. Clearly I didn’t make my point eloquently enough.

            In this time-line (and I double checked the meaning before using it) ludicrous means “So foolish, unreasonable, or out of place as to be amusing.” Which is exactly how I felt when hearing it, and I was trying to relate it to my counter point of why other people would have this reaction to being told the belief that there are 52 states, or that New Zealand was in a different place. Usually people from these regions seldomn display these sorts of alternate memories. Perhaps I’m just not seeing all the facts, or I got misconstrued, or I simply explained my point in an unclear way. Even though I did make clear in my original statement that this wasn’t meant insultingly and that I did believe them, I will apologise for any possible insult that was incurred.

            Perhaps it’s just my fault for being British…

            1. No, Fleecemaster, your phrasing was fine and being British has nothing to do with it. (I write for international audiences and have edited for both British and American publishers.)

              It’s the “amusing” part that might grate on some visitors. Many people have been told they’re “just confused” and jeered at when they insisted otherwise.
              As a result, many MandelaEffect.com visitors are timid about discussing their alternate memories amongst strangers. I try to be very sensitive to that.

              As I said in an earlier comment — referencing the phrasing you’d used — finding out that you’re a scientist changes the context. My years at MIT taught me many things, including the fact that some (most?) scientists are flippant about opinions and unproved facts, and they’re less likely to take jests personally, even when jokes and jibes point to their own research.

              Once I understood your background, your lighthearted tone made sense.

              1. I see, I probably should have described myself as “bewildered”

                I certainly wasn’t claiming people are “just confused”, and that was not my intention.

  30. I’m uncertain about the states, but I know that I’m always uncomfortable with 50. I have recollection of thinking there were 52 (like a deck of cards) and at some point being corrected to 51, which I kept for a while until I was again corrected.

    Then, I always had trouble remembering how many states there were because I knew I was wrong but I didn’t know which way to go from 51 — if it was 50 or 52. Even now I have to stop and check myself when thinking about the states. My mind jumps to 51 but I remember that it’s wrong and have to manually remind myself that it’s 50.

    I don’t think Puerto Rico was ever part of this confusion, though.

  31. I always thought there were 51 states, including D.C. and honestly, I only discovered there were only 50 about a year ago. (I’m from the UK also)

  32. I was born and raise in the US and absolutely remember 52 states. The weird part is that I know DC and Puerto Rico were not states in my memory, the 2 states names were Burnswick and Veracruz. This one ME is hard for me to even think about too much because it makes me feel so creeped out. None of the others I have experienced make me feel this way.

    1. Kari, that’s very interesting. One question: Did you mean Burnswick or had you intended to say Brunswick? (New Brunswick is due north of the American state of Maine. In an alternate reality, I could see the borders being drawn there instead of where Maine is.)

  33. I always knew there were 50 states, It’s pretty much the only geographical fact that I remember about the USA. But I just asked my mum and my sister and they both thought there were 52 (50 plus Alaska and Hawaii). Odd.

  34. Actually, the answer isn’t 50. The US is technically made up of 46 states and 4 commonwealths. Puerto Rico is just a territory. Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Massachusetts are all known as commonwealths, not states.

  35. I’m from Russia and I thought there were 52 states in the USA (Alaska and Hawaii are the last two) until some moment I found out there are only 50. I asked my friends how many states in the USA they know and about half of them answered 52 or 51, only three of them said there are 50 states and they never thought otherwise. I thought this delusion is common only in Russia, but here I find it’s common everywhere.

  36. Not exactly a confusion of the number of states per say, but when I was in fifth grade every student in the class had to pick a state to write a report on. I picked Alaska, because my cousin lived there for a couple of years and was able to send me some items that I could show to the class, related to the natives and the culture and stuff. I clearly remember researching when it became a state, which was the year 1955 (in this reality, actually 1959), which was also the same year that Hawaii was given statehood (in this reality, also occurred in 1959, so at least both states were added the same year in both realities.) I remember it being the year 1955 because I clearly remember thinking about how they were both added exactly 10 years after WWII ended, in which the US joined in great part because pearl harbor was bombed, and in my fifth grade brain I couldn’t fathom how the US got all up in arms over the bombing of an island that wasn’t even a state at the time. Maybe my memory was just off, and I’d be more inclined to believe this is the case before blaming alternate realities, but when I visited Alaska for myself earlier this year, I was taken aback by the monuments that said Alaska became a state in 1959, when I was fairly certain it was supposed to be 1955.

  37. I am from South africa, and I was also taught that there were 52 states comprising the USA. The only reason I found your site, is that I intend to visit New York in the near future, and decided to do some research. I saw that there was a statement that there are 50 states in the USA, and that totally confused me, hence my further research and discovering your site. This is all very confusing. So many people from around the globe, including Americans who recall being taught or who automatically think that there are 52 states……and yet there are only 50? Strange….

  38. I was born in the 70’s, lived on the US my entire life,..it should be 51. I know this for a fact because when I was little I would draw the American flag and would struggle with how to get the stars in an even pattern. I remember counting the stars on the flag and realizing the rows all had a different number of stars.. not like now where they alternate with five and six.

    But then in the 90’s I remember my sister singing, “Fifty, fifty Unites States…” And I could not believe I had it wrong all along.

    I sometimes have memories of it being 48, though… I would believe it was a false memory with just about any other number, but not an even number because of the memory of drawing the flag.

  39. I went to high school in Scotland from 1993-1997. My Geography teacher once told my Mum at parent’s night that if he could give a prize to any one student in my year, it would be me. I used to get 100% in class tests. Geography was my favorite subject.
    I vividly remember the moment he taught us about the American States. I was interested because I have American citizenship and my parents are American, so I listened carefully. He told us the USA used to have 50 states and each star on the flag represents a state, so they used to be easy to line up. But then they added Hawaii and Alaska so they had to change the layout of the stars to make 52 fit and that’s why it’s less neat now.

    I now live in the USA and it was only a couple of years ago that I learned there are only 50 states and have never been 52. I felt so confused when I first heard. Then a couple of days ago I found this site and found that I am not alone in having this memory.

    I’d be very interested to look up the Geography text books that the US was using in 1995. Is it possible that other countries were actually teaching 52 US states? Surely not, since 1995 wasn’t exactly the dark ages.

  40. Yep. From DublinI reland and Def was taught there was 52 states. I just Googled it after I saw on TV that there was only 50. Very Strange everyone’s memory is 52

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