Do you remember the Berenstein Bears children’s books from your youth? If you do, I’ve got some bad news. They’re actually called the The Berenstain, and you’ve been saying it wrong all these years.

How is this possible? Have you just been mistaken for all this time? Are you insane?

Relax. It’s not your fault. There’s actually a very simple explanation for the discrepancy: reality has been altered, and we now live in a parallel universe.

Feel better? Don’t thank me. Thank a blogger named Reece who posted the theory back in 2012.

Here’s the thing. These books play such a huge role in the collective memories of so many people, all of whom clearly and distinctly remember “BerenstEin”, that I am not the first to propose the notion that somehow, at some time in the last 10 years or so, reality has been tampered with and history has been retroactively changed. The bears really were called the “BerenstEin Bears” when we were growing up, but now reality has been altered such that the name of the bears has been changed post hoc.

In 1992 they were “stEin” in 1992, but in 2012 they were “stAin” in 1992.

For those of you who think Reece is suggesting time travel is to blame, don’t be ridiculous.

“It’s an interesting theory, and I admire it for its simplicity, but it is flawed,” Reece wrote in his blog. “Time travel doesn’t actually work that way, and if someone had ‘stepped on a butterfly’, it would not impact the future because they had already stepped on the butterfly before they left for the past; history has to be consistent.”

No, for Reece, the more logical explanation is that “we are all living in our own parallel universe.”

There is at least one other universe parallel to our own. I will distinguish the two by the stEin universe and the stAin universe, depending on the surname of the creators of the famous children’s book. The stEin universe was the world we resided in during the 1990s. Sometime after we all stopped reading kids books, that is when we were shifted in to the stAin universe.

And what happened to everyone in the stAin universe?

They are standing around expressing their confusion about the “Berenstein Bears” and how they all remember “Berenstain Bears” on the covers growing up.

Makes total sense.

The blog post has grown in popularity over the years, to the point where the theory has been absorbed into the so-called Mandela Effect, which tries to explain why large portions of the population have memories that are inconsistent with our present-day reality. For example, many people seem to remember Nelson Mandela dying decades before his 2013 death. Others claim geographic changes have occurred, such as the country of New Zealand moving farther south.

This video from YouTube user SuspectSky goes into more detail.

At any rate, before you go too far down the rabbit hole and start taking these people seriously, I’d like to end with a nice quote from Reece’s profile profile page.

A little nonsense now and then, is relished by the wisest men.

Funny. Google says that’s a Roald Dahl quote. But I could have sworn it was Andy Warhol. Weird.

(Source: Woodbetweenworlds, H/T: The AVClub, H/T: StrangerDimensions)