It appears absurd that if a butterfly flaps its wings in Brazil, it will cause a hurricane in Texas; of course, they cannot do that. What exactly is the Butterfly effect?

The butterfly effect derives from an analogy in chaos theory that describes “the sensitive dependence on initial conditions in which a small change in one state of a deterministic system can result in large differences in a later stage.”

In other words, small changes can lead to much larger, more complex changes. Similarly, the concept of time travel appears dangerous because a minor change in history could have a negative impact on the future.

“You could not remove a single grain of sand from its place without thereby … changing something throughout all parts of the immeasurable whole”

Fichte(The vocation of Man 1800).

Butterfly Effect in real life

Here are some examples of the Butterfly Effect, which occurred when small changes led to larger changes, such as the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

5. The Elian Gonzalez Saga

The story of a young boy who influenced the 2000 presidential election, giving George W. Bush the presidency.

Elian, his mother, and heris boyfriend, along with 11 others, fled to Cuba, and three days later their boat sank, leaving only Elian and two others alive. Elian was discovered clinging to an inner tube off the coast of Fort Lauderdale by two fishermen on Thanksgiving Day 1999.

ILS granted Elian’s Miami relatives custody, and the Gonzalez family took him home. However, on November 27th, h is father, Juan Miguel Gonzalez, requested his son’s return.

Cuban-American protesters demonstrate in the streets of Miami's Little Havana,
Cuban-American protesters demonstrate in the streets of Miami’s Little Havana, April by Shaun Best REUTERS

On January 5th, ILS demands that the boy must be quickly reunited with his father, which ignited the Cuban American citizens and they started protesting in Miami which resulted in dozens arrested.

April 22nd, 2000, 5:14 am federal agents raid the Little Havana home of Gonzalez Family, and Elian is seized and reunited with his father after 5 months.

Federal agents raided the house on April 22nd and seized Elian.

During this President Clinton faced many protests over the incident.

Unfortunately, Florida was the largest Cuban community and due to Gonzalez’s saga, people did not support Bill Clinton in the upcoming election and Clinton lost to Bush by a tiny margin.

If Gonzalez’s boat never sank, the election would have a different outcome and the Iraq war would never have happened.

4. The argument over horses made films possible

Films are probably one of the most important inventions in modern history, but movies do not have an origin story of a superhero. In fact, movies today you are watching are possible because of an argument that happened in 1878 about a horse.

How an argument over horses made Films possible, Butterfly effect

Photographer Eadweard Muybridge had a disagreement with Leland Stanford over wether horses ever left the ground while running.

To settle the argument Eadweard set up cameras in rows to capture every movement along the track, which is considered as the first moving image, and it proved the point that horses do leave the ground entirely when they run.


3. Penicillin was a result of Untidy lab

Penicillin was discovered as an accident, Sir Alexander Fleming a professor of bacteriology was working with the bacteria Staphylococcus before going on vacation with his family. Little did he know that returning from his vacation will get him a Noble Prize.

Alexender Fleming

Known for being untidy researcher Fleming left the lab in mess and on his return he noticed a mold growing on his Petri dishes. It killed the bacteria growing in its area whereas other colonies further away were normal and he had discovered the first naturally occurring antibiotic drug that would become known as penicillin Fleming isolated it as a rare strain of penicillin.

This discovery led to 6.8 trillion units of penicillin being consumed annually and a Nobel Prize for Fleming.

2. Mokusatsu : One word, Two lessons.

Atmoic Bombing of hiroshima.
Atomic bombing of Japan WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

How a poor translation of the Japanese word Mokusatsu led to the United States’ decision to drop the world’s first atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

Japanese prime minister Kantaro Suzuki

So when the USA offered its terms of surrender to Japan in the allied leaders meeting in Potsdam, they submitted surrender terms, in which they have warned Japan about any negative answer would “prompt and utter destruction”

When Japanese Prime Minister Kantaro Suzuki was asked by a reporter about his response, he said “Mokusatsu”, derived from the word silence, “no comment”, but due to poor translation, US officials interpreted it a “not worthy of comment” and within ten days the decision was made to drop the atomic bomb by Harry S. Truman.

The bombing killed between 90,000 and 146,000 people in Hiroshima and 40,000 and 80,000 people in Nagasaki.

Such a small translation caused the death of over 150,000 people.

1. World War II is responsible for the creation of anime.

Osamu Tezuka

After the bombing on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 Japan was charging towards the economic problems, with the majority of the public unable to eat. This carried until the creation of Anime in 1952 by Osamu Tezuka.

Osamu Tezuka an artist, producer, doctor, and activist started creating comics on cheap prices for the public to help them cope up with day-to-day life.

Thorugh his work Osamu inspired the Japanese to get back on their feet and he did this by selling his comics at a very cheap price so that even lower class can afford. A few years later Japan overcame the emotional and economic depression.

Had world war 2 never happened, the bombs would not have been dropped in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, this would not have driven Japan into depression and inspired Osamu to make comics.

Whatever happened after world war II has a direct aftereffect on how things happened later.

Now that you’ve read about the Butterfly effect, read about Mandella Effect: Alternate Realities or False Memories and then read about Mystery behind Bermuda Triangle.