Why Do We Experience Déjà Vu?


If you’re French then you might know that déjà vu means “already seen”. Déjà vu is an overwhelming feeling of having done something before, when in reality you haven’t. Like when going to New York for your first time, and when you stand right in the middle of Manhattan you get this strange, intense feeling. You feel like you’ve been in this exact spot before, staring at the exact same billboards and watching the exact same people walk past you. But it can’t be, because this is your first trip to New York.

A while back ago you were considered Crazy with a capital C if you had a déjà vu. But not any more. Up to 70% of people have experienced some sort of déjà vu in their life. Most of them between the age of 15-25 years old.

Some people take this strong feeling for being evidence of precognition, almost like being psychic, we know what is going to happen on a unconscious level, before it actually happens. In this theory the future is coexisting with the past and present. The future is already set.

Of course, this is just one theory. Which to me seems a little far fetched. What does Mr. Science has to say about déjà vu?

The same, as always, we don’t know for sure. We don’t have rock hard evidence that can tell us why we experience this intense feeling of reliving the past. But, as always, there are a few theories that can make us a little bit wiser.

Many scientists believe it has something to do with our brain’s memory system. Or more precisely a faulty memory. This can help explain why we experience déjà vu when we’re stressed or are feeling tired. In more depth, this theory believes one part of our brain registers an event slightly before the other parts of the brain. Almost like your brain has hiccups. Which leads us to believe we have been here and done that before.


But, wait! There is yet a another theory! Well, to be honest there are more than 40 of them. But we have to draw the line somewhere..

The Hologram Theory. You don’t know what a hologram is? Don’t worry, I’ll tell you. A hologram is a 3D image made by using lasers. The idea is that our memories act similar to holograms. You can recreate the whole memory by only having a small part of the memory available. In reality this means that you can remove a part of the brain containing the memory (not recommended), but you will still be able to remember your memory. This is because your brain only needs a small piece of the memory to recall it, just like a hologram.

So when you get a déjà vu it might be because your experience share similarities with an experience in the past. Your brain messes up and combine the two experiences into a false memory. That’s the Hologram Theory for you.

Now, I just have to talk about a completely different theory. This is quite frankly the latest, and perhaps the most exciting theory to date. Can parallel universes explain déjà vu?

Okay, stay with me. This is not something I made up. This theory is explained in details by my famous physicist Michio Kaku. Many physicists are open to the possibilities of multiple universe. A multiverse. Imagine a radio. You have to tune it to a frequeny to listen to your favourite channel. However, you can only listen to one frequeny at a time. The other frequency are there, but you don’t see them or hear them. This might be our lives according to the multiverse theory. Many different universes laying on top of each other, but you can’t see them or interact with them.. or can you? The theory is that when you experience a déjà vu you are actually interacting with a different universe. In what way that would be is not defined, it’s a small and rather unlikely theory. Yet I found it interesting enough to mention it to you guys. If you want to read more about this theory you either watch the video below or visit this site.

One thought on “Why Do We Experience Déjà Vu?

  1. This is not what I’ve experienced. I was standing with a group of friends, when suddenly I knew exactly what everyone was going to say and do about five seconds in advance. This is not piecing together “similar” situations, because that does not account for my knowing with exactitude what would be done and said. This is not part of my brain perceiving the world slightly ahead of another part, because I knew what the next few comments and actions would be, and I was taking part in them in real time. In addition, I wouldn’t call five seconds “slightly ahead”. This has happened to me numerous times, and it’s always the same phenomenon. I like the explanation “We don’t know” the best so far.

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