Is Eddie Murphy dead? That's the question people are asking after the nearly decade-old rumor surfaced yet again in May of 2017.
The answer is no, Eddie Murphy is not dead. The 56-year-old comedian is alive and well. For the sake of pin-point accuracy and journalistic integrity, it bears noting that it's not outside the realm of possibility that, as you read these words, Eddie Murphy has died and the news hasn't reached the general public yet. But for now, he's very much alive.
— JolitaSocial (@jolitasocial) April 24, 2017
For some strange reason, Murphy appears to be a popular target of the celebrity death hoax industry. The Inquisitr has reported on his "death" in August of 2009, February of 2012, and again in July of 2012. In fact, when the February 2012 rumors were circulating, at least three different causes of death were circulating: a luxury yacht accident, a car accident, and possibly a snowboard accident.
Not for nothing, Murphy has been in the news of late. Two weeks ago (on April 12, to be exact), Eddie's brother Charlie Murphy passed away. As TMZ reported at the time, the 57-year-old comedian died of leukemia at his home.
— LA Kristiansen (@LaLaKristiansen) May 1, 2017
So why does Eddie Murphy keep turning up as the subject of death hoaxes? Mainly because he's an easy target: his celebrity status isn't big enough that his every move is followed by the paparazzi, and his death would quickly make front-page news. However, he's not obscure enough that a rumor about his death can emerge, and no one would care. He's right in that sweet spot of "This sounds just convincing enough to be believable."
Which is why hoax websites and other purveyors of fake news love to report his death. In fact, every time Murphy has supposedly turned up dead, a fake news outlet has been behind it. The source of the most recent round, according to Snopes, is Linkbeef.
"Falsehoods previously advanced by Linkbeef included a claims a gang member died after gold plating his genitals, a 'lab-grown' baby had been 'born,' the pilot of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 was found alive and confused in Taiwan, a wealthy man tried to recruit numerous women to be the prospective mothers of his children, and a death hoax involving comedian Adam Sandler."
There is another component to the celebrity death-hoax phenomenon, and it extends beyond fake news and into the realms of quantum physics and philosophy, and it's called The Mandela Effect.
Named for former South African president Nelson Mandela, the Mandela Effect refers to the fact that millions of people around the world swear up and down that they remember hearing about Mandela dying in a South African prison in the 1980s. The problem is, Nelson Mandela did not die in a South African prison in the 1980s. He was released from prison in 1990, went on to serve as president of South Africa in the 1990s, and died in 2013, at the age of 95, of a respiratory infection.
The psychological explanation for this phenomenon is false memory. But to philosophers and physicists, perhaps there's more to it.
Imagine that, instead of one universe, there are an infinite number of parallel universes, and each time something happens, a new parallel universe manifests based on the result of that thing happening. So, for example, maybe in one parallel universe, Nelson Mandela really did die in a South African prison in the 1980s. And you and I live in a universe where it didn't happen, but people who insist that they remember it live in a universe where it did happen. And when you cross paths with such a person, you are standing at the intersection (metaphorically, of course), of two parallel universes.
So maybe in a parallel universe, Eddie Murphy really did die. But not in this one.
[Featured Image by Christopher Polk/Getty Images]