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Fallout 76 and the Mandela effect mystery of the ornate stash box

Fallout 76’s latest atomic shop update introduced a strange new item, and with it, an intriguing mystery – but one YouTuber thinks they have it solved

Fallout 76 gets an update to the atomic shop every Tuesday, and July 5 was no different. Players could enjoy the cultist dungeon bundle, some free caps, and that strange, C3PO-looking, radiation test dummy thing.

There was also the ornate stash box – a simple storage unit, partially engraved, it was a perfectly pedestrian addition to the shop’s greatest hits section, which brings past and fan-favourite bits of Fallout gear, and recycles them back into the update rota. If there’s something you’ve seen in the game before, or remember fondly from an old alt account, and want to buy again, the greatest hits store is your first port of call.

The ornate stash box, then, was just another, well-used bit of furniture that players were being offered for a second time. There was just one problem. The ornate stash box had never appeared in Fallout 76 at any time, in any update, ever before. Just like with the Mandela effect, where reality seems to reconfigure itself, and nothing is as you remembered, it was as if Fallout 76 was insisting something had happened, when privately you knew it did not.

So what’s going on? Where has this box come from? One eagle-eyed YouTuber, RickGamesNow, thinks they have an answer.

See, while the ornate stash box never appeared in Fallout 76, it did surface back in 2019 as part of pre-update datamine – players found it in Fallout’s files, and it was apparently going to be added as part of the next update, but never was.

What RickGamesNow speculates is that somebody at Bethesda responsible for updating the atomic shop spotted the ornate stash box within the game’s archives, saw that it was dated at least as old as 2019, and assumed it was an item that had been placed into the game before. And where do those items go? Into the atomic shop’s greatest hits section.

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It’s a good theory, and certainly a simpler solution as compared to some past gaming mysteries — just who is that strange man in green, hidden inside the level geometry of Resident Evil 4? But perhaps the ornate stash box really is a relic from a parallel dimension, that’s somehow crossed into our own. Fallout after all is famous for its glitches.