Meaning “already seen” in French, déjà vu is a widespread phenomenon — nearly two-thirds of us have experienced it, according to surveys. But does it mean anything?
It’s such a vivid sensation that it would be odd for it to be meaningless, and yet most of us know, once the effect has worn off, that we haven’t actually experienced the events in question before. (Or do we?) Studies suggest that those of us who often remember our dreams, watch a lot of movies, or are well-traveled are more likely to experience déjà vu, which could suggest that our mind is simply working overtime to connect whatever it is we’re seeing to something buried in our subconscious.