The term déjà vu is French and means, literally, “already seen.” Those who have experienced the feeling describe it as an overwhelming sense of familiarity with something that shouldn’t be familiar at all. Say, for example, you are traveling to England for the first time. You are touring a cathedral, and suddenly it seems as if you have been in that very spot before. Or maybe you are having dinner with a group of friends, discussing some current political topic, and you have the feeling that you’ve already experienced this very thing — same friends, same dinner, same topic.
The phenomenon is rather complex, and there are many different theories as to why déjà vu happens.
Keep Reading: HowStuffWorks “What is deja vu?”.
- Been There, Done That or Did I?: Déjà Vu Found to Originate in Similar Scenes (scientificamerican.com)
- Explanation For Deja Vu Mundane (theawl.com)
- How to Give People the Feeling of Déjà Vu (io9.com)