Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

Professor David Spiegelhalter of Cambridge University wants to know about your coincidences!

Lost ring

Several years ago I was creating a new native plant garden with my significant other.The new garden was lawn before I scalped it and started putting in native plants. I was digging the holes for the plants and my SO was planting them. She got to one hole and reached in and pulled out her deceased husband's wedding band that he had lost several years before his death. When he lost it, they searched for days. I had dug a small 6 inch hole exactly where it was, out of an area of 150 sq ft.<br />


My family was checking in at a Hilton in St. Louis in 2001/2002 there was a long line. I went to the ATM & put in my pin combined with my student ID # (8 digits total) just to waste time. Much to my surprise, people's account information came up.

Two near-disasters

I spent a weekend on retreat in a small cabin with no phone, computer, or other communication. I went for a walk in the afternoon. A big storm came up, the sky turned green, I heard a sound like a runaway train, and thinking it might be a tornado, I ran back toward the cabin. As I was crossing a road, a very large tree fell. The trunk hitting the ground ten feet from me made the ground shake; a nearby truck was speared by a branch; but I was not hurt.


Human life came to exist on (probably?) the ONLY planet in the universe that happens to have 2 neighbors, which coincidentally have distance and size so perfectly offsetting, that we have these events where one fits perfectly inside the other, from our vantage point! Incredibly, the cultures that came before us thought of this as profound and formed their entire cosmology around this fact, yet if you ask an average person the trick question, which one is bigger on the retina, the sun or the moon, they will think about it and then make a guess.

An unknown cousin

As a prologue, I have explain that I inherited rather distinctive last name. Chances are, that if we share my last name, we're related. In the 90s, I worked my way through college working in a gas station. Routinely, people would pas for gasoline with a credit card, so I would learn the names of random people. One day, a gentleman handed me his credit card. In processing his purchase, I noted we shared a last name. When I told him this, he didn't believe me. I had to show him my driver's license to prove it.

Foreign Exchange Student

In 1989 I was teaching English at a high school in Istanbul, Turkey. In one of my classes there was an American foreign exchange student. When she introduced herself she told me she was from California, where I am also from! I asked if she was from northern or Southern California...she was from Los Angeles, just like me. I asked her what part of Los Angeles, and she said the Pasadena area, which is where I was from. Then I asked her what high school she attended, and she said she went to a small, girls' Catholic school.

Of Number 3

Number 3 has been following me most of my life. To start with I was born on the 30th and my numerology number is 9 (3x3). Since then most of my addresses had a house or flat number 3. My marriage lasted 3 years. After the failed marriage I found my beloved partner who happened to be my 3rd serious relationship and we only got together for the third time (after the first 2 times we broke up) . That's when I've noticed that his car plate number was in fact 333.

Backstreet Boy Love

I grew up in Saudi Arabia in the 1990s with a group of girls who all love (LOVED) the Backstreet Boys. Of course, the Backstreet Boys never toured the Middle East and it wasn't until our first year of college that we got to see them live in Canada. At that time, I was studying in Lebanon and my friends were studying in Montreal. They implored that my friend and I fly to Montreal to visit them and attend the concert as a reunion and nostalgia fest.

Twice Chance Encounters

I grew up in Virginia and when I was in high school, I had a massive crush on a guy who was a senior when I was a freshman (2003). In August of 2006, I traveled to the south of Italy and we ran into each other on the top of Pompeii. Later, in June of 2008, I traveled to Barcelona and we ran into each other crossing a street near Las Ramblas.

A Meet Up Down Under

I live in the States and went to Australia on a business/holiday trip. On the last day of the trip I needed to exchange my Australian currency back to US dollars. Instead of paying the expensive exchange fee, I decided to just spend the money on souvenirs. As my favorite type of shopping is in thrift stores, I headed to one. While I picked out t-shirts, I noticed a lady chatting at length with the cashier. When I went to pay for my finds, she stepped aside, but continued her conversation.