Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

teacher in jungle

In 1989 or 1990 I was serving as a staff sergeant with the Queens Gurkha Signal in Hong Kong. I was training a section of Gurkhas jungle warfare skills and i it was coming up to 4pm. 4pm is late in the jungle and we were tactically setting up up our end of day observation base. We heard the noise of a group of people talking. Through my night sights I could tell they where tourists dressed in t shirts and shorts on the path we were observing. I called out to them. All British all elderly and all lost An elderly lady heard my Scouse accent and asked where I was from.


My daughter has six step-siblings due to my first partner having two children from a previous marriage and my present husband having four, Two of these siblings are girls and the coincidence is that whilst there is at least twenty years difference in their ages (so popular name trend is discounted), all three girls have married boys named Christopher but the biggest coincidence is that the two older girls married a Chris Thomas (not the same one). I, for several years worked with a Chris Thomas and either this is the most common name in England or this is a huge coincidence?

grandchild and grandmother

I was born on a friday,by forceps, 5 days before my grandmothers birthday. my grandaughter was born on a friday, by forceps, 5 days before my birthday

Seeing the same person at 4 different locations within 1 hour

I was once in the London Underground in mid winter and a girl caught my attention because she was only wearing a vest in the freezing weather. Once outside, I again saw her ahead of me crossing the road. A few minutes later I arrived at my destination only to see her press the buzzer to gain access to the building. I let the door close behind her and pressed the buzzer in turn. I went up the stairs and went into my client's office. The girl was sitting at a desk!

A meeting coincidence

I moved to Dublin from London 12 years ago when I was 18. While in Dublin my Mum called from London to say her friends neice was studying in Dublin, and would I mind meeting her and 'making friends'. I told my Mum that we weren't children, and that I didn't really have the time to meet up, (how nice of me!) after that conversation I thought nothing more of it. A couple of weeks later I went for a drink after work, one of my good friends turned up with a girl he had started seeing from Scotland. She was a lovely girl and we got on great.

reading and listening to same word

I often listen to BBC radio while reading a newspaper. Almost inevitably I find myself reading a word ('education', 'political', 'gender'....etc.) and hearing the same word on the radio - at the same time! I could be reading in French and/or listening in English, and the same thing happens - the word examples I give here are of course the same in both languages, but do not always mean the same thing.

The Last Photo

A couple of years ago a friend of many years called Ruby informed my wife and I that her Brother who lived in Ireland had just died. We had met him once some time before. Ruby asked me to design and print some small cards as a memorial to her brother. They would be given to people attending the funeral. I was given a photo of her brother who was by all accounts a character. For the front of the card I asked her what sort of picture what would be appropriate. She told me that her brother had always liked the sea.


On more than one occasion my husbandand I, on recounting dreams, have discovered we have had the same dream. The same people and places have been present in the dreams

Car crash coincidence

About twenty years ago I collected my son Anthony from Boys Brigade in Bath. I was asked to drop his friend Gary off near his father's house. (his parents were separated and his mother lived somewhere completely different) When we arrived at the spot to drop Gary I stopped the car. While he was in the process of getting out we became aware of a car coming straight for us veering from the opposite side of the road and showing no sign of braking. It hit us front on quite hard, just as Gary was half in and half out of the car.

Friends reunited

I live in the south of England and in Ocober last year was on a coach holiday touring national parks in the USA. We stopped for a couple of hours at one of the viewpoints on the rim of the Grand Canyon. While strolling along the footpath, someone walking in the opposite direction called out 'Wendy, is it you?'. It was an old friend I hadn't seen for some 30 years and had lost touch with over 20 years ago. She lives in North Carolina and was also on holiday. We have both changed somewhat over the years, but she recognised my voice.