Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

A coincidental coincidence

Finding coincidences a rather interesting topic, I once ventured in a discussion forum the idea that there might just be more to them than the random interaction of probabilities. After all, there is no empirical evidence that there isn't, so we can only speculate. Of course many or most people discount the 'meaningful' hypothesis and there I was having an exchange of ideas with one of them and... he comes back admitting to being taken aback by the fact that, as he was reading my post, somebody came up on telly in the room talking about exactly the same thing.

Bizarre reunion

It was the day after I had come home from hospital with my new-born 2nd child and was taking my older child to school when I heard a voice calling me across the playground. It was an old college friend whom I had lost touch with 17 yrs ago. What makes this so remarkable was that I had moved house twice from SW London where we knew each other and was now living in Kent - she had just returned from Australia and was relocating in England with her family and was renting a house 2 doors away from me in the same street in the same small village!

Cambridge Punting

Whilst punting down the River Camb in Cambridge on student posed for a picture with the Cambridge Backs behind. A nice memory captured, she held on to that photo. At the same time another student punting in the opposite direction posed for a picture with the opposite side of Camb behind; a nice memory capture and held on to. A few years later, the two students ended up working in the same office in Cambridge, literally sitting in side-by-side desks.

Crossing paths with your future

A young American couple who were in their early twenties who had met at university came across an old photo of the boy in his early teens standing with friends on a long stretch of beach in the State of Maryland. The photo had been taken five years earlier and long before the two had met at University many miles away from that beach. The girl notices that in the background of this photo is her elder brother very clearly sitting on a towel which the girl (and later when she shows them, her brother and mother) recognise. The couple end up marrying.

My Uncle's House

My brother is a Professor at a University in the State of Maryland in the U.S. He was talking with his students one day and for some reason referenced fond summer memories of his late uncle’s house in Duxbury Massachusetts. He mentioned some details of the house in relation to the fond memories. When the class ended one of his students came up to him to talk more, as the details he had mentioned sounded very much like the house in which her parents currently live (and she whenever not at uni).

Evidence of a higher power?

Hello, My coincence experience happend on a late shift when I worked as a shift manager for a car rental company. Our fleet dept was very dis organised and I had asked the branch manager to sort this out to a response that she was not willing to spend money to get people in to re network the computers. I am fairly savvi with computers so decided to take it upon my self to re organise the whole office. I did take on a big undertakening but persisted and got the job done. I was just finishing off replacing the carpet and I cut through the network cable.

Strange connections

I am from Jersey (Channel Islands) and my boyfriend from Cambridge. We met eachother at Lincoln University and started up a relationship. That summer he came to visit me in Jersey for the first time. Before he came he was give an childhood black and white photo from his grandpa who has a long lost brother in Jersey. His Grandpa asked that we go to an address to deliver the photo and explain the story and the desire for them to get back in touch. Anyway, when we turned up at the address in Jersey to deliver the photo I recognised the house as a very good family friend's.

Autoroute coincidence

Two years running we met some people we knew from London at a rest station on the French autoroute whilst going to/from our respective skiing holidays. Both families live in London. Saturday Feb 1/2 term 2013 South of Reims going South - We stopped for fuel and saw a family we knew who had also stopped for fuel.

Brothers dying on the same day

My Uncle John and father Harry died at almost exactly the same time. My father had Lewy Body (Alzheimer's Disease) and his health was failing and had been in very poor health for weeks and months. My uncle had issues with dementia but died suddenly of a heart attack the same evening without knowing of his brother's death (the only siblings).

Meeting again

About 10 years ago I worked with the Head of Assessment and member of the Board of the UK Statistics Authority. 10 years after I last saw him we meet in the departure lounge of Auckland Airport, catching the same flight to the UK. There are about 7 billion people in the world, 200 countries, 365 days in most years... I travel from Auckland Airport about once every 18 months. So what were the chances of that? (We didn't spend the flight working it out...)