Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Why? By recording your coincidence stories here, you can help him build a picture of what kinds of coincidences are out there and which ones seem to ‘get to’ us the most. Your coincidence stories can also help him explore the scientific explanations which may account for them – whether by doing the maths to calculate the chances of a coincidence, or speculating on the weird and wonderful workings of our brains.

Coincidences tend to be ‘surprising matches’ – sometimes they are lucky, sometimes unlucky, sometimes just mind-boggling. To help you recall the coincidences that have happened in your life, here’s a list of some common types of coincidence:

  • Surprising repetitions: for instance when you’ve had not contact with someone for ages, then find two connections to them very close together in time. Or when over several years multiple members of the same family are born with the same birthday. Or even a repetition of a really rare event – like winning the lottery twice, or your life being saved twice by the same person!
  • Simultaneous events: for example when two people phone each other at exactly the same time.
  • Parallel lives: such as when two people in a small group find they share a birthday or an unusual name, or when two people discover their lives match each other in bizarre details.
  • Uncanny patterns: imagine picking letters in Scrabble that spell your name.
  • Unlikely chains of events: perhaps you lost your false teeth overboard and found them inside a fish you caught twenty years later?

If anything coincidental has happened to you - anything that made you stop and say "well, what were the chances of that..?" - then please record your story in the form below! Please try to keep your story personal - about you or someone you know. The only thing we'd ask you to steer clear of are premonitions or déjà vu, purely because - whilst fascinating - they're quite common and also difficult to analyse.

You could also tell us about coincidences in the news, but please provide a link to a reliable source!


Title: two or three words that give a simple description of your story, eg ‘old friend’ or ‘birthday coincidence’
Coincidence: tell your coincidence story - and please include plenty of relevant detail (places, dates, numbers etc.) and include your first name if you want.
Email address (optional): please leave an email address, as then we can get in touch to find out more!

All of the information entered below except your email address will be published on this website when you press save





By ticking this box you agree that your email address can be forwarded to Wingspan Productions Ltd, who are making a BBC television programme about Chance and would like to feature Professor David Spiegelhalter's coincidence collection. In doing so you agree that the producers of the programme may contact you directly to ask you more about your story, though whether you decide to help them is entirely up to you. Your details will not be forwarded to any other party or used for marketing purposes.



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2 Dads/2 Aarons

I had been treated by a physical therapist for a couple of years and started asking her about her background after years of minor chit chatting. We found out that her dad and uncles knew my dad and uncles and that she had even worked at my uncle's business 38 years ago. I then mentioned that my dad's birthday was coming up, July 2nd. She said that her son, Aaron, was born on July 2nd. We both thought that was a bit eerie and a moment of silence fell between us. Then I thought to ask about her dad's birthday. He was born on May 4th, just like my son, Aaron.

Birthday Lovers

I never went to my high school reunion because I thought it was just a launching pad for those that wanted to toot about their accomplishments. I graduated in 1974 and never went to any of them at all. I had to be talked into the what I thought would be the final one in 2014. So reluctantly I went with a friend. I sat in the old school and there was no order or reason for the sitting. I found myself at a table with the friend who convinced me to come. I then found she was interested in talking to everyone except me.

Backlash against big data

While I was listening to the Calling Bullshit in the Era of Big Data lecture series, specifically the one that discusses the Google Flu Trends overestimating the number of cases of flu, I knocked some paper on the floor. It came from a pile of papers that I had found when tidying up and handing over the archive for a volunteer role I had just given up. After the lecture had finished I picked it up. It was called 'How to preprocess a simple paragraph of text'.

Is there a connection when family members die on the same day, but in different months and years?

I honestly did not know this until my mom told me, but her mom passed away on August 30, 1999; then my dad's mom passed away on October 30, 2007; and then my mom's day passed away on September 30, 2010. Is the above just a coincidence or could it be some sort of connection with the day 30?

Coincidence of high school

I met my now best friend who is the same height as me (4’10)when we joined eagle point the same week freshmen year. She came from Texas and I came from Medford

Far From Home

16th June 2018, flew to Christchurch, NZ to look for houses as we were moving down from Whangarei NZ in a month. During the day, we went to bigsave furniture to order a bed for when we moved down. Turned out that the sales rep we felt with was also from Whangarei and had just finished working at the bigsave up there. Same day went to order a fridge at Noel Leemings and found that the sales rep there had grown up in Whangarei.

Same person; worlds apart

In the mid '70s, my spouse and I were visiting Greece and took a bus tour that lasted a few days. Everyone on the tour was in pairs, except for one single man. We ended up spending time with him, eating at the same table, walking with him, etc. He was Austrian. We are Canadian and at that time were living in central Canada. The tour ended; we didn't stay in touch.

Genetic predetermination

Back in February 1996 I gave a talk at the University of Alberta Biochemistry department on the synthesis and characterisation of fluorescent moolecules for the labelling of proteins in muscle. At the end of the talk a man introduced himself to me as being another James Craik who was also a dye chemist. At that point he joked maybe there was a genetic predetermination to Craiks being dye chemists!

Joker

I had lip injections done at a plastic surgeon. This was the second time. My nephew commented by saying make sure he doesn't make you look like the joker this time. I told the plastic surgeon about it. After I left the office I was driving my car and a vehicle passed me and the license plate was, Joker. I laughed. I see them more than as mathematical probabilities. Personally, ego driven as you say, Maybe, I see them as something else, not sure how to define it. They have a sense of humour.

444

Often I will be doing something, email messages. Or reading a book. Something will happen. I'm redirected. Something redirects me and when I get redirected via websites. or books or other things I end up seeing 444. Not always but often enough. It's difficult to explain but it happens alot. This is part of the angel numbers. Angel Number 444 is a message that you have nothing to fear in regards to your life, work and Divine life purpose. (not that it matters to your study but years ago at the age of 20 I astral projected, I've only once accomplished astral projection.

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