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.

Vertical Tabs

Indian Music: A Small Coincidence

Today I was doing my homework for my online world music class which lead me to watching a video on Ragas. I watched the video and answered the question and then turned on music to answer the rest of the questions. I turned on the All Songs Considered live stream which plays many different varieties of songs all day. It just so happened that an India raga was in the middle of playing.

Black rose

i saw black rose profile pic of my friend richa on whatsapp. Then same time i saw a facebook photo explaining that black roses are just dark red roses. amazing god explained me that on same time i saw a profile pic.

The Triple Goddess Ring

A few months ago, I found a ring on the floor of a fast-food restaurant and decided to keep it instead of returning it because it looked cheap - it had a gap in the back (broken circle) the way many plastic rings do. I guessed a little girl must have dropped it and the family wound't bother to look for a cheap piece of jewelry, and something told me to keep it. I put it in my coat pocket and forgot about it. A month later, I started reading about the Wiccan religion - mostly in curiosity.

Coincidence? Or something more?

This may be just a case of pure coincidence.. but I’m not so sure . Maybe something more. First, my mother and I were both Gemini. Sign of the twins. And I was born on my mothers birthday. She and I were extremely close my entire life. Connected beyond explaination. My mother died from breast cancer on February 22, 2012. My chihuahua, who loved my mom and my mom loved her. She lived another 5 years after my mom had died. Until she past away on February 21, 2017. (A day before my moms death date) I found it kinda of interesting but didn’t really put a lot of thought into it.

A room with a view

Today I was going through the paper cropping articles as I do daily. There was a feature on an owl which the paper had captioned "Woo's on my head?" as the owl was atop someone's head. I posted this on social media and titled it "A woo-m with a view" adding my own pun to the owl's supposed hoot. Further on in the paper, I found there was a piece on a Hyundai car,powered by Hydrogen whose exhaust is clean water, that you can make a cup of tea with,thus the chosen caption which read "A vroom with a brew"!

Rugby Reunion

On a skiing trip to the French Alps a couple of years ago, a conversation developed over coffee about rugby - two of our group had played in the first XI for our school team, some 30 years ago. One had played at hooker, the other had played prop. This prompted me to ask - 'who was the third player in that front row?' The answer came back - it was Jason. At that precise moment (exactly), as if by magic, the aforementioned Jason walked onto the terrace of the cafe at which we were having coffee, half-way down a blue run down to the ski resort we were staying at. Jaws dropped.

A Kiss Premonition and The Man On the Bus

When I was in high school, I was in a long-term relationship with a young man (who later became my husband), when he decided to attend the United States Military Academy. Friends and family felt the need to warn me that the military would "change" him -- that he would lose his personality. That he would become cold and distant. Fortunately, this did not happen and my humorous, warm and demonstrative husband remained so. However, these assumptions of those around us became a running joke between the two of us and he would always pretend to stiffen up when I kissed him.

Facebook Faux Pas

I was on Facebook today and was scrolling down my feed and noticed a video stating that yesterday was 'National Debbie Day'. I decided to share with a former coworker whom is a Facebook friend. I rarely communicate with her but always thought she was a nice person. Thinking I was making a nice gesture, I wrote "Sorry, a day late, but never too late to celebrate!" As I was posting my message it occurred to me that her husband had passed away last winter and she might be mourning a death anniversary and not be in the mood to receive such a message.

someone wanted books

I work at a used bookstore. I often bring old books home to check value and then return them to the store. I have had one bag of books at my house for several months from the shop. A couple of days ago, I put them in my car. Today (first day working after putting them in the car) a woman came in looking for the exact type books I had in my car. These were old school reading books from around 1950. She was so thrilled and bought several. I don't remember anyone coming in and asking about old school readers before today.

A French Connection ?

Back in 2013, my wife and I took an adventure cruise from Ushuaia Argentina, the most southern city in the world. We spent 5 days travelling round Cape Horn and up through the Chilean ice fields and Glacier Ally in Patagonia. Our 120 fellow passengers were from around the world, and our dining table included couples from Holland, Russia, France, Germany and ourselves from the UK.