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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cannot possibly be random

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C16HNX6mQN4 I described 3 in a row that happened in one afternoon in my daily blog

Get it on

Whilst looking up Gary Numan on youtube I found there was a series of videos called 'What's in my bag?' where celebrities indicate what music has influenced them. Gary was in the midst of explaining how he had been influenced by Marc Bolan's T-rex,whereupon 'Get it on' was played on the video. At the very same moment, the TV was advertising 'confused.com' featuring James Cordern, the background track to the ad was 'Get it on' by T-rex!

A friend's neighbour I just met

I met a woman who was my friend's neighbour for many years but whom she rarely spoke to. This woman was born 7 years before me - a Cancerian, born 9 days before my birthday. Her family is from the same city in Poland, spent the war years in the same city in Uzbekistan which is an Asian Republic and returned back to Poland and the same time as my parents. The two families have the German name (although as far as we know are not related). Her family left Poland again this time 4 years before my family.

A scary "Topic"

I was at work and fancied a bar of chocolate from the corner shop. For some reason the advertising tag line for Topic bars came into my head. I said to my colleagues that I hadn't seen a Topic bar in years and reminded them of the tag line from the old TV adverts "Topic, a hazelnut in every bite!" So I then walked downstairs and along to the corner shop. I walked over to where the various bars of chocolate were, stacked up in rows, and went straight for a Mars Bars.

Numders

I have had many many coincidences over the years, some from the "that's a bit spooky" to<br /> 'What on earth is going on?" Most relate to music but there are others. I will post as many as I can remember here starting with this one: </p> <p>We have a digital alarm clock radio in our bedroom. If I wake in the night I squint and focus on the clock and more times than I am comfortable with the clock has shown 3.33am. Each time it happens it makes me think something is going on!

Music coincidence #01

Ok so I am driving in my car. I am driving in the suburbs of Edinburgh and approach a crossroads. Tom Petty's Freefalling is playing on the car CD player. As the line "I wanna glide down over Mulholland" I look up and across the junction speeds a builders van, simple dark blue van with white lettering saying "Mulholland Contracts". At this point I feel like freaking out! Bear in mind Mulholland=Los Angeles and I am across the ocean in Edinburgh and there are not many linking themes here!

Finding the other half too late.

Three days ago my boyfriend threw out a wooden bow which I had been hoarding for years. It didn't have any arrows, so there was no point in keeping it. Then this morning I found a large arrow sticking out of the grass in the park.

The Possum that only existed to prove me wrong.

I have lived next to the same park for many years and have only ever seen a possum on one occasion: the night after I adamantly declared - with absolute certainty - that there definitely weren't any possums there.

An unsual coin in France

I was studying in USA for almost one year (I'm Brazilian), but during the winter break I went to France with my boyfriend. Since he was traveling from Brazil to France, I waited for him at the Orly Airport, and before his flight arrived, I founded a brazilian coin (one Real) on the floor. I was very surprised because the flight from Brazil had not arrived at that time, and I, a brazilian, have founded that brazilian coin in France.

At the 02 Arena

My wife and I -both born and bred in Argentina- lived in Northern Ireland for around nine years (2001-2010), where we heard about a man in his 70s who had been born in Argentina but who'd been living in the UK since his teens, most of the time in England. In 2010 my wife and I moved to England and it was only recently that we met this man. We hit it off very well and given a number of things in common, we became friends. Last week, my wife attended an event at the 02 Arena in Greenwich. It was packed -i.e. there were about 20,000 people.

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