Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Lion King

I have always wanted to see The Lion King on Broadway/in the West End, but could never go for various reasons. After over a decade of waiting, I finally saw it a few days ago. Right after the show, I got home and turned on the tv and a cartoon that I watch all the time that and that as far as I know, has never mentioned the Lion King, was showing an episode about a boy who really wanted to see The Lion King on Broadway but could not go because nobody else was interested.
Total votes: 993
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 12:01:32 +0000Coincidence ID:3336

Pan Mun John

In 1984 i was working on the construction of a new pharmaceutical manufacturing plant in South korea close to the N Korean border at a place called Balan. This new business park was in a agricultural area (the middle of no where) and about a 3 hour drive north from Seoul (no highways then). One morning i had a call from the now completed reception area informing me that i had a visitor and so glad of the break i wandered down to reception to find an ex colleague who had got stranded in Seoul for a few days. In the reception of his hotel he had read an article about the new construction site for his ex company and decided to get someone to drive him (3hrs) to take a look. On getting there and seeing a completed office block he thought he would pop in to see if he could talk to someone as his current company could supply products materials we would use in that Plant. He was amazed to find that when he introduced himself as having worked for our company many years before that i was based there. I was shocked to see him as the location was remote you would not go there on any tour and also that by shear fluke he had been grounded in Seoul again not a popular destination in the early 80's and again by shear fluke he had picked up a magazine with an article about this new venture. I hope this is of interest but i am sure you have had thousands of other chance meetings just strange as mine
Total votes: 904
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 11:54:48 +0000Coincidence ID:3335

Miss N J Dalton

The numerical/symbolic coincidences are based on a string of events currently being examined by a parapsychologist - all evidence is backed up in email, facebook printouts, birth records, photos, legal documents. It has been turned into a book (true story) which has already had one contract offer which I am delaying until a top literary agent - Luigi Bonomi (they requested a full manuscript last week) have made a decision because I would rather have the support of an agent behind me. A journalist who writes for the national newspaper and magazines is also interested in the story. It is too complex to explain in a few words (hence why its a book) but the numbers and symbols show uncanny coincidences throughout, and then later formed the exact location, date, time (to the second) and actual damage to the cathedral in Christchurch, NewZealand caused by an earthquake in February 2011. The story covers every single experience listed by yourself above and more! Plus Zeta Riemann plays an important role here along with something said by Marcus Du Sautoy in an article a few years ago - and for the record my maths didn't go beyond GCSE! I would love to speak with you and I am sure if coicidence is your thing then this story will fascinate you. An American statistician had a brief look, but wanted to charge me about a grand to put probability figures behind it - he said it was pretty much improbable, but would have to put in an upper limit figure so people could actually grasp the unlikelihood of the events. I can you send you a copy of the manuscript if you would like to go through the material. Kind regards Nicola Dalton
Total votes: 980
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 11:45:17 +0000Coincidence ID:3334

Mnemonic special days

We never forget special days in our family as they tend to be close to another relevant special date. My children, aged 7 and 11 now, have birthdays on consecutive days and so are unlikely to forget each others' birthdays in the future (though they may pretend to). My husband's birthday is within a week of Fathers Day every year and mine is within a week of Mothers Day. Our wedding anniversary (admittedly we DID choose our wedding date) is the day before Valentines Day. This is all very convenient as we can halve the number of celebrations by merging them!
Total votes: 940
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 11:45:17 +0000Coincidence ID:3333

how many words in the bible!!!!

many years ago i was doing a quizword puzzle in the mail on sunday question was on the bible and not being a student of this but having inherited the family bible i flipped it open at a random page to find the answer staring me in the face. i do not recall the question but it concerned jail companions and i opened the book on the page relating to shadrach, meshach, and abednego, who i read were in jail together. my answer was confirmed correct in the next issue. is this coincidence, or a random event?
Total votes: 967
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 11:40:20 +0000Coincidence ID:3332

Browns all in a row

Imagine 6 houses in a row. My name is Brown and I live in no 2. Some years ago a Brown also lived in 3, 5 and 6 at the same time. 3 and 5 have since moved and 5 years ago a Brown moved into no1
Total votes: 1047
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 11:33:43 +0000Coincidence ID:3331

Who needs a dating agency?

After a decade of batchelor-hood in my 20's I joined a dating agency and through them met my wife (circa 2000). The agency actually broke their normal rules of matching people locally and paired us up even though we lived 120 miles apart. I was working (and always had - from 1991) in Ipswich, having grown up in a small village in the highlands of scotland. She spent early childhood in Glasgow but was soon moved to Corby (Northhamptonshire) where she grew up and still was (from about 1974 onwards). The dating agency (old style paper-based) matched us up and, to cut a long story short, we got engaged. This of course triggered more interest from the rest of the family. What we actually discovered was that my wife's uncle, still in Glasgow, knew of me, working 600 miles away, and of my family in the Highlands. i.e. he could pin-point who I was in his knowledge of friends and acquaintances. (I on the other hand, didn't even know he, or my wife's family, existed). Here's the chain of connection. Her uncle, "G" always worked for BT as an engineer in Glasgow (70's onward?). I also worked for BT in R&D since 1991. This in itself is not a surprising co-incidence - BT is so large that a fairly sizeable proportion of the working population has worked for them. However, this same fact means that few people within the company know each other. At one point it was 250,000 employees all over the UK - generally employees only know their local colleagues. G's knowledge of who I was came through the knowledge of my family. He was best friends with the McH's in glasgow, who regulalry visited an old crofter, "R", in the village where I grew up and where my parents live - up in Highlands: Roy Bridge. They visited him for their holiday every year once or twice a year. Now, R was/is also a longstanding good friend of my parents (and me) ever since they moved there in '74; so being a small community, the McH family are practically part of it. We all knew each other fairly well and a lot of community activity revolves around the local church. As a result of this, back in Glasgow, G (good friend of the McH's) was aware of Roy Bridge life and the involvement particularly of my family, as my mum was local teacher, church organist etc. I'm sure many a dram was enjoyed in Glasgow talking about holidays had and people met by the McH's when they went on their usual holiday. Consequently G would have known about the existence of my family, who we were very active in the community. It doesn't seem remarkable when you follow that chain, but when you look at it from "the outside in", which was my perspective, it looks like this: A "random" set of people all over the UK join a dating agency. The agency breaks their rules and match two people who would normally live too far apart. These people grew up at opposite ends of the country. I have no prior knowledge of my wife or her family or family history. So then when the family learns of our engagement, my wife's uncle, who lives 600 miles away from me, basically says "I work for the same company and I know who you are". From that angle it is/was most surprising!
Total votes: 1017
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 11:33:25 +0000Coincidence ID:3330


Imagine 6 houses in a row. My name is Brown and I live in no 2. Some years ago a Brown also lived in 3, 5 and 6 at the same time. 3 and 5 have since moved and 5 years ago a Brown moved into no1
Total votes: 1004
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 11:32:51 +0000Coincidence ID:3329

old colleagues

On the same day I received communications from 2 guys who I had been a graduate trainee with 33 years earlier. I had only been in sporadic contact with either since, and they had not been in contact with one another.
You voted 5. Total votes: 1037
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 11:17:44 +0000Coincidence ID:3328

my life

My incredible coincidence is in the mode of "unlikely chain of events." 13.75 billion years ago the universe was born. Since that time, the exactly correct sequence of events has conspired to end up with a situation whereupon I am posting this story on your website.
Total votes: 996
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 11:06:38 +0000Coincidence ID:3327