Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Lost contact

A few weeks ago I had a lot of excess energy from a work call, decided to schedule some catch-up calls with friends I haven’t spoken with in 5-10 years. Thought if I had the number of an ex from (almost exactly) 2 years ago, would reach out to him as well; it was nice catching up with old friends, maybe it’d be nice to catch up with him as well, but I didn’t have it, so oh well. I had deleted his number and text chain/photos a while ago - no contact. Later that day, with so much excess energy, decided to finally go through a year’s worth of credit card statements and health ins benefits to declutter/file them away - came across a bookstore receipt from 2015 for two books on marriage, one of which we talked about on our last date. Phone number written on the receipt, no name but ex’s area code, and his name came up when I googled the number - decided not to text since he previously said he was not interested in being friends and thought it best to respect that boundary. Shredded the receipt by hand since it had my name on it and tossed it in the trash. Talked to a friend who said I was overthinking it and since it’s a pandemic, should reach out. Thought “it’s lockdown!” so why not take one of the endless hours to try and piece the shredded bits back together (like a fun puzzle?!) for the number even though many of the pieces had fallen way down into the trash can and wasn’t going to go digging for them. Bad case of insomnia, decide maybe it’s not so crazy and go to the trash can to grab whatever pieces are on top. Open the lid and the number is on top of the pile on a small circle of paper, totally intact! Totally crazy?! Did not reach out since it was a series of coincidences created by my self and not some sign from the universe, but. Didn’t remember writing his number down and storing it, definitely thought I ripped the number into several pieces when I tossed it. Silly subconscious obviously wanted to reach out!
Total votes: 188
Date submitted:Sat, 04 Jul 2020 01:31:43 +0000Coincidence ID:10487

College Coincidence

I live in NC, but went to school in VA. My school is a very small women’s college. I decided to plan a reunion for alumni who lived in my city. I picked a location in downtown, and then found out that the owner’s mother and best friend were alumni of the same school. So, I guess, serendipitously enough, out of all the bars, restaurants and meeting places in the city chose the right one!
Total votes: 201
Date submitted:Wed, 01 Jul 2020 01:50:08 +0000Coincidence ID:10483

Hemachromatosis coincidence

My boyfriend was diagnosed with a condition called hemachromatosis, ie iron overload. Upon receiving this knowledge, I began researching the condition on the Internet, and came upon two helpful looking books, one of which was a cookbook. I need to buy these for him! I thought to myself. Then I began to wonder who the authors were. I googled them. They are leading naturopathic doctors that deal with this condition, and they live here in the town that we live in, and their office is literally less than a mile from his house. I was able to pick the books up in person. To boot, my boyfriend’s ancestors made horseshoes for the Union during the Civil War, so there is that other “iron overload” coincidence.
Total votes: 202
Date submitted:Wed, 01 Jul 2020 01:41:21 +0000Coincidence ID:10482

The Girl on the Promenade

My name is Martyn Lee, . I live in Straford upon Avon. In June 1953 my parents booked a family holiday in Devon. It was in a caravan at Looville Holiday Park in Goodrington, Torbay. It’s now a housing development but in the early 50s it was a busy little holiday park packed with static caravans.<br /> I was 6 years old and in my third year at my Infant School in Birmingham. I was in a mixed class of about 36 children. A big class, but these were the height of the Baby Boomer years. My parents plan was to take me out of school for two weeks in term time. In those days there was no law against this and your parents simply wrote a note to the school on your return. Understandably schools didn’t like this, but it was common practice. I was therefore sworn to secrecy. Under no circumstances was I to tell my teacher or any classmates of the planned holiday.<br /> In those pre motorway days the journey to South Devon from Birmingham in my Dad’s 1938 Morris 8, maximum speed 55 mph downhill, took about eight hours. On the Saturday morning we set off at first light, being mid June this was around 04.30. We eventually arrived around 13.00 hours and gained admission to our caravan around 14.00. Then came the arrival ritual, unpack, make up the bunks, go shopping for food. This was a Saturday and in those days shops just didn’t open on Sundays, so we needed enough supplies to see us through till after breakfast on Monday morning. Shopping completed it was back to the caravan and mom cooked us dinner.<br /> Most families including , mine had a post dinner holiday ritual. You headed to the beach for what my parents called their evening stroll. Goodrington has a long sandy beach abutted by a raised promenade. This means that if the tide is in, as it was that evening, holiday makers could still walk alongside the ocean. We started to walk east towards Paignton. The promenade was packed with other families enjoying their evening stroll on what was probably their first holiday evening as well. After about a half mile something extraordinary happened; there, walking towards us was a family of four, mom, dad, a boy and a girl. The amazing thing was that I knew the girl. Her name was Railia (a very unusual first name) Howard and she sat in the aisle next to me at my Infant school! It transpired that she too had been sworn to secrecy by her parents.<br /> So here we were 190 miles from home. On the same promenade, at the same time, on the same day and from the same class in the same school. To me that’s quite a coincidence! </p> <p>
Total votes: 198
Date submitted:Tue, 30 Jun 2020 14:54:45 +0000Coincidence ID:10481

Horse Story

I was visiting Charleston, SC. Where I was staying, there was a beautiful equestrian center. The horses were in the pastures and as I walked down the alleys between the fields, they all started coming up to the fence line. I was struck by the similarities many of the horses bore to the horses of my childhood. I grew up riding at a barn in Maryland called Columbia Horse Center; my barn memories are my favorite memories. Later that evening, I was drinking a glass of wine at the Lodge, and I began chatting with a couple. Where were they from? Maryland. “We live in Howard County,” they said, right next to a horse farm. I get chills. “Which one?” I asked. “Columbia Horse Center.”
Total votes: 195
Date submitted:Mon, 29 Jun 2020 23:07:04 +0000Coincidence ID:10480

A Recluse and Friends

I am agoraphobic. I can list the people I know within 200 miles all on one hand. Let me give them fake names. Sarah is like a sister to me. Betty and her daughter Samantha are friends who I am not super close with. Samantha introduced me to her best friend Alice who lives a full hour south of me about 9 months ago. No one else. Not even on social media. Literally everyone I know. I am head over heals about Alice. I have heard about her family and personal issues. We are sort of close. I live in Kansas City, so the population I know, statistically, is very small. Sarah is visiting me this evening. She works up the street, and is talking to me about her co-workers. A father and daughter we will call Al and Tina. Tina is going through a tough time, and Sarah thinks I will really like Al. I offer to help out Tina as her issues fall into my wheelhouse. Sarah agreed to bring both Tina and Al over to meet me. A few minutes later I happen to scroll past a photo of Alice. Alice, from an hour south of here is Tina's sister/Al's daughter. My world is not really getting larger. My closest friend around here happens to be working with the family of the girl I am into. Wanted to introduce me to them, and I am offering to help her sister out. The odds of her working at that specific location, meeting those two and becoming friends with both of them, then bringing them into my very small world, are staggering. The KC area is huge. It isn't like we live in a town of 50 people, and Alice does not even live near here.
Total votes: 177
Date submitted:Sat, 27 Jun 2020 07:36:13 +0000Coincidence ID:10479

The Lawyer and His Client

The Facts 1. Many years ago (maybe 13-15 years) I worked at a call center for a phone company. I have not lived in that city for almost 8 years. I am now hundreds of miles away. 2. Three years ago I was falsely accused of a crime. The accusations were about the level of vision I have. I hired an attorney, and we had several in person discussions regarding my case. This happened for a full year. 3. After more than a decade I finally found an eye doctor who was able to get me the correction I needed. A few weeks after I got my glasses and corrective equipment, I was out to dinner with a friend. I had a panic attack and headed to the bathroom to hide, but the stalls were full. I waited and this guy walks in front of me. I know him. We didn't really talk much, but we had been on the same team at the customer service call center all those years ago. I have not recognized a face in over a decade, and what are the odds that I would recognize a person from all those years ago, all those miles away? He also happened to be my attorney. Of all the people in the world for me to recognize, it was the person charged with defending me. I knew him from a years before, in a different city, in a different profession. He remains the first, and only face I recognized from before my vision loss. I could not have seen him for the entire year I sat across from him. This in turn convinced him I was not guilty.
Total votes: 193
Date submitted:Sat, 27 Jun 2020 07:21:52 +0000Coincidence ID:10478

So many coincidences to not even be coincidences

My daughter’s best friends birthday is January 14th, the same date my brother past. Her other friend’s birthday is August 10th, the same date of my dad passing. We know of 2 other children in my small town who are my daughter’s same age who have August 10th birthdays. I recently found out her adult cousin’s on my daughter’s dad’s side birthday is August 10th. This same cousin has a wedding anniversary August 29th which is my birthday. I also recently found out that my newer friend’s wedding anniversary is August 10th. My new neighbor’s birthday is the same as my brothers (rip) August 24th and his brother’s birthday is the same as mine, August 29th. The extra coincidence is the brother part of this, tho mine as passed. I also just remembered that another friend of my daughter’s sister was born on August 10th. There are too many of these connections to be random coincidences.
Total votes: 195
Date submitted:Sun, 21 Jun 2020 02:51:39 +0000Coincidence ID:10477

Day of Song Release

I have been working with a producer who had struggled with my song due to the melody timing and key. But, after persistence, we finally got a completed song that I can proudly release. I have never met her in person as we do communicate completely online and don't know each other. I made some changes to the song, mainly the choruses, and then I sent her a private link to let her hear the changes. She liked them. I had also sent a 2nd message as I forgot to let her know the date of the release. She got back to me and said something like this, "What a coincidence! The 10th July is my birthday." I replied, "Wow! Amazing!' I wonder sometimes if things are really a coincidence or if they're pre-destined. I am a Christian.
Total votes: 186
Date submitted:Sat, 20 Jun 2020 22:23:59 +0000Coincidence ID:10475

Travelling coincidence

Many years ago (too many now! – 1990) a friend and I were travelling to East Africa to visit a mutual friend of ours and to do some climbing (Mt Kilimanjaro and Mt Kenya). We all knew each other from the save university caving club. Being recent graduates, our flights were cheap and cheerful ones with Aeroflot. The route took us from Heathrow to Nairobi via a change at Moscow. At Heathrow our seat numbers were allocated: we were sat together. At Moscow we had new and different seat allocations which shuffled everyone around the plane, separating existing travelling companions and 1st leg formed new friendships. I and my friend were separated. Early on into the 2nd leg it became apparent that the air stewards were not bothered if people changed seat allocations. So began the 2nd mass passenger shuffle. I and my friend were back sat next to each other in different seat numbers. In a row of three seats we were sat next to a young lady in the window seat who we did not know from the 1st leg. We got chatting and swapping stories. One laughable story we started to tell each other turned out to be very similar. In fact, it turned out to be the same story about the same person, another friend of ours from the caving club. This young lady worked with yet a different mutual former caving club member friend of ours who had told her the story which she had found funny enough to include in her own story repertoire. I have always considered this a remarkable coincidence and despite travelling a lot since have never met a friend of a friend in quite the same way.
Total votes: 215
Date submitted:Fri, 19 Jun 2020 14:47:57 +0000Coincidence ID:10474