Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Ancestor’s book

Thinking of studying electrical engineering at the time, I purchased, at a whim, an antique electrical engineering handbook from an antique show. When I got home and opened the book for the first time I saw a signature inside the cover. The book was purchased in 1901 by my great grand uncle, who shared my same last name.

Wife’s father purchased an antique from my own father, years before we ever met

My father used to sell antiques at an outdoor flea market every Sunday. We had an old wooden horse statue in our kitchen, and one day it’s leg broke off and we glued it back together. You could see the mark where it had broken, but the glue was strong and the horse statue still looked beautiful. Later, my father sold the statue and we never thought of it again. Until, about 10 years later, we noticed the same horse statue at my my new wife’s parent’s home. We took a closer look, and noticed that the leg that had been broken and glued off was there - the very same glued together leg. We knew it was the horse statue that we had in our kitchen when I was a young teen. Turns out my father sold it to my wife’s father, years and years before we ever met.

Meeting someone I injured playing Football Years Later

When I was a senior in high school (United States) I played football for my school. One game we were playing our rival school, and I accidentally broke the foot of one of the other players. I felt bad about it at the time then forgot about it as time went on. This event occurred in 2008. I then went to college and graduated in 2015 (separate story about being in college for six years) and proceeded to move across the country with five other guys I graduated with. We had a very large friend group between the five of us, and one night we were having a party. This group of guys showed up who were friends of a friend I graduated college with (mind you, none of the people I went to college with were even from the same state as me). We are all sitting around drinking beers in the backyard reminiscing about high school sports (again, none of us had ever played together in high school… or so I thought). Then one of the guys starts talking about how he had broken his foot in a rival football game his senior year. This perks my ears up a bit, and I start to ask the obvious questions.

Girlfriend’s Sister’s New Girlfriend

My girlfriend’s sister started dating a girl and she happened to be my cousin’s best friend(whom i had never met)

Audience Member Knows My Name

I was performing for Mortified (a show where you read your most embarrassing childhood diary entries out loud to strangers) in Portland, Oregon. My diary entries were about my time as a high schooler when my family lived in Singapore, and how much culture shock I experienced and how much I hated the country. There were lots of angry rants that had the audience laughing. After the show a girl walks up to me and says "are you [my full name]?" Mind you, performers only go by their first names at shows. I was shocked and said yes. She said that she was the girlfriend of a friend of mine from Singapore who I hadn't spoken to in close to 7 years. She had recognized me from my stories and facts lining up with his stories of our time at high school in Singapore. He had moved from Singapore to Seattle, and had a long-distance relationship with this girl, who lived in Portland and happened to have come to the show I was performing in; performing stories about her boyfriend's high school friends in Singapore! It was a bizarre and surreal experience.

Unexpected Payphone Call

This happened to me back in the early 2000s or late 1990s. My aunt and mother and I were visiting family in a different city and my aunt was baking a cake. She had forgotten some key ingredients though and me and my mother offered to go to the store to pick them up. When we got there a payphone began ringing nearby and my mother decided to answer it. She began talking to the other person in a very familiar tone and when I asked who it was she said it was my aunt who had misdialed a family members phone number. It was quite strange for her to have managed to misdial the exact payphone near where we were going.

The Birthday Brigade

To begin I will note that I grew up with a hippie mother, doing astrology charts. Ever since childhood, I have always automatically linked a person with their birthday and sun sign. I will remember a person's sun sign before I remember their name. A few years ago I began working at a restaurant as a supplemental job, where I would work when the most significant things in my life happened career-wise(positive). Familial emotional and mental abuse from the past and up until that time were acting as a barrier to realizing my full potential. I couldn't get rid of the familial voices telling me I can't do anything right OR My (once supplemental, turned full time) restaurant job. During that time I was named Woman of the Year, ran for political office, was appointed to my city's Human Rights Committee by the mayor- yet still couldn't seem to quit my full time restaurant job to pursue much better opportunities. They treated me like sh*t at that restaurant. And at the time I thought of them like family. Both were representative of my own mental chains holding me back.

Meeting abroad

I am from the US, but I was working as a bartender in a burger pub in England while studying there. I heard another American accent in the bar and I spoke to the patron. It was quite rare to meet another American in the area, as it wasn't near London and didn't have a large international population. We started chatting and it turned out they were visiting from Virginia. I mentioned that I had lived in Virginia for a time. They asked where. I said a small town in Northern Virginia. They said, "oh I live in a small town in Virginia!" It turns out they were from the same small town in Virginia that I had lived in for several years. A town of perhaps 5,000 people, and they happened to walk into a bar in a small town in England where I was working.

Hola Senor

Was on a road trip with friends, venturing to all the National Parks west of the Mississippi. Stop into a small drive bar/pizza joint to eat on the way out of Yellowstone. Man at the table next to us is is my friend's high school Spanish teacher, from a small town on the coast of Oregon. Yet there they both were, in the same bar at the same night in the same podunk town outside of the same National Park.

Same school story

My history teacher lived in Vancouver Canada before coming to the UK to teach. He told us a funny story involving a cow coming into the school as a sort of prank that him and his friends orchestrated. A year later while browsing Reddit I found a user describe the exact same events including the whole “cow came into the school” as the history teacher told us in class. I never found out if they also lived in Vancouver or knew my teacher but it’s eerily similar to my teachers story and a coincidence that a I linked a story a man told us all the way in the UK to a story on the massive internet.