Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Meeting a freined abroad

Some years ago I was in Sydney, and wanting to walk across the Sydney Harbour Bridge, I was searching for the way to get up onto the bridge walkway. Just below the bridge was a large shop/souvenir store, so I went in to ask directions. There were alot of people in there, so I searched around to find someone to ask the question of. I ended up going to one of the counters and started to ask the girl for directions, when, halfway through my question, I noticed her looking at me oddly. Are you ... by any chance... Jamie D W, she asked? I was astonished to suddenly recognize her as an old friend from the UK who I had not seen for two years. I had no idea she was in Australia, and the extreme nature of the coincidence was the fact that I had gone up to ask her, rather than another assistant, my question. However, there may be some explanation, in that it is probable a) I chose a pretty girl to ask the question of (narrowed my chances of actually knowing the person, though still very remote) and b) it's just possible I had some subliminal recognition although my conscious mind did not recognize her. What do you think? But still a coincidence, and has not been repeated in a life of 50 years.
Total votes: 689
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:35:56 +0000Coincidence ID:3460

mutual relatives

A new boy joined my son's class (in Buckinghamshire). He became friends with my son and I discovered that his mother's paternal uncle was married to my paternal aunt so we had mutual first cousins, though unrelated. The mother had been brought up in Ireland, I had been brought up in Zimbabwe.
Total votes: 648
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:35:51 +0000Coincidence ID:3459

coincidence of radio and singing

My sister turned off the radio, which was playing an opera, and my mother objected that she was listening to it. My sister said she didn't want to listen to... and then say three notes in a mocking high falsetto. When my mother turned the radio back on, the singer say exactly the same notes in the same rhythm.
Total votes: 588
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:35:45 +0000Coincidence ID:3458

Mutual friend identified

My brother-in-law was on a very small commuter plane in Maine when the young woman next to him said (in a Southern US accent) that she had had a professor in England whose accent was just like his. He responded as follows: 'You are a graduate of Randolph-Macon Woman's College and you spent your junior year in Reading, England where you took a course in British Politics from Alan Alexander'. He responded to her look of astonishment by telling her he was psychic! She was on her way to start her first job on a newspaper in Bar Harbor and neither of them had ever travelled on that air route before.
Total votes: 540
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:35:36 +0000Coincidence ID:3457

Dancing Match

We were having dinner on a cruise boat in Amsterdam with a Danish colleague. The band played ballroom music and our friend told us he was a former ballroom dance world champion. Our ballroom teachers were also former champions and we discovered that they knew each other from their touring days.
You voted 5. Total votes: 526
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:35:30 +0000Coincidence ID:3456

Shared phone numbers

1 The phone number (excluding area codes applied over time) of my parents in Australia in the '70s was the same as that of my wife's parents in the UK at the same time. 2 I went into a barber's in my old home town in Australia (Castelmaine, Victoria) about 10 years ago for a haircut. We got talking about where I live in the UK (Bristol) and it transpired that his brother ran a local barbers just down the road from my house.
Total votes: 570
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:35:13 +0000Coincidence ID:3455

Bumping into Son

I was driving home on an unusual route (for me) at around 3.45/4pm, listening to a Radio 4 programme about 'Coincidences'. As I drove past a bus stop, someone leapt out of the crowd and it was my son (aged around 15). I asked him what on earth he was doing at that bus stop (which was quite a long way from his school and in the opposite direction from home) and he said that he often went to that bus stop in order to get a seat before it would stop at the 'normal' school stop. Had he not leapt out of the crowd at the precise moment I was driving past, I would not have seen him there. It seemed even more of a coincidence bearing in mind the programme I was listening to at that moment!
Total votes: 543
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:35:08 +0000Coincidence ID:3454

Grandfather and Grandfather in law born same day and date and also my Friend

My daughter's grandfather in law and her grandfather were both born on 31 st August 1922 and I also discovered that a close friend, Brian, was born same day and date as me, 24 th August 1950.
Total votes: 535
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:35:05 +0000Coincidence ID:3453


5 of my friends have their birthday on the 23rd of April including my husband and his best friends first child. The 23rd is also st georges day and Shakespeares bday and the day he died?
Total votes: 550
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:35:02 +0000Coincidence ID:3452

Four people share a birthday

I was born on my mother’s 21st birthday – 12th February 1968. A few years ago I was chatting with the elderly gentleman who lived opposite us (he has since died), and I mentioned that it was my birthday next week. “Oh really,” he said. “Which day?” “On Wednesday the 12th.” “Oh, that’s my birthday too,” he said. “Really?” I said. “What a coincidence! It’s always been a special day in our family, because it’s my Mum’s birthday as well.” “Ah yes,” he said. “Mine too.” He was quite old and a little deaf, so I thought maybe he’d misunderstood me. “No, you see I was born on my mother’s birthday.” “Yes,” he said patiently, “me too!” I had never (before or since) met another person who was born on their mother’s birthday, although I’m sure there must be quite a few around. But what are the chances of meeting someone in the same situation, whose birthday was also 12th February?
Total votes: 591
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:34:30 +0000Coincidence ID:3451