Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

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.
You voted 3. Total votes: 147
Date submitted:Fri, 19 Jun 2020 14:47:57 +0000Coincidence ID:10474

Book shop

My brother was browsing in a second-hand bookshop and picked up a golf book that he had been wanting to buy for some time to replace one he had lost. On looking in the front cover he was astonished to find that there was an inscription from our father on the lines of "To Geoff, Happy Christmas 1975, Love Dad". It was not just a copy of the book he had lost, but the actual book itself.
Total votes: 103
Date submitted:Thu, 18 Jun 2020 16:57:59 +0000Coincidence ID:10473

Holiday coincidence

We were in an ice cream parlour in the Algarve when our next door neighbour came in. Neither of us knew we were going to be in Portugal at the same time. Neither of us were actually staying in the town where we had the ice cream.
You voted 3. Total votes: 96
Date submitted:Thu, 18 Jun 2020 16:53:49 +0000Coincidence ID:10472

Family member found years later

Our family, from Idaho, paid for our grandparents (accompanied by their son-my uncle) to fly to Honolulu, Hawaii for a vacation in the mid 1980's. While visiting the tourist spot Pearl Harbor, A picture was taken of my grandparents near the "USS Arizona" memorial. The picture was put in an album and never saw the light of day... Until. Flash forward to 2010, my cousin was talking to her new husband about Honolulu, Hawaii and he mentioned that he's been there when he was a kid. In the mid 1980's. They talked about time frames and both determined that he was there at the same time as our grandparents. Just out of curiosity my cousin pulled out the photo album (Her dad is my uncle and he was the one to take the picture) and found a bunch of photos of their trip, but the photo of my grandparents at the USS Arizona Memorial showed a few people behind them....and yup. There's my cousin's husband in the back ground about 17 years old at the time. Too weird and wonderful!
You voted 5. Total votes: 99
Date submitted:Wed, 17 Jun 2020 18:07:57 +0000Coincidence ID:10471

Car with Plate

In 2006, near a Wegmans grocery store in Rochester, New York, United States, I spotted a "BGG666" New York license plate on a winestone-colored Subaru sedan as it passed by me while I was walking. I then followed this car into the parking lot of the Wegmans to examine the car and confirm the letters and digits on its license plates. As far as my coincidence, "BGG" are my initials, and I owned at the time a winestone-colored Subaru whose model and year were identical or nearly identical to those of the sedan with the "BGG666" license plates.
Total votes: 88
Date submitted:Tue, 16 Jun 2020 22:28:15 +0000Coincidence ID:10470

The photo

I was filling out a background verification form for a new job, and wanted to list an old colleague as a reference. I called her, she didn't pick up and she called me back. We started talking, and she said she was interviewing someone called Leah from another firm i used to work with and she mentioned a name. I googled the name cause i was curious and the girl seemed familiar. I hung up and went back to filling out my form. I needed to find an old offer letter to upload as a part of the process and as I searched for it in my inbox, a bunch of photos came up, going through them, in the third photo, i found this girl, Leah, that I'd never actually spoken to. Everything happened within 2 hours today. Weird.
Total votes: 95
Date submitted:Tue, 09 Jun 2020 15:29:36 +0000Coincidence ID:10468

Life changing decision

After finishing my bachelor I wanted to study script writing as a Master degree, I applied at a lot universities, also got invited to interviews but I did not get accepted. I was very disappointed and self critic. By chance my dad found the Master Mediapsychology, as I read the description I felt like I found my right way. I am shure I wouldn't have become that happy with learning about writing good scripts, I love studying this area of psychology and can't imagine to do anything else anymore! Ony by chance I found my destiny :)
You voted 5. Total votes: 116
Date submitted:Mon, 08 Jun 2020 18:53:17 +0000Coincidence ID:10467

a chance meeting

I was let go from a God awful job. Things were not going well, but I found a posting in an area were my father was from, where I used to visit him as a kid. The area was a little familiar to me, but this part doesn't matter. I was hired as a Technology Specialist in a school district. Upon being hired, I was summoned to report to an orientation early in the summer. When I entered the room the tables were set up in a large square. I was one of the first to arrive and I went to the left far corner to take a seat. No one was seated near me, and no one took a seat near me until this woman walked in and make my heart skip and my palms sweat. She took the seat next to me. I immediately became overwhelmingly nervous..not scared, but wowed. Anyway, the super attendant arrived and he asked Who we were, where we were working, and what was our job. He started from the right until he got to her. She was a Media Specialist (librarian) in the same school I was going to be working in. There are 17 schools in the district. Now when I first reported to the high school for my first day of work, I was led to the Media Center where my new office was located, which is where the stunning woman will be working once school starts. So as we began talking to eachothet we both have 2 sons and both have the exact name for our second son from the same story. The name is not a popular name at all and we both spelled it the same way. I can't help but think of this situation as a meaningful coincidence.. I'm not sure why , but I feel that it's not completely coinsidence.. like it is meant for some reason. I don't know what it is, but I can't stop thinking about it.
Total votes: 124
Date submitted:Mon, 08 Jun 2020 02:31:53 +0000Coincidence ID:10466

Oblique strategies card

I've been curious about Brian Eno's oblique strategies for some time, and one day I decided to visit a website that randomly shows one of the cards. The card that showed up was "cluster analysis", which was the topic of my Master's thesis, which I was finishing at the time.
Total votes: 91
Date submitted:Sun, 07 Jun 2020 12:00:38 +0000Coincidence ID:10465

Birthdays

My partner and his brother are unidentical twin brothers. The wife of my partner's twin brother and I, female, have the same birth day, too. Our shared birthdays are 14 days apart.
Total votes: 123
Date submitted:Tue, 02 Jun 2020 00:13:29 +0000Coincidence ID:10464

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