Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Amazing Grace in Croatia

Summer 2018. I was travelling through Croatia with a friend, and we had arranged to meet my flatmate at the time, Seamus (I was living in London) and his friend in Split. We arrive in Split, meet Seamus and his friend and all go check in at a hostel. After a few days, my flatmate and his friend decide to leave Split to go to some music festival in a nearby town. My friend and I stay in Split and we meet this American girl, Grace, who had just checked in at the hostel. She’s really nice and we spend the evening with her. My friend and I were supposed to leave Split the next day to continue our trip, so we say bye to Grace and exchange each other’s numbers. Fast forward 2 weeks, I’m spending the rest of summer in France, where I’m from. One night, I get a text from Grace, saying she’s in my house in London!! Turns out, a few days after I left Split, Seamus and his friend came back from their music festival, checked in at the same hostel again, met Grace. Then, 2 weeks later, she was flying back from Croatia to New York, with a connection in London, but she missed her flight in London.

The bird, the leaf, the key

I was living in New York. My roommate let me borrow his car to drive up to southern Vermont to go hiking alone in the mountains amid the fall colors. The car key he handed me was loose, not on a ring or chain, and when the drive ended, I put it in the back pocket of my jeans. Some miles into the beautiful walk I felt my back pocket and experienced an awful feeling when I realized the pocket had a hole and the key was gone. The car was parked at the end of a dirt road about a mile from the highway, and the highway itself was far from any town. I knew I was in for a long day of walking, hitchhiking and looking for help. But there was nothing I could do to make the key appear, so I did what I could to enjoy the beautiful day. On the way down one particular scene got my attention. A lone bird was singing on top of a tree which had only a few leaves left. I stopped to listen and watched a single yellow leaf make loops as it fell to the ground. The key was there, near where the leaf landed.

A Meeting in West Africa

When he was a junior at the University of Wisconsin, my brother did a year abroad in Sierra Leone. One day he went to a sandy beach, and as he liked to do, he got to work making an elaborately decorated sand castle. An American couple happened to be on the beach and they struck up a conversation. The couple mentioned they were on their way to Israel where the man had business meetings and my brother mentioned that he had relatives there. The man was on his way to meet our uncle, a bank executive.

My friend's sweater

I used to buy used clothing professionally by going through bales of clothing and picking out the items I could resell. One day I left NYC to buy items in Troy, New York. Each bale I went through held hundreds of pieces of clothing and that day I went through at least a dozen bales. Among the items I picked was a dark green, wool zipper sweater with a radiating pattern at chest level. Rarely items would have a name tag sewn in and this one did. It was the name of a friend of mine. I knew it was his sweater because it had his middle initial and he lived near Troy.

Ms

I was trying to find some new music on YouTube and came across a great instrumental cover of Redemption Song. Next day I thought I would like to hear Bob Marley's original version of this song. So I went onto YouTube and searched it. After finding it I was about to press play and mute my radio at the same time but Redemption Song by Bob Marley came on the radio. I was actually so surprised that I had to sit down for a minute.

Coincidence with number 5

I'm RZ [edited]. My email address contains a 5 [edited]. As you can see, there is a 5 there. What's more, I was in class 5 from primary school to high school all the time. But I was transferred to class 10 in the last semester of my high school life, which is a multiple of 5.

Birthday Newspaper

My husband and I bought an old house to renovate. In the large loft, on pulling up some rough boarding, we found a newspaper spread out between the joists, over the old ceiling plaster. The tabloid style newspaper’s front page faced up. It was a big picture of Princess Anne, celebrating her first birthday. The day I was born.

Parallel Universe Story

My husband went to high school with a boy who shared his birthday. We went out to a local Chinese restaurant for my husbands 49th birthday. We live in a city of 1.2 million. My husband noticed his old high school friend at a nearby table with his family. We went to say hello after dinner. Not only do they share a birthday (and by chance went to the same restaurant to celebrate) but they both married Leannes, and each had three children (two girls and one boy). It was a weird experience and it felt like parallel lives.

My two grandfathers were born on the same date and died a day apart

My maternal grandpa, Philippe, was born August 17, 1917 and my paternal grandpa, Paul, was born August 17, 1888. Philippe died January 6, 1984 and Paul died January 7, 1971.

Multiple coincidences since moving countries

I first visited Australia in 2014 to complete a 2-month placement for my Masters degree, and moved here for good a year later. Since my first visit, a number of coincidences have happened which, despite not being superstitious, have made me feel I belong here. Here they are: </p> <p>1. My Masters placement was in Melbourne but I had two friends in Queensland who I planned to visit while I was in Australia. One friend lived on the Gold Coast, the other about an hour away in Brisbane. These friends did not know one another - one I've known since high school, the other I first met in my early 20s - she stayed for a summer in London with a good friend of mine. I planned a trip to visit them both in their respective cities. Both friends had met Australian partners, one of whom was in hospital at the time of my visit, having been in a severe accident which had made the news. I recounted the story to the second friend, who said "we know him". My friends' partners had grown up together in the same part of Queensland and their families were close. </p> <p>2.

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