Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

A man in Connecticut

In 2014 my school in Melbourne Australia was holding an art exhibition. The curator of the exhibition was American, partner of a former student of the school. We were chatting about where he came from in the US. I mention I had a friend who was Head of a school in New Hampshire. When I mention the school, he said they used to play sport against the school. I asked him which school he attended. It was Deerfield in Massachusetts. I said the only person who i knew who worked there was a person called David Dun***. It turned out this fellow had David as a teacher.

Reconnected 30 years later

In the 1980's, my 1st husband & I were working and living in a caravan park in a Perth suburb of Western Australia. At the time I had a 2 yr old girl. One day I was in the Laundry of the van park when a young man apparently was there to do his laundry as well. This man asked me how to work the washing machine, which I apparently showed him, we spoke very briefly,(no flirting, I was happily married then)!

Dreams on the same day

I've been keeping a dream diary for several years. There is a very specific (sexual) subject that I occasionally dream about, and I noticed that two instances of it occurred in September 12th 2015 and September 12th, 2016, so exactly a year apart! I record the date of the dream on the day I wake up, so the dream took place in the night between September 11th and September 12th. And no, it has nothing to do with September 11th 2001, completely different subject-matter. For full honesty, though, the next instance occurred in October 21st, 2017, however, so not as impressive.

Darth Vader

My kid was playing with his Darth Vader towel yesterday - I jokingly asked if he wanted a ‘Darth Vader Impersonator’ for his birthday party. I thought I was so clever I tweeted it. Later that day a neighbor kid was wearing a ‘Darth Gator’ T-shirt from the zoo. Sure - little kids love Darth Vader - but the other kids shirt was a gator doing an impersonation of Darth Vader These happen 2-5 times a day to me.

My Adopted Father's Story

My dad was born in the United States and adopted as an infant by an American couple. When he was in grade school, his family moved to Germany for his father's work in the foreign service. He lived there through high school, becoming fluent in German, and adopting many aspects of German culture as his own. His adoptive parents were not German. As an adult, he found out who his birth family was, and it turns out that his birth mother was a German immigrant. Also, his mother had an identical twin sister who also had a son, and he had the same name as my father!

Sisters intertwined

I went to Australia and met two people who work on different projects at a big American company, but spend time working with other stuff they're passionate about. Two years later, one sister who went to my uni in the US reached out to me because one of my professors told her I might be able to help her on a project that combines two disciplines not many in my field are familiar with. We have dinner together and she has her husband and daughter join. she wants me to join a project with one of the people I met in Australia.

Family resemblance

Cousin 1, through one of my mum's sisters, was raised in England. Cousin 2, through another of my mum's sisters, was raised in France. (Both are cousins of each other.) When Cousin 1 was on her gap year in New Zealand, she got chatting to some random French girls. Then one said, "You look a lot like our friend [Cousin 2's name]!"

Architect of the Union

Take a map, locate South Africa. Zoom in, zoom way way in, locate Zeerust and Swartruggens. This is where it all started David was born in 1972 in South Africa. I was born in 1978 in Zeerust, RSA. For the briefest moment, David and myself were within 60km from one-another when he visited his father in Swartruggens, only to meet more than 30 years later thousands of miles on the other side of the world. September 2010, Las Vegas; on a Friday night I randomly met David in a bar.

What are the odds?

When living in New Zealand, at a small party in a rural, sparsely populated area, I met an Australian woman, born and raised in Australia but now working in NZ. During a conversation which amazed both of us, we discovered that her elderly aunt with whom she'd stayed as a child, and my sister, lived in the same very small Norfolk village (population c.600). Exploring this further, we found that in fact they lived in the same cottage- an old cottage divided into two houses down a remote unsurfaced lane.

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