Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Small world

My sisters live 120 miles apart. Sister 1 went on holiday a few years back and discovered the travel rep lived literally round the corner from sister 2. Coincidence enough, but fast forward to 2020 and sister 2 is currently self isolating due to Covid 19. As she is reliant on grocery deliveries, she called a local voluntary group. The lady who came to help said she was among the first to lose her job and will be the last to return as she works in the travel industry - yes it was the same lady sister 1 had met
Total votes: 204
Date submitted:Sun, 12 Apr 2020 10:08:54 +0000Coincidence ID:10427

Three coincidences

I'm not sure whether I can have three but the first one's very short. My brother, four of my cousins (from different branches of the family) and my late aunt have birthdays on 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th of October = different years, obviously! The second coincidence is this. I had a peripatetic life with a father in the armed forces so I attended a lot of schools. I joined the WRAF myself and served as a teleprinter operator. I married an airman in 1972. More moving. In March 1974 he was posted to Cyprus. One day, a month or so after our arrival, I was standing in a queue in the NAAFI store in Limassol when the woman in front of me happened to see me and did a visible double take. She turned out to be someone I'd worked with when I was a teleprinter operator in the UK 2 years previously. I regularly have people recognising me but I never reciprocate because I suffer from a mild form of prosopagnosia. I can't recognise people unless I know them really well and meet them regularly - sometimes even not then - and that is very embarrassing indeed at times! The third is that I finally managed to go to university in 1990 when I was 40 (when my marriage was breaking up). I read Linguistics at Loughborough. I joined the Christian Union there (more for something to do than any conviction) and attended the local Anglican church because I'd always loved singing and had been in a lot of church choirs (the only outlet for someone who kept moving around all the time - there was always a church with a choir somewhere nearby, wherever we were). The University Registrar came to CU meetings fairly regularly and always talked to me. Apart from the fact that he was married, because sometimes his wife came as well, I didn't know much about his personal life. When I graduated and left Loughborough I decided to move to Winchester because my mother's family had come from Hampshire and Winchester was the nearest I could get to the area where they'd lived. In Loughborough I'd shared a house with a couple of other mature students and we'd had to move to a village outside the town when our landlord decided to sell it. I can't drive and I couldn't get to the Anglican church any more but there was a small Baptist chapel just down the road so I went there. When I came to Winchester I decided to continue as a Baptist so I joined the Baptist church. After a few weeks I made friends with an elderly lady during after-service coffee and got chatting to her. It turned out that she was the mother of Loughborough University's Registrar!
Total votes: 197
Date submitted:Sat, 11 Apr 2020 16:38:29 +0000Coincidence ID:10426

Spear carrier

I spoke today to an old teacher of mine, Ron, now in his late 70s. He said he came to the school in 1969. One of the older colleagues who taught games had arrived in the 50s and in idle staffroom chat mentioned that he had once been supervising athletics when a boy caught a javelin in his leg. He had to transport him to hospital with the javelin sticking out of the car window. In the late nineties Ron was on a train and fell into conversation with an older man who, it transpired had been a pupil at the same school 40 years earlier. Ron asked whether there was any truth in the javelin tale. The answer he received was: "I threw it."
Total votes: 199
Date submitted:Mon, 06 Apr 2020 15:49:54 +0000Coincidence ID:10425

Randomly finding old roommates credit card at gas station 90 minutes away

Yesterday on my drive back to Chicago from Michigan I stopped to use the restroom and get gas at a random gas station near Indiana . As I went to put my card in I noticed someone else’s card was left in there so I took it out to take it inside and something told me to look at the name . When I looked at it I couldn’t believe it was my old roommate from colleges card ! I called him and asked if he was still in Chicago and he said no he was on his way back to Michigan and I asked if he had stopped to get gas near Indiana and he said yes about an hour before . Come to find out he had left his card in there and didn’t even realize and some how I went to the same exact pump and was the one to find it ! How odd is that ! We hadn’t talked in months and it’s just so weird ! Then when I was in Florida last month I had asked to speak to the manager at the resort because of an issue I had and it was literally his best friend who I had no clue had even moved to Florida let alone was the manager of the resort my work conference was at !!!! What is going on !!!
Total votes: 189
Date submitted:Sun, 05 Apr 2020 04:39:35 +0000Coincidence ID:10424

Small group of 10

At a small course of only 10 people run by the U3A, by chance two members discovered that they were born in the same room! This was in Brocket Hall. At the same course two people also realised they had gone to the same school, which was over 100 miles from where they both lived now.
Total votes: 205
Date submitted:Sun, 29 Mar 2020 15:13:11 +0000Coincidence ID:10421

Missed a train abroad and ran into someone I knew of, but didn't know personally

My husband and I were traveling through Russia on the Transiberian train. My father had mentioned in conversation that his best friend's sister and her husband were also traveling through Russia at the time and shared a picture of them. We had never met them before and with Russia being a huge country, we didn't think much of it. At some point in our journey, we missed a train and had to book last minute tickets on another train at a later hour. There was only one cabin with two free tickets left, so we booked there. We caught this train on time and went to our cabin. As soon as the couple we were sharing the cabin with walked in, I recognized them from the picture my father had sent me. Much to their surprise, we asked them if they were who we thought they were and we introduced ourselves after explaining the situation. We still can't believe how many coincidences were involved for this to happen.
Total votes: 202
Date submitted:Sun, 15 Mar 2020 00:38:01 +0000Coincidence ID:10412

Two Nutria Encounters

Went to the library, did some browsing, and selected a book to take with me on a business trip. Can't recall the title, but it was probably something in the action/adventure genre. On the plane, it caught my eye that the book mentioned an animal called a nutria. I had to pause for a second, but then remembered that it's a sort of swimming rat. I was pleased that I was able to recall that. Got to my destination (a university in south Texas) and my contact picked me up at the airport and took me out to dinner. Sitting on the outdoor deck as we ate our meal, I scanned our surroundings and something in a river that winded its way around the restaurant caught my eye. "You know what those are?" he asked. Before I could answer, he said, "They're called nutria. They have them where you're from?" I probably hadn't heard the name "nutria" for a decade or more prior to reading it in that book (I'm guessing junior high or high school) and then I heard it twice in one day, including seeing one of the little bastards!
Total votes: 236
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Mar 2020 21:55:07 +0000Coincidence ID:10410

same bowlegged jeep in front of me twice

driving south on a highway in Detroit in the evening I notice a green jeep with bowlegged tires in front of me I commented that it must have been in an accident and i pull alongside it to confirm and notice the dings and the driver, the next morning I see the same jeep in front of me eastbound in the morning so I pull alongside to confirm the same jeep
Total votes: 208
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Mar 2020 02:56:49 +0000Coincidence ID:10409

Sister Died

It was Christmas day back at around 2005. It was mid afternoon and we were getting organised to get my wife's grandmother (who is called 'Nana" in the family) back home. Nana was ushered upstairs to go to the toilet before the car journey back to her home. I also needed to go to the loo, but of course allowed Nana to go in first. As soon as she came out, I went into the loo. It was the tiniest loo possible - probably three feet wide, and just long enough to fit the toilet at the end so that the door could open and close. In other words, a very small loo! As I was having my wee I had a sudden and persistent thought running through my head. It wasn't a 'voice' but it was that kind of persistent self-talk we do when we repeat something in our heads like "don't forget to set the alarm" when leaving to go on holiday. The words that were repeating in my head were "sister's died, sister's died". This was just after 3pm on Christmas Day. I went back downstairs and told my wife about this. I asked her (sensitive of me, really) if at some point if she had a sister who had died. She said that she hadn't, but said she would ask her mother. I was reluctant to do this, but she did anyway. My wife's mother confirmed that no 'sister' had died in the family. Others gathering to see Nana asked what the conversation was about, so it was shared. I shrugged it off as a random and spurious thought. That evening, with some six or seven family members at the house, the phone rang - at just after 7pm I remember. My wife's mother answered the phone, which was located out in the hall. She came into the room looking white as a sheet. She said "This afternoon, just after three o'clock, Nana's sister died." I still can't explain this, but the people who witnessed this event are still alive and talk about it to this day. Hope that you find this example of a coincidence useful and interesting.
Total votes: 215
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Mar 2020 10:33:51 +0000Coincidence ID:10407

3 children with the same birth date

My daughter Ally was born 14.11.2000 My twins were born naturally on 14.11. 2013 For our family it's a cool coincidence.
Total votes: 212
Date submitted:Sun, 08 Mar 2020 19:19:59 +0000Coincidence ID:10406

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