Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Anniversary births/meeting work colleague

My brother, my parent's 3rd child, was born on their wedding anniversary(9th); my third child, a girl, was born on my wedding anniversary (10th). A friend and I enjoy visiting National Trust properties, but often end up running round as we arrive late in the day en route from another visit. This time we managed a look round the outside and a cup of tea under the trees of the cafe. As we gratefully drank the tea, a voice asked my friend if he had been in Africa during the fifties; my friend had worked in Africa for most of his life and had indeed been there during the fifties.

Simple birthdays

My ex-wife has two sisters; they're twins, and their birthday is 9 April. I have one sister, whose birthday is also 9 April. I have three daughters, who have an easy task remembering family birthdays: one date, one gender. Apart from me (the father in the story), there has been a continuous trail of eight daughters, with no sons on either side of the family... I've long said that women are the future....

Ms Miranda K

I met my husband at the wedding of two of my oldest friends. Since then, my friend gave birth to her daughter on my birthday and I gave birth to my son on my friend's birthday - what are the chances of that?!

Libby G

Listen to this - I think it is quite an amazing co-incidence! Years ago I lived and worked in Namibia - or South West Africa as it was called then. Two of us spent a wonderful weekend camping in the Namib Desert. Namib means "vast" and it is all of that. Distances between places are huge and in those days I think the population in the whole huge country was something like one million people. Traffic on the main roads was minimal and in the desert virtually non-existent.

Roderick M

1) In 1983 I attended a one-week seminar in Donaueschingen. The seminar was held in French, but attracted teachers of languages in the main from various European countries, including Germany, where I once lived and worked. When on the course, I met Alfons G, from Germany, who also was a teacher of modern languages. He gave me his address and said I was welcome to stay at their house in Germany. A year later I was in East Berlin for three days, walking in the centre, when I saw a familiar head. I went up to this person.

School/university

When I had done one year at grammar school my parents moved from Warwickshire to Surrey and I entered my new school in the second year and took over the text books and place in class of a girl called Angela who had moved to north London. After school I went on the university to study agriculture. The first woman fresher that I met was the same Angela. The school she had moved to was the one my mother had attended.

Walking into a window

I was in my local (Worthing) Citroen garage collecting my car following it's service when there was a loud bang. Everybody in the place turned to look and saw a man holding his face in his hands. He had walked into the showroom window. A few minutes later, there was another loud bang and unbelievably, somebody else had done exactly the same thing. The staff at the garage could not understand what was going on and the service manager said he had worked at the same place for a number of years and that nobody had ever walked into the window before in all the time he had worked there.

Liverpool in the mind

As a university professor, I get to supervise PhD students. I was in my office chatting with one of them, an Iranian, who had done some interviews in his home city. We were listening to one of these, and I noticed the word 'Liverpool' (I didn't understand anything else). I asked about it, and he replied that lots of people over there supported Liverpool. I then responded by saying that, through my work, I had briefly met a man in Norway who regularly came over to attend Liverpool matches. As I was finishing speaking, the phone rang. It was that man.

The greater significance of co-incidence

This box doesn't offer enough space for the experiences I would like to pass on to you. May I leave my e-address for you to contact me. Esme Ellis

weight of a soul

I was considering watching the film "21 grams" which uses a theory developed by a real scientist, which has never been verified, as "accepted real" in order to provide poetic license for the story. The theory is that the soul weighs 21 grams and is equal to the amount of body wight lost at the point of death. I took out some stuff - a handkerchief I think, from my pocket as I considered the possibility of reality of the theory as proven, and dropped excacly 21 pence onto the floor, by accident.

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