Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

30 hours and three continents

Not one of the usual ones that spans decades, this is a series of coincidences that lasted only about 30 hours but spread across three continents... In November 2003 I got on a plane flying from Heathrow to LAX, where I was to catch a separate flight form there to the Pacific island of Samoa. I took my seat and a few moments later another person sat next to me. As the flight was long we struck up a conversation. He had been on a connecting flight from his home town in Germany but his English and my German were half-decent and we bonded over the coincidence that we were both called Tom (slightly different passport names of Thomas and Tomas). As the flight settled in we stopped talking and only picked it up again when we were on the landing path to LAX. He asked where I was going next and we both laughed at the next coincidence, that we were flying on to Samoa on the same flight As we both had to check in again and German Tom's English was not great under the pressure of post 9/11 US airport officials, we went to the flight transit desk together, which also meant we were able to choose to sit together again. (Not a coincidence, just a nice thing). At some point during the flight we chatted about where we were going once we landed. I mentioned a fairly obscure beach hut place on the edge of Apia, Samoa's capital, where you pay what you like. That led to the third coincidence as while he hadn't been to Samoa before he knew exactly where I was talking about as he was staying there too. This led to the final coincidence, as along with there being no fixed costs, the other idiosyncrasy about this place is that the beach huts ('fales') accommodate only two people, and if you're travelling alone you may have to share with a stranger. Except by then he wasn't a stranger at all... There was no other formal connection between us, no package deal, no information provided by the airlines to the accommodation, a relatively small but wide range of accommodation to choose from. The place wasn't listed at that point in Lonely Planet, had a very patchy website and SEO wasn't a thing in Samoa at that point. Additionally, while I was a hard up backpacker so looking at a narrower range of accommodation options, he was a pharmaceutical salesman attracted to the obscurity of the lodge. A side note; we became good friends during our time in Samoa and I was able to stay at his friends' place on Savai'i, Samoa's other island, for free for quite a long time. A great thing for a hard up 23 year old backpacker.
Total votes: 235
Date submitted:Tue, 17 Nov 2020 15:37:51 +0000Coincidence ID:10559

COLLEGE ROOMMATE HAS THE SAME BIRTHDAY

my college roommate has the exact same birthday as me and year.
Total votes: 242
Date submitted:Thu, 05 Nov 2020 03:51:02 +0000Coincidence ID:10557

Unexpected Money Postal & Found on the street

In the last 6 weeks, stranger's credit cards and a cheque have unexpectedly been posted to my apartment and also, found in the public streets. Here is the breakdown: 2x On my daily walks, I found someone's credit cards on 2 separate occasions and I've tried to notify them on LinkedIn ( Both strangers kindly declined because they already canceled their credit cards ) 1x my neighbor's cheque was sent to me. I kindly returned it :) 1x credit card directly to my apartment In addition, I keep finding $2 coins on my daily walk. What is the meaning of all this coincidence in a short time frame? I live in Vancouver BC, Canada. I think the obvious is to spend it and yet, I sense consequences. I've attempted to return it and nothing has happened in my life by returning it. I'm left with other alternatives and unsure of what to do... I'm open to hearing your suggestions. I kindly wait for your response and hope you're doing well during chaotic times. Kind regards, Fortunate Financier of Fate
You voted 2. Total votes: 238
Date submitted:Mon, 02 Nov 2020 07:44:43 +0000Coincidence ID:10556

Moved in with my clone

I moved abroad for a study exchange. I was assigned a room in a shared flat. Upon arriving, I discovered that there was a huge amount of mould growing underneath the linoleum floors– clearly visible but impossible to remove. I asked to change flats and moved into another one the next day. When I met my new flatmate for the first time, we were both in shock: our features were disturbingly similar. We had the same hair colour, hairstyle and eye colour; very similar facial features, facial expressions, body language, and laugh. It turned out that neither of us spoke the local language, but we both spoke French. We proceeded to discuss (in French) how strange this resemblance was, and reassured each other that surely there were many differences between us we had yet to find out about. To change the subject, I mentioned that I had visited Scotland recently. She replied that she had, too. We then turned to relationships, and my flatmate told me she had ended things with her girlfriend in her home country the month before. So had I. Later we went to pick up some used furniture, and got asked if we were sisters by two different people. As a final test, we sent my flatmate's mother a photo of me to see whether she would notice it wasn't of her daughter. She didn't. And that's the story of how I moved in with my clone thanks to mouldy linoleum.
Total votes: 264
Date submitted:Wed, 28 Oct 2020 16:37:30 +0000Coincidence ID:10555

Random phone number was the right one

Deadlines are always hairy in the newspaper business. In an extreme rush, I reached for the phone book to look up a source as Chuck was hurrying by. Kidding, I asked, "Chuck, what's the number I'm looking for?" Chances are he would guess one of the three local exchanges - 372, 373 or 375 - and he blurted out 7 digits as he rushed by. About 10 seconds later I found the number I was looking for in the book and it was exactly - exactly - the number Chuck threw out there. I never even told him who I was trying to call.
You voted 1. Total votes: 249
Date submitted:Mon, 26 Oct 2020 20:45:29 +0000Coincidence ID:10554

My hometown detailed in foreign diary

I bought a 1930's German diary from the Ephemera section on Ebay. Struggling with the language, and to read the handwriting, i was astonished to come across the word 'Bradford' (where I live). I thought I must have misread it, but soon found many references to placenames nearby me. It turned out that the diarist had visited here many times. From Carol
Total votes: 225
Date submitted:Tue, 20 Oct 2020 00:50:49 +0000Coincidence ID:10552

Mom and aunt passed on the Exact same day - different year

My mom passed June 12,2015 and her sister passed June 12,2020. Out of 365 days in a year, is it just a coincidence that they both passed on the same exact day?!
Total votes: 230
Date submitted:Sun, 18 Oct 2020 01:48:53 +0000Coincidence ID:10551

Family coincidences

My parents were both the same age. High school sweethearts. Both had rheumatic fever when they were children. Both parents had heart valve replacement surgeries. Both parents went blind in their right eye. (Moms was from a blood clot, dads was from an explosion) both parents had the same auto immune disorder, both parents had a parent that was a twin, my mothers grandmother was born on December 6... and two of my parents grandchildren were born on that same day. My father was born on December 5th. His mother died the same day that her father died, many years later. My mother’s paternal grandmother And my mothers maternal grandmother died on the same day, same year. One in the morning and one in the afternoon. And my mother and I were born on the same day.
Total votes: 248
Date submitted:Thu, 15 Oct 2020 03:50:29 +0000Coincidence ID:10549

Glowing Lights

I was doing so online browsing - "window shopping" - when I came across car accessories. These accessories were LED lights that you can put on the valve stem (where you air up the tires). When the tires spin the LED lights flow. This was the first time in my life I heard of these little lights that can go on your tire. So naturally I told my dad and friends that I thought they were super cool and I wanted them. The very next day my brother, dad, and I were driving home on the expressway when a car passes us with those lights on the tires. I couldn't believe. From not knowing about the lights, to discovering them on the internet, telling my family about them, and then seeing them the very next day. Crazy. I never saw them on any other car in my life and I see them the very next day I first learn about them.
Total votes: 243
Date submitted:Sat, 10 Oct 2020 05:07:14 +0000Coincidence ID:10548

highschool crush

1979 Edmonton. Crush fierce on Lori. She invited me to a house party so of course I am going. I rang the front door bell and introduced myself to Lori's parents and younger sister who was keen to know what was going on. Then went downstairs to the party. At the party Lori made it clear to all that she and Darren were going out. Damn! I moved to Calgary the next year. 6 years later I move to the west coast for Uni. I am there for 4 years and am working a summer job at a shitty mall restaurant before my final year. A family comes in, I knew I knew them but couldn't figure out where I knew them from. After they paid they were getting up to leave and I had to know how I knew them. "I'm sorry, but I'm sure I know you people...." Younger daughter yells "See? I told you that was him!" brief catch up, Lori was moving into town to go to Uni. "Well maybe we'll see each other around campus." When I got home there was a message from my fiancé saying she was over at her best friend's place getting the flat ready for the new roommate to move in, come on over and help. My fiance's besties' new roomy? Yup Lori.
Total votes: 300
Date submitted:Fri, 09 Oct 2020 02:21:17 +0000Coincidence ID:10547

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