Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Aunts Were Best Friends

When I was an undergraduate student at a large university in the Midwest, I used to take the bus to one of my classes. Another woman also caught the same bus to the same class and eventually we started talking. We sat together in class and became friends. One day as we were walking out of class, we were talking about our parents and both remarked that our last names sounded familiar. We talked more and eventually figured out that her aunt and my aunt were childhood best friends and still close to this day. My dad had a crush on her mom when they were in grade school and the families knew each other well. But I had never met any of them before. We called our aunts and they were laughing as they had apparently joked about how funny it would be if we met at school. Was wild.

In the same parking lot as the person in on the phone with

I had a Zoom call scheduled with Vicky to discuss a project. My sister had a doctor appointment I'd forgotten about, and needed me to take her, so I did the call from her doctor's office parking lot instead of my office, without video. I apologized for not having my calendars synced. Vicky mentioned that she'd planned to show me some maps and photos to describe the project better but that she wasn't at her computer, either- she mixed up days and forgot that her daughter had a doctor appt because her calendars are separate, too. I joked "Well, if you happen to be at (location) we could talk in person!" She asked how I knew she was there. I thought she was joking, she thought I was joking (and stalking her?) She was two cars down from me in the lot. We'd never met or seen each other before. This is a small doctor's office, in a small town in Maine. I live in this small town but she lives 30 minutes away. We finished our conversation in person then connected via Zoom later so we could see the visual materials. Pretty good, right?

Hearing source music from a song 10 years later. This is a song by Camo & Krooked (2008) that samples an original song called Hedgehog's Dilemma, from the anime Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995). I knew the C&K song from 2009, a year after it was made. Then almost 10 years later in 2019, I hear the source while watching an episode of NGE for the first time. It was a really strong nostalgic feeling, it took me like a half an hour to actually find it in my library, but it was so satisfying to find it. Quite surprising, this sort of thing has happened a few times with my because I listen to a lot of music that uses dialogue or music samples. Never over the course of ten years though!

Small world

I moved from PA to NY to go to college to become a teacher. I was subbing at a nearby school district and the secretary there was so kind. We always made small talk on my way in and out for the day. After a week or so, she asked me for my phone number so I could call me personally if there were any positions. I gave her my number (with my PA area code) and she asked me where I was originally from. Turns out she grew up in the same town as me! We enjoyed talking about that for the next couple weeks. Then I mentioned to her that I was getting married and she asked my soon to be husband’s name. She asked if he had any relation to —— and I said yes! That’s his aunt! She not only grew up in my town, but was my father in laws neighbor, and his sister’s very good friend growing up. So I met someone who knew all the same people I knew in a completely different state!

Dad Injury

I was living at college, and I was woken up in the middle of the night with a repeating voice in my head, “You need to call your dad. You need to call your dad”. It was around 2 in the morning so of course I was not going to call my dad, but after the repeating intrusive thought for over an hour, I sent him a text message that I was thinking about him and for him to give me a call when he gets a chance. I get a call from him at 10 that morning saying he was in the hospital because he had an accident at work where he was cut with a saw from his wrist to his armpit. Thankfully, he was okay after lots and lots of stitches. This was about 6 years ago and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since.

Semi Jesus

I was driving back from visiting a friend’s house a state away so the drive was several hours long. Lately I had been feeling somewhat sad and contemplating existence so I decided to just ask the air if God exists and, if so, can I be given a sign. Not even a few minutes after I ask that a semi truck speeds passed me. The only decoration on the side of this truck was a white background and the name JESUS in black and in all caps. Can’t say I’m a believer now for sure but it certainly was weird and made me question everything again.

Guessed my cousin’s poker hand

We were playing poker and my cousin says, “if I lose again, I’m done”. So when I realize I have 2 pair, I lied about my hand and named 5 random cards (not suits, just the numbers), and it was the hand my cousin had.

Had a stroke, horoscope next day was about it

My aunt had a minor stroke a couple of weeks ago. This stroke itself did not result in any real issues, however it means another more major stroke in he near future is more likely. She is not prone to believing in the supernatural and does not ever read her horoscope. However, she decided to, given the recent life changing news. Her horoscope in the Chicago Sun Times read: “Be careful in discussions about shared property, inheritance, and money issues because you might be tempted to give away the farm. This is because you’re thinking in large strokes and you feel very generous. All of this is very well, but stay reasonable” Shortly after her stroke she told me I was the executor of her will. So there’s a coincidence. But the “thinking in large strokes” line is a very strange coincidence. I’ve never even heard the phrase “large strokes” I more commonly hear “broad strokes”. Weird!

Teacher of my teacher

My regular piano teacher decided to move house, and suggested I go to her piano teacher who taught her when she was younger. I did so, for about a year or more at the time of the coincidence. Then one day in conversation she told me she went to a piano concerto of a talented young boy who is being taught by one of her old students. She showed me a picture of him and low and behold, he was my classmate. This happened in Hong Kong where there's nearly 8 million people, many of which teach piano, and many schools around the city. She did not teach music full time, does not work for any music schools, and she teaches young students at home. She very rarely speaks about her old students, so of course the only time she does is when I get this odd coincidence.

My dog

I had been searching for a dog for a couple of years and then one night I had a dream about a sick coughing brown husky puppy that had showed up on my porch and I took him in and trained him. The next day, for no reason, I felt like going to Trader Joe’s, while walking in I thought, “I should look to the right”. There was a pet store there I had never noticed, and I thought, what are the odds. I went in and saw a black husky puppy in the store, I asked if there were more. They said yes but he has kennel cough. It was the brown puppy from my dream. I went home, knowing this was my dog. Then my neighbor told me that this pet store chain is notorious for puppy mills. I didn’t want to contribute to that, so I looked into it and the pet store he was at was the only one that had been privately owned and turned into a non profit no kill shelter that rescues unwanted puppy litters from around the country. Not only that, but he was named milo, which is the same name as my dog who had just died. Also, to top it all off, he has the same birthday as my former partner’s (at the time we were together) sister. Now he is my service dog!