Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Why? By recording your coincidence stories here, you can help him build a picture of what kinds of coincidences are out there and which ones seem to ‘get to’ us the most. Your coincidence stories can also help him explore the scientific explanations which may account for them – whether by doing the maths to calculate the chances of a coincidence, or speculating on the weird and wonderful workings of our brains.

Coincidences tend to be ‘surprising matches’ – sometimes they are lucky, sometimes unlucky, sometimes just mind-boggling. To help you recall the coincidences that have happened in your life, here’s a list of some common types of coincidence:

  • Surprising repetitions: for instance when you’ve had not contact with someone for ages, then find two connections to them very close together in time. Or when over several years multiple members of the same family are born with the same birthday. Or even a repetition of a really rare event – like winning the lottery twice, or your life being saved twice by the same person!
  • Simultaneous events: for example when two people phone each other at exactly the same time.
  • Parallel lives: such as when two people in a small group find they share a birthday or an unusual name, or when two people discover their lives match each other in bizarre details.
  • Uncanny patterns: imagine picking letters in Scrabble that spell your name.
  • Unlikely chains of events: perhaps you lost your false teeth overboard and found them inside a fish you caught twenty years later?

If anything coincidental has happened to you - anything that made you stop and say "well, what were the chances of that..?" - then please record your story in the form below! Please try to keep your story personal - about you or someone you know. The only thing we'd ask you to steer clear of are premonitions or déjà vu, purely because - whilst fascinating - they're quite common and also difficult to analyse.

You could also tell us about coincidences in the news, but please provide a link to a reliable source!


Title: two or three words that give a simple description of your story, eg ‘old friend’ or ‘birthday coincidence’
Coincidence: tell your coincidence story - and please include plenty of relevant detail (places, dates, numbers etc.) and include your first name if you want.
Email address (optional): please leave an email address, as then we can get in touch to find out more!

All of the information entered below except your email address will be published on this website when you press save





By ticking this box you agree that your email address can be forwarded to Wingspan Productions Ltd, who are making a BBC television programme about Chance and would like to feature Professor David Spiegelhalter's coincidence collection. In doing so you agree that the producers of the programme may contact you directly to ask you more about your story, though whether you decide to help them is entirely up to you. Your details will not be forwarded to any other party or used for marketing purposes.



Vertical Tabs


Across a train platform

Southern England: I'd walked everyday from school to train station with my friend "S" and then we would split to different platforms, to go in different directions. For about 2/3 years S would stand & chat with "L" , a girl younger than us that I didn't know and she only spoke to on the train trip. I could see them across the tracks everyday but sound didn't carry so I never once spoke to L Skip forward nine years I'm backpacking in Australia and have just taken a ferry to Devonport Tasmania.

Bollywood, Depression and Suicide

A few weeks ago, I was talking to a college buddy of mine who lives in New Jersey ( I live in Pennsylvania). We were talking about Indian politics which at times is more colorful and entertaining than Bollywood cinema. Out of the blue one of the names that popped up was Sushant Singh Rajput, an up and coming Bollywood star who was having a decent run despite not being "connected" with the clannish Bollywood networks. I did not really know who he was (my Bollywood and Cricket clock stopped in 2005 when i moved to the States).

12:34

I saved this page long back in Mozilla Firefox Pocket. I forgot even when. I had a relook at my own pocket searching history after a long while and found the glowing red number inscribed in this very page exactly at 12:34 a.m. my local time. It's maybe just a coincident.

"Harley"

I have a former friend. Let's call her "Harley." I remember having a dream and she was the main thing in this dream. It felt like a reconciliation type of dream. But the way it ended, you would think it was love. I digress. When I woke up from this dream, I turn on my phone to see what time it was. And sure enough, there was a random memory that has "Harley" all over it. It just struck me odd.

MEETING AT A WEDDING

My wife and I attended a friends wedding last year and at the dinner table after the ceremony she spoke to the man next to her. She was going to attend a music summer school in Rutland at Oakham School a few weeks later. It turned out that the man taught at Oakham School and lived a few minutes walk away. When she attended the summer school she was able to walk to his house and enjoy afternoon tea. There were about 150 people at the wedding dinner and she just happened to sit next to that man. The family had no idea about her plans when the layout was arranged.

London crime coincidence

I was looking at this gang on YouTube that is based in wood green in north London. I then go on Wikipedia and look at crime in London and the first picture I see is an anti knife crime protest or something at wood green

Stretching coincidence

I'm currently recovering from a leg injury, the process involves stretching. Because of covid, I am having remote classes, I was about to stretch after finishing my work, my teacher sent a message to the group telling us to have a 10 min break and stretch our legs.... Why does this always happen to me lol

"And it was.. Will Smith"

When I was 17 I met my best friend at high school. We had an Italian class together. Our teacher told a "friend of a friend" story where her friend was in New York and got trapped in a lift. In the story it was the friend, a man and two bodyguards. The story ends with the line.. ".. and it was Will Smith" My friend and I couldn't believe how ridiculous this story was and later found out it's a popular urban legend with the famous person inter changeable (Arnold Schwarznegger, Eddie Murphy, Sylvester Stallone etc.) Anyway..

Uganda coincidence

I was watching a video about Uganda then my local coffee shop who roasts their own beans posted one of their blends that was from Uganda when I hopped on Facebook straight after watching the video

Strange music coincidence

I was in the car listening to bestie boys sabotage in the car driving, once I get home I hear it playing when I watch the minions 2 trailer on YouTube.... the unlikeliest of songs that could have been played.

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