Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Social Security Number

I dated a woman for 5 years. About 3 years into our relationship, I was helping her fill out financial aid forms for a university program, and saw her social security number. I immediately noticed that the last four digits were the exact reverse of my own (e.g. EHGD vs DGHE). The coincidence did our relationship no good in the long run, but we both remarked at how improbable that must be.

grandma hawk

My mother passed away in 1999 when my younger child was one and during the mourning period, while friends and relatives were at my house, I took my son outside on my shoulders. Within two minutes a hawk came over and circled approximately 15 feet over our heads. I'd seen hawks in the neighborhood before, but never so close. I said, out loud, "that's grandma Edie hawk," because as children my brother and I often said our mother watched us like a hawk. Fast forward to exactly one year later at the cemetery.

A bit of a darker coincidence

I had an old friend who passed away recently from a drunk driver. When I initially thought about the scenario, I imagined a specific intersection near his house. Yes, since it's near his house the chances are higher than anywhere else, but still it was at that very intersection that he got hit.

Sean Connery's Apples

My wife and I went by car to see the movie Robin and Marian. The movie uses an artistic framing device of 3 apples. At the start of the movie 3 ripe apples are shown on a window ledge. At the end of the movie the apples are shown again. 2 - representing the deaths of Robin and Marian are rotted. We drove back from the movie and parked on the street at the first available spot close to our apartment. The car parked behind us had 3 apples on the dashboard.

Vinyl find

So a friend of mine's dad got me into collecting records a couple years back. He listens to all the old stuff - Psychedelic, bluegrass, rock n' roll, folk etc. One day we were both at our local record shop when I found a copy of an album called "Bongos Over Balham" by Thrillin' Chilli Willi & the Red Hot Peppers, a pretty obscure 70's bluegrass band. My friends dad mentioned how good an album it was and that he'd never seen a copy besides the one he owned.

Strange Sighting

My wife purchased a new hair product called "Rock On". I saw it on the counter the day after she got it and the song from T.Rex played in my brain. That same day, while out on lunch, a car with the license plate "Rock On" was in front of me.

dollar bill

As I was out walking, listening to my ipod,a Black Eyed Peas song came on. At the exact moment a "dollar bill" was mentioned in the lyrics - I stepped on a dollar bill on the sidewalk!

Geraldine McEwan's Death

Have just returned from a holiday in New Zealand. We stopped at a small town called .Geraldine in Canturbury and discussed how the name Geraldine has fallen out of fashion. The only Geraldine we could think of was Geraldine McEwan. Got back to Christchurch later that day, went onto BBC news website and read that Geraldine McEwan had just died. Make of that what you will.

Lives going strangely parallel

I am from Munich, Germany, and made a friend when I was 24, only to notice that we had the exact same birthday. So far so good, I received a notice that I could spend my exchange semester in Stockholm in 2008 and by sheer coincidence, he had been in the same town, in the same hostel, in the same room just a year before for an exchangesemester. To top it all, I met a girlin London (she also was from Munich), that I was dating for some weeks. It was a big hello when we found out that she was my friend's ex girlfriend!

Death on a mountain

My husband was on the way down Mount Kinabalu in Borneo when he collapsed and died. Some climbers had passed a few minutes before but heard the commotion and came Australian couple were life savers and tried resuscitation.with them was another English couple who were on a gap year. A few days later they English couple sent an email to my husbands niece saying there had been up Mount Kinabalu but on the way up they had this experience and gave his name. Imagine how comforted the family felt knowing there was someone they knew with their brother/nieces and nephews.