Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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


I lived with a man in Jersey, the Channel Islands, whose wife had died two years before from cancer. Her friends had set up a network of women to help with the children, shopping and housework. One was a lady called Mary. My relationship with the widower ended and I met my husband. He said he had friends in Jersey. They turned out to be Mary and her husband who had worked in the Middle East with him.

birthday coincidences

My brother was born on my birthday when I was six! He was my birthday present, I was told. It is lovely, now we're older, to share that special day.....neither of us appreciated it when we were children however!

The young man lost in the outback

In the Parish church of St Michael at Woodham Walter in Essex is the following poignant memorial: "Sacred to the memory of Henry Bryan, 5th son of the Rev Guy Bryan (Rector of this Parish) and Selina Elizabeth his wife; accompanying Governor Gawler on his perilous expedition into the unknown regions of South Australia, his generous endeavours to secure the Governor’s personal safety were accomplished under mysterious providence by the painful sacrifice of his own life. December 1839.

atacama desert - chile

My eye was being examined by an optemitrist from Chile yesterday and I happened to mentionhow much I had enjoyed the Atacama Desert when in Chile and he told me how beautiful it was smothered in flowers in Spring and Autummn when I got home and openend my emails there was one from a friend visiting the Atacama Desert just then! All she told me was that she was going to Antarctica - I had no idea.

Extraordinary encounter in Harrods

I live 130 miles from London and on one of my infrequent visits there I decided to buy a present for a neighbour called Nicki who had recently done me a favour. I ordered some handmade chocolates from the Foodhall in Harrods and whilst I was waiting for them to be wrapped I felt a tap on my shoulder. A voice said "Hello" and as I turned round I saw my friend Nicki who by sheer unexpected coincidence had also decided to visit London. At the same time the sales assistant handed me the box of chocolates which I was able to hand over there and then!

Birthday coincidences

My Father, my Sister and my eldest daughter were all born on 5th December - three generations! On 5th December 1976 my Father was 90, my Sister was 50, and my daugher was 21 ! Jonathan M

relatives rediscovered

Around 25 years ago my Father decided one Saturday morning to drive from London to watch his football team, Barnsley, play Norwich at Carrow Road. He was early, got a seat and started chatting to the guy who sat down next to him. He instantly recognised a fellow Yorkshireman by his accent and found out that he had driven from Barnsley that morning.

Parking phenomenon

Why is it that whenever I park my car in a carpark that someone else is about to enter or leave one of the spaces immediately next to me? This seems to happen about eight times out of ten even though there may be dozens of other parked cars not in use. This has happened over many years.

Testing fate

I had just discovered the notion of synchronicity. I decided to test it. I was in the center of my city and had some time to spare. I went to a book store and found a random book and flicked to a random page. On that page it said " Succesful people talk to random strangers more often.". I then went and sat down in the square on some steps. I looked around and there were lots of couples around me and I felt a little lonely.

simultaneous texts

I was on a train many years ago and texted a friend who I had been out of touch with for a month or so, as he was on a long trip. I asked when he was coming back, and I got a reply back maybe 10 or so min later. He completely ignored my question though and was asking me something totally unconnected in return. I replied but heard nothing back. Later that day he emailed me with his question again, saying: "not sure my text made it. I can't receive any right now. no reception...".