Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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


On Christmas Day 2004 I received a book of puzzles with Tsunami in the title, and a jigsaw puzzle which, when compiled, showed a huge wave approaching a beach full of people. Boxing Day brought news of the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami. (Tsunamis have not featured in any gifts or belongings before or since.)

Silent film coincidences

I traveled to London in the summer of 2010 to attend the showing of a 1920 silent film that was thought to have been lost forever until I tracked down a copy in Montreal. The morning after the film was shown, I was searching the Internet to check some facts for a thank you email to the organizer of the screening when I came across an archive reference to a 1917 letter by the author of the book the film was based on.


8.88 years after my brother was born, I was born. The sunrise to moonrise was 888 minutes. The distance from my crib to the South Pole is 387 Nautical miles, which is the number of verses the word God is found in the bible. The distance from my crib to the solar eclipse, which occurred after my birth was 8888.8 miles. At the age of 8880 days, the sunrise to sunset in Port Alberni was 888 minutes. On this date and at this location, my daughter was born. 888 is the word Jesus in Greek Gematria. YOU DO THE MATH. THE PROBABILITY IS ABSURD.

Chance meeting In Luxor, Egypt

Whilst helping out in a friends restaurant in Luxor, A lone female customer entered and sat down.... when I asked for her order, she asked where I came from ( I have a strong Northern English accent) ... I told her I was born in St Helens, but brought up near Warrington........ I was born in St Helens says she. What's your name ? my Mam might know you says I Marie ... says she..... this lady was my fathers best friend, I'd last seen her 13 yrs previously at his funeral and had no contact since that time.

Did he know my mother

I was working in a community centre for a couple of years when one day a plain clothes detective came in and asked for our resident JP. I knew all the local police but not him. Whilst he was waiting he kept looking at me and would smile and look away and shook his head a couple of times. With that I acknwledged the joke and asked what I had done.

Bus Coincidence

My brother, Norman, survived a bus crash in Thailand (his girlfriend, Christine, died) only to be hit by a bus and killed around 10 years later outside his house in Woy Woy, NSW, Australia, in January 2011.

C.O's kindness crops up 30 years later

Soon after taking up a teaching appointment (in 1960) with the British Families Education Service in Guetersloh, Germany I had the sad news of my father's death in a road accident near Swansea. My new school was situated within a R.A.F. base whose Commanding Officer was a Wing Commander Jack P. Jack not only arranged a speedy compassionate flight for me back to the UK but continued to be concerned about my wife (pregnant with our daughter Alison) and mother who were seriously injured in the accident.

Same teacher

I used to live in Romford, Essex and in 1982 my son Adam started school at the local primary and his first teacher was called Mrs B. Eighteen years later, having remarried and moved 150 miles North to Horncastle, Lincolnshire, my youngest son Joshua started school and I was amazed to find when I took him on his first day that his teacher was the same Mrs B! Apparently, she had moved up to Lincolnshire a few years after we had but it is still a very big county with hundreds of schools.

Four times 21

Ted Farmer, a Wolverhampton Wanderers centre-forward made his first team debut for the club in the 1960-1 season and immediately started scoring goals regularly. In his 21st first team game he scored his 21st goal. It was also his 21st birthday and the date of the game against Everton, was January 21.

Meeting friend on holiday

During a holiday in Swanage Dorset when I was about 15 my family drove from the house we were staying and past the seafront when my father needed the toilet so we stopped on the promenade in swanage and sat in the car looking out to sea across the beach. A dingy full of sea cadets was just reaching the shore, they clambered up the low sea wall directly opposite where we were parked and one of them was my best friend Micheal. He didn't even realize it was our car.