Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Connections Across Generations

In 1989, I was a young teacher at a high school in Queens, NY, having recently arrived from Ireland where I'd been born and raised. About six months into my time there, I was hailed by one of the boys I taught and he said, 'Mr. O (for that's what they called me), my mom knows your mom.' I thought it unlikely but asked for his mother's maiden name and said I'd check with my mother the next time I was in touch with her.

I Saw You in Cork

In 1995, I was living in London but applying for jobs in Ireland with a view to moving home. I was born and raised in the northeast of the country, right on the border with Northern Ireland but the job I applied for was in Cork, three-and-a-half hours away in the southwest. I was called for interview and spent just part of a day there, as I flew in an out on the same day. I was on Patrick Street for maybe 15 minutes in total. I had kept all of this secret because I wanted to surprise my family.

Next Door Neighbours

In 1989 I was moving to NYC from rural Ireland to become a high school teacher. Just before I left I bumped into a cousin of mine in the nearby village. We chatted and, knowing I was going to NY, she said, in all seriousness, that maybe I would meet the cousin of her husband that lived in NYC. I sniggered internally at the absurdity of such a thing happening.

Right Time and Right Place to Claim my Photo

When I graduated from university in Ireland in 1988, as well as the official photographer, there was a freelancer doing the rounds and offering a good deal so my family decided to get some additional shots with him. We paid him, gave him our details, got his card, and waited for the photos to arrive by post. When, after a considerable amount of time, they did not arrive, I called the number on the card and got no reply. I wrote to him (this was 1988, no email) and got no reply. Having tried unsuccessfully for months to contact him I chalked it up to experience and forgot about it.

Eminent statisticians, 1924

This coincidence relates to two eminent statisticians (Peter Armitage and David Cox) who were born on the same day - 15th July 1924. Both were educated at Cambridge, both received British honours (CBE and Knighthood) and both were Presidents of the RSS (1982-84 and 1980-1982).

Meeting an unknown half sister

This story starts in a very small town in Spain. 45 years ago my mum lived in this little town and was married to my dad, but had an affair with an old love. A couple of months later she finds out she's pregnant and she doesn't know who the father is. She shares her doubts with her lover but decides to believe that this baby, who would then be me, is her husband's (I didn't know anything about this). This lover of her, who now lived in a different city, 650km away from my mother's, gets married and has two daughters. I never heard of him or them.

3 relatives die on sane day, different years

My brother-inlaw’s mom died in 1971; my dad’s mom died in 1989; my mom died in 2014. They all died on May 25th, just different years.

Unlikely Meeting

When I was a freshman in college, I worked as a tennis instructor during my summer break back in my hometown. I worked with a girl named Tara, who I met once before when we happened to play against each other in high school. We worked as tennis instructors for the summer, then went back to each of our respected universities and never had contact again...until two years later. During my junior year I decided to study abroad in Wollongong, Australia.

Same name, friends

So I was texting with this person on an app called Wattpad and we had the same name no big deal. But then we talked a little more and turns out they had a best friend with the same name as mine. A little strange. Then I asked about some people I knew, and they described them just how I know them. It started to creep me out. So they told me their husband's name, and that boy goes to my school and I don't like him. Then I asked what sports have they played, and they said soccer. I have played soccer. And then I asked if they knew a person who I knew was moving in seventh grade.

dreams of dead people

I've also had the same dream as a few other acquaintances about a friend of ours who died, but that was not at the same time. still, i heard about someone else having that dream after i did, so don't think it was just influenced from hearing about it, and then my other friend said an acquaintance, who probably wouldn't have heard about the dream from either of us, also had a similar dream about him Also, i've read about someone having the same/very similar dream as me about dead musicians twice.

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