Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Missing sunglasses turn up beneath a boot load of camping gear

In 2001 my partner and I fully loaded up my car for a 10-day Christmas camping retreat at Tauhara near Taupo in New Zealand. We lowered the back seat to make more room in the boot for all our gear – tents, sleeping bags, swim goggles, flippers, food etc. We set off from Papakura, a suburb in the south of Auckland, around the 21st December and drove to Rotorua where we spent the night with his sister’s family. The sun was glaring and so I wore sunglasses as I drove.

Lost dog returned to owner

In the 1980’s we moved to a rural property south of Auckland, New Zealand and I always wanted a dog, so I advertised for a smaller, older dog in the New Zealand Herald newspaper. I didn't want a puppy or a large dog. A lady responded who lived in Manuaku City which was about 25kms away so I went to see the dog she was selling. The poor dog was in a sorry state and looked as if it had been “puppy-farmed” - it had obviously recently had puppies. I bought the wee thing and took it home.

The Road to Emmaus

I am a Quaker. Quaker Meetings are silent unless someone feels moved inwardly to stand and speak. In my early days going to Quaker Meeting I went through a very rough patch at work which no one knew about. I went to Meeting one day and sat there in misery and despair. I thought ‘ I feel just like the disciples did after Christ’s resurrection when they were walking on the road to Emmaus with nothing to cheer them only no Jesus is going to appear and cheer me as he reappeared and cheered them.

old flame

One January I was missing an old flame whom I had not seen in ages. When am I going to see X again I wondered. I picked two cards out of a deck and got a 4 and a 6. Ok so it is the 4th June. I tried a second time and a 4 and a 6came out again. A coincidence Final Result? on the 4thJune I randomly bumped into X at 4.06pm. I was so shocked that I could scarcely speak.

Strange and unlikely connection across continents.

My family lived in Africa for many years and our friends subsequently scattered to many corners of the world. Several years ago, I emailed a former teaching colleague from Gaborone, who had just moved to Northern Territories in Australia. At the time, I told her I only knew 2 families in the whole of Australia; my brother and family friends called Tanner. One of the Tanner family I knew had also recently moved to Northern Teritories and had some sort of connection to education.

Home town coincidence in remote village in Greece

Whilst working for the UN in Kosovo, I drove with my then wife to the Pelion peninsular in Greece for a long weekend break. It was early November and raining heavily when we crossed the border into Greece. We drove up into the mountains to explore and at lunchtime found a remote taverna in a little mountain village that seemed all but deserted. In the taverna, a log fire was blazing and two other couples were enjoying a meal by the fire. I could just hear them speaking English. I thought they were English but my wife thought they were American.

Mrs H

I used to work in an office counting the change from Charity Boxes. One day, I saw a coin and thought it looked strange. It was a penny and the colour wasn’t the same as the others. I picked it up and it was a brand-new 1p from 1971, the year I was born. It had no scratches or dints n dings in it, it was as new. I was amazed, so I replaced it with a larger value coin and kept it for luck... Then one day without realising it, I scooped it up with a lot of other coppers and changed it where I worked for a bigger denomination, forgetting the coin was there.

Call of death

My father passed away 35 years ago, was buried in the local cemetery and the grave number turned out to be 9134 - the same as the last four digits of our telephone number.

Meeting Stranger Twice

On a recent flight I was sitting beside a lady who was on my left hand side. Flight passed fine and I went to the hotel at the destination. Next morning while having breakfast I looked left and there she was at the next table we were flabbergasted.

Our 10 year death date coincidence

My nana died 9 November 1988; my grandad died 9 November 1998; my dad died 18 November 2008 and my brother died 18 December 2018