15+ Amazing Coincidences You Won’t Believe Actually Happened

15+ Amazing Coincidences You Won't Believe Actually Happened

When coincidence happens, most individuals fall into two camps: those who regard such happenings as chance, and those who see purpose or a greater pattern behind them.

However, no matter how unusual it appears to meet your doppelgänger or share the same birthday as your best friend, a deeper look reveals that the cosmos is continuously conspiring to sprinkle pieces of serendipity into our daily lives.

Here’s a list of the most amazing coincidences of all time: So, read on and prepare to be astounded by these 15+ amazing coincidences you won’t believe actually happened

1. Mark Twain’s birth and death coincide with Halley’s Comet.

40 Amazing Coincidences You Won't Believe Actually Happened
Image Credit: Mark, Shutterstock

Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was born in 1835, the year Halley’s Comet first appeared.

According to the New York Times, Twain famously predicted that the two events would coincide when the comet appeared again in 1910, the year he died.

He is reported to have stated, “The Almighty has said, no doubt, ‘Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together.”

2. Stephen Hawking was born and died on the same dates as Galileo and Einstein.

40 Amazing Coincidences You Won't Believe Actually Happened
Image Credit: Bruno Vincent, GettyImages

Stephen Hawking, a theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and novelist, was famously born on the 300th anniversary of Galileo’s death and died on Einstein’s 139th. However, the fact that Hawking lived to the age of 76 despite having Lou Gehrig’s disease was even more perplexing in terms of statistical improbability.

Though we know very little about the disease, Scientific American reports that the majority of individuals affected live for around five years after being diagnosed.

Nevertheless, Hawking lived for more than five decades, allowing him to share his critical insights and skills with the world—not to mention his famed wit.

3. Three political adversaries. Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died within hours of each other on July 4th.

40 Amazing Coincidences You Won't Believe Actually Happened
Image Credit: GraphicaArtis, GettyImages

The relationship between former presidents Thomas Jefferson and John Adams has taken many twists and turns throughout the years. They started off as allies but eventually became adversaries as their politics diverged. As the last two living American revolutionaries from the British Empire, they finally reconciled and corresponded by letter until their deaths. They famously died within hours of each other on the same day in 1826, no less: July 4th.

4. A meteor struck the Commette family’s home.

40 Amazing Coincidences You Won't Believe Actually Happened
PublicDomainPicture, Pixabay

According to National Geographic, the odds of being killed by a meteor are one in 1,600,000. So the odds of a meteor, which had been hurtling through space for more than four-and-a-half billion years without hitting a target, hitting the home of a family with the surname “Commette,” would appear to be infinitesimally remote.

According to Time, in a bizarre incidence of cosmic synchronicity, this is exactly what happened to one French family.

Fortunately, no one was wounded, and the committees now own their own exceedingly unusual extraterrestrial rock.

5. Anthony Hopkins found a signed copy of the book he was looking for at a train station.

40 Amazing Coincidences You Won't Believe Actually Happened
Greg Doherty, Getty Images

In the early 1970s, Anthony Hopkins was set to play Kostya in a film adaptation of The Girl from Petrovka. To prepare for the role, he decided to read the novel, but despite a thorough search, he couldn’t find a copy in any bookstore.

Then, according to internet legend, while sitting in a London Tube station, he came across a copy of that identical book that had been left behind. When he opened it, he saw that the book was also signed by the author, George Feifer.

6. John Wilkes Booth’s brother spared Abraham Lincoln’s son from death.

Everett Historical, Shutterstock

Long before Booth murdered Lincoln on that tragic April day in 1865, there was said to be a coincidental family link between the two men. Booth’s brother, Edwin, was a well-known stage actor who strongly backed the Union during the Civil War.

While in a train station in New Jersey, Lincoln’s son, Robert Todd Lincoln, leaned up against a halted train, almost sliding over the tracks as it started up again. Edwin Booth grabbed him by the collar and rescued him just in time.

The younger Lincoln recognized his hero and wrote about it, but it wasn’t until years later that Booth discovered who he had helped.

7. That same son of Lincoln watched three presidential assassinations.

Everett Historical, Shutterstock

While it is uncommon to be there during the death of a president, Robert Todd Lincoln was in some way present for not one, but three presidential killings. Though he was not there at the theater for his father’s deadly gunshot, he was brought to his deathbed and remained by his side until the elder Lincoln died. Later, he saw the assassination of President James A. Garfield.  Finally, in 1901, Lincoln was in Buffalo, New York, at the invitation of President William McKinley, when he was assassinated.


8. An engaged couple learns that their parents almost married each other.

JillWellington, Pixabay

According to an episode of NPR’s This American Life titled “No Coincidence, No Story,” Stephen and Helen Lee had recently become engaged when they made a stunning family discovery.

During their engagement party in New York, they discovered that the bride’s mother and groom’s late father had nearly married in Korea in the 1960s, but had moved on to other relationships because their parents disapproved.

By exceedingly thin chances, the two loves of Lee’s father’s life—from opposite ends of the world, no less—now share grandchildren decades later.

9. One woman survived the Titanic, Britannic, and Olympic shipwrecks.

funnytools, Pixabay

Violet Jessop was a nurse and ocean liner stewardess who got the nickname “Miss Unsinkable” after surviving both the Titanic disaster in 1912 and its sister ship, the HMHS Britannic, which met the same fate in 1916. Jessup was also supposedly aboard a third boat, the RMS Olympic, when it collided with a warship—fortunately, the Olympic remained afloat.

10. The first and last battles of the Civil War were fought near the same man’s property, although in different cities.

Interim Archives, GettyImages

The Civil War began in 1861 with the First Battle of Bull Run. “Bull Run” refers to a stream that runs through the farm of Wilmer McLean, a 46-year-old grocer from Manassas, Virginia. Following the carnage of the fight, McLean fled to find sanctuary in a new home with his wife near Appomattox, Virginia, and he remained secure for roughly four years as the horrific war consumed the country.

The war ended in 1865, when Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant at the Appottomax Courthouse, which was mere steps from McLean’s new property.

11. The first and last soldiers killed in WWI are buried next to each other.

Interim Archives, Shutterstock

By the end of World War I, an estimated one million British soldiers had died. However, without any planning, the first documented English casualty of the war, 17-year-old soldier John Parr, and the last recorded casualty, 30-year-old George Edwin Ellison, are said to have buried just 15 feet apart in the Saint Symphorien Military Cemetery.

12. One man missed two Malaysia Airlines flights that crashed.

Tim Graham, GettyImages

Two terrible plane crashes involving Malaysian Airlines flights occurred in 2014. The first was shot down over Ukraine, while the second vanished without a trace somewhere over the Indian Ocean, resulting in the greatest aviation mystery of all time.

Aside from the fact that both incidents involved the same airline in such a short period of time, there was another notable coincidence: Dutch cyclist Maarten de Jonge planned to take both flights, but avoided death by bumping his ticket at the last minute, when cheaper options became available.

13. A father and son were the first and last casualties during the Hoover Dam’s construction, 14 years apart.

Justin Sullivan, GettyImages

According to the United States Bureau of Reclamation, 96 of the estimated 21,000 people who worked on the Hoover Dam construction died on the job. Among the first was J.G.

Tierney, who drowned with a colleague on December 20, 1922, while conducting a geological study preparatory to construction. Fourteen years after Tierney’s death, the project came to an end on his precise anniversary.

His son, Patrick Tierney, fell from an electrical tower, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

14. A woman’s husband found a dollar and scrawled on it in the hopes of finding a husband.

Peter Dazeley, GettyImages

According to an episode of NPR’s This American Life, Esther and Paul Grachan had been dating for a short time when Paul asked her to be his girlfriend.

That day, when paying for a sandwich, he saw that a dollar bill he was about to deliver to the cashier had the name “Esther” scrawled in pencil. He found it unusual that this happened at the same time he was thinking about their connection.

He retained the banknote and decided to frame it and present it to her as a gift. She was “speechless” when she saw it, but she said he could question her about it later.

Years passed, they became engaged and then married, and the framed dollar reappeared in their home. Apparently, after a split, Esther wrote her name on the dollar and a few others and promised herself that she would marry the man who returned it.

She didn’t explain why she was speechless because she feared bringing up marriage so early in the relationship would turn him off.  But in that moment, she thought he was “the one.”

15. Laura Buxton, ten years old, released a crimson balloon, which was discovered by another Laura Buxton.

15+ Amazing Coincidences You Won't Believe Actually Happened
autumnsgoddess0, Pixabay

According to a story related to the WYNC podcast Radiolab, in 2001, a 10-year-old girl named Laura Buxton stood in her front yard holding a red balloon. She had put the words “Please return to Laura Buxton,” as well as her address, on the balloon. She then let it go into a strong breeze.

The balloon went almost 140 miles south before falling and landing in the yard of another 10-year-old girl. What is the second girl’s name? Also, Laura Buxton!

After communicating and explaining the coincidence, the girls decided to meet and discovered a plethora of odd parallels.

Not only did they look and dress identical, but both females possessed three-year-old chocolate labs, a grey rabbit, and a guinea pig, and they had brought their guinea pigs to the meeting unexpectedly.

16. Joan Ginther won more than $20 million in four scratcher lottery games.

15+ Amazing Coincidences You Won't Believe Actually Happened
QuinceCreative, Pixabay

As Business Insider points out, we should be cautious of Joan Ginther’s “coincidence” in winning the lottery four times. Not because it sounds like an urban legend, as so many of these claims do, but because the Stanford Ph.D. graduate studied statistics and may have set the deck to her advantage.

However, even with a strategy, the chances of winning four times are slim. Ginther won more than $20 million in total by winning multiple million-dollar scratch-off tickets four times in a row. And if you want to win big, remember that these are the most common Powerball winning numbers.

17. Tsutomo Yamaguchi survived the Hiroshima and Nagasaki explosions.

15+ Amazing Coincidences You Won't Believe Actually Happened
Bettmann, GettyImages

Tsutomo Yamaguchi is either extremely fortunate or extremely unlucky, depending on how you look at it: unlucky in that he happened to be there in both Hiroshima and Nagasaki during their terrible atomic explosions, but fortunate in that he somehow survived both.

Yamaguchi reportedly escaped Hiroshima in search of safety, arriving at Nagasaki only to see a second flash of white light, resulting in radioactive ash burns covering more than half of his body.

Yamaguchi is the only person acknowledged by the Japanese government for having survived both attacks. Sadly, he died from cancer in 2010.

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