Remember the time you and a classmate accidentally showed up to school wearing the same outfit? Or the time you found out that you shared a friend with someone you’d just met? Coincidences happen every day, and while we usually just laugh them off as the trivialities that they are, there are other times when these moments are certainly more than mere happenstance.
History, too, is full of incredible coincidences, though some chance occurrences are so unbelievable that the odds of them ever happening again are well over a billion to one. After reading about these crazy coincidences, you’ll begin to wonder if there was something else at play here other than just pure luck.
1. Fourteen years before the sinking of the Titanic, Morgan Robertson penned The Wreck of Titan: Or, Futility, a novel that could’ve been a play-by-play of the infamous 1912 shipwreck. The sinking of Titan is nearly identical to that of the Titanic!
2. Dutch cyclist Maarten de Jonge inadvertently cheated death twice in 2014 simply by changing flights. De Jonge was booked to fly on both Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 (disappeared) as well as Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (shot down over Ukraine) before he decided to switch to save time and money.
3. While searching for a costume for Frank Morgan’s Professor Marvel character in The Wizard of Oz, the crew discovered a tattered jacket in a thrift store. After purchasing it for use in the production, they noticed a name stitched in the pocket: L. Frank Baum, the original author of the Oz novels.
4. Following James Dean’s tragic car crash, those who handled the vehicle fell victim to a series of unusual events. The car crushed one mechanic’s legs as he tried to tow it, set fire to the garage it was being stored in, and killed a racecar driver who had installed its engine in his own vehicle.
5. Edgar Allen Poe’s 1838 novel The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket contains a scene in which a shipwrecked crew kills and eats a cabin boy named Richard Parker. Some 40 years later, the crew aboard the Mignonette did the same to their own cabin boy after their vessel sank. The boy’s name? Richard Parker.
6. The Simpsons has demonstrated an uncanny ability to know the future. Not only did the show accurately predict the presidency of Donald Trump, but it also predicted Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox, the invention of smart watches, and even Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl halftime performance.
7. Separated at birth and reunited 39 years later, twins Jim Lewis and Jim Springer developed nearly identical lives despite never knowing one another. They both worked security jobs, married women named Betty, and gave their sons similar names — one James Alan, the other James Allan.
8. Violet Jessop had a knack for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, especially when it came to ships. Serving as ocean liner stewardess in her youth, Jessop miraculously survived the sinking of both the RMS Titanic as well as the HMHS Britannic.
9. In 1858, a man named Robert Fallon was shot dead for cheating at poker and was replaced at the table by a younger man who immediately won big. Unbeknownst to the group, the younger man was Fallon’s son, who hadn’t seen his father in decades.
10. The number of coincidences between the lives presidents Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy is unsettling, to say the least. Both were shot on a Friday by a man with three names, were succeeded by Johnsons, and had a secretary bearing the other’s name.