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15 Of The Most Incredible Coincidences In History –

 

1

Welshgirlie2 — What the.

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The Dennis the Menace coincidence. Two cartoon characters, one in the UK, the other in the USA. Both released in print format in March 1951. Neither creator knew of the other’s existence, neither character was plagiarised from the other.
http://www.bbcamerica.com/anglophenia/2012/04/the-curious-tale-of-dennis-the-menace

2

thewaiting28 — Morgan Robertson, you’ve got some explaining to do.

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In 1898, Morgan Robertson wrote a fiction novel called “Futility”.
It features a large, luxurious ocean liner named “Titan” which strikes an iceberg in the North Atlantic and sinks, claiming a large majority of her passengers.
14 years later, the Titanic strikes an iceberg in the North Atlantic and sinks after hitting an iceberg, a large majority of her passengers dying in the frigid waters.
The similarities are uncanny:
Both ships were ~800 feet long
Both ships displaced roughly ~45,000 tons
Both ships had 3 screws
Both ships did not have enough lifeboats for all passengers and crew
Both ships struck an iceberg and sank in the month of April
Both ships struck an iceberg and sank in the North Atlantic, both were 400 nautical miles from Newfoundland
Both ships struck the iceberg on their starboard side
It’s incredible.

3

goat-worshiper — Ha, pretty crazy.

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Pirates stopping just a single ship containing 1 kg standard weight intended for Thomas Jefferson may very well be the ultimate reason that the US does not use the metric system.
https://worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/127531/is-there-a-single-historic-event-which-could-be-changed-to-cause-the-usa-to-use/127579
The coincidence is simply bad weather. Had weather been fairer for that ship, it would not have gotten blown off course into the Caribbean, and therefore not stopped by pirates and likely would have made it to the US.

4

PM_ME_LARGE_CHEST — This dude just can’t catch a break.

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Tsutomu Yamaguchi.
It was August 6, 1945. Another successful day of a 3-month-long business trip in Hiroshima when BAM, the city gets nuked. He’s burned and has ruptured eardrums, but thankfully still alive. But of course he has to tell everyone about this blinding light and this inexplicable destruction of the city. Time to go home and heal up, right?
NOPE.
August 9, 1945. Just as he is telling a friend about his incredible experience, Bockscar drops a nuclear turd and destroys his hometown of Nagasaki.
EDIT: Yes, by divine intervention, he survived the second bombing and passed away just a few years ago!

5

KarmaFarmer_0042069 — People just casually playing with their dogs while PURE EVIL strolls by.

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Hitler and Stalin both lived in Vienna at the same time, and frequented the same park. Trotsky also lived there, along with a few other future WWII leaders.

6

sevenandseven41 — An eye for an eye. Or wait, the reverse.

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During the Civil War, the life of President Lincoln’s son, Robert, was saved by Edwin Booth, the brother of the man who would later assasinate Lincoln, John Wilkes Booth.

7

TheFantasticDangler — Parkers of the world, do NOT name your son Richard.

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In 1838 Edgar Allen Poe’s only novel was published. One of the plot lines included a shipwrecked crew who drew straws to see who was to be eaten. Richard Parker was the character who drew the shortest straw, and was eaten.
In 1884, a yacht sank in a storm, and the four men survived stranded on a lifeboat. One of the survivors, a 17yo boy, fell overboard and drank some seawater to quench his thirst. As he started to deteriorate quite quickly, the others chose to kill him and eat him before he became too sick. That boys name was Richard Parker.
Monty Python even wrote a sketch inspired by the shipwreck. And thats why the tiger is named Richard Parker in Life of Pi, because the author was fascinated by so many Richard Parkers being shipwrecked (there are apparently several other instances).

8

1jq512 — Crazy.

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Pretty much everything Rasputin did. Everytime the Romanov’s son, Alexei got ill. He told them he would recover and some how it worked. They thought he was a man of god.
He was basically a drunk homeless dude that “saved” their son everytime alexei was on the brink of death. Because of that they trusted him and he basically called the shots and had an incredible influence on Russia during WW1.

9

boltingorc — Relax, goverment. Those are fairly common words.

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In the months leading up to D-Day in June 1944, three of the five code names for the beaches where the amphibious landing would take place (Gold, Sword, and Juno) showed up in the crossword puzzle of The Daily Telegraph, a British newspaper. MI5 got involved and arrested the editor on suspicion of espionage, turns out the man was completely innocent and just happened to have those words in the same paper in those months.

10

etymologynerd — ‘Without knowing’

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Richard Nixon meeting Louis Armstrong at a New York airport in 1958 just before he was about to get caught in security with three pounds of marijuana. Nixon offered to carry the bags, without knowing their contents, and Armstrong got his pot through airport control.

11

JBleezy1979 — “Could you quiet those fireworks, for I am dying.”

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Thomas Jefferson and John Adams both died on the same day, which happened to be on the 4th of July 1826 of all days, 50 years to the day after they both signed the Declaration of Independence.

12

LuluBadonkadonk — Smart thinking on waiting til after the wedding.

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Heard this on NPR a few weeks ago. A woman once wondered how a person knew who they should spend the rest of their lives with, so she wrote her name on a few dollar bills with a sharpie. Years later, a guy she was dating gave her one of the bills framed and said, “hey, look, I found a dollar bill with your name it.” She married him and didn’t even tell him the story until after the wedding because she didn’t want to freak him out.

13

Couerz — Welp, time to move yet again.

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My favorite is: Wilmer McLean. First battle of bull run (called Manasas by the South) was partially fought in his front yard. Saying “F this” he bailed and moved deeper in the south to get away from the war. Moved to a small town and took up residence at none other than Appomattox court house where the Union chose to sign Lee’s surrender. The war began in his front yard and ended in his living room.

14

SolidSnake31 — I must find this documentary.

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I saw this documentary about 10 years ago about coincidences, but I was just a kid and I’ve forgotten the details. The gist is that an old man was having a life threatening emergency at home (I forgot what) and decided to call someone (I forgot who) for help, however he dialed the wrong number. The number he dialed turned out to be a payphone somewhere and his son just happened to be walking past that payphone when it rang and he answered it out of curiosity. Crisis averted.

15

AlastorWestdrop — Someone calculate the odds on this.

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There was a “This American Life” episode (or one of those shows in that neck of the entertainment woods) about crazy coincidences. I believe they researched and validated all the stories they told to the best of their ability.
My favorite story was about a man and woman met in college, fell in love, dated for a few years, then got married.
One day, they were going through their respective photo albums, and the girl got to some pictures from when she was really young (5 or so I think) and on a family holiday to Disney. The guy was excited, saying that they went on a family trip to Disney when he was around that age too. So he finds his photos of the vacation, and in the background of one of them is his now wife being pushed in a stroller by her grandma.
*Sorry if I butchered the details. I heard this a long time ago, but even if some of the specifics are wrong, the broad strokes are still pretty amazing.

 

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