18 Weird Coincidences You Won’t Believe Are True
Every day humans experience extraordinary concurrence of possibilities or circumstances without an obvious link. Most people refer to them as coincidences. Coincidences are a part of life and are almost impossible to explain. These are moments in time that baffle the most brilliant minds. Even history’s most significant figures found themselves in the most peculiar coincidences. Literature and TV shows wrote fictional stories that ended up happening, such as the sinking of an unsinkable ship or a reality star’s presidency.
In some cases, presidents that helped shape America had eerie coincidences throughout their lives, including their tragic assassinations. Other times ordinary people survived more than one catastrophic event. These fantastic coincidences seem like something out of a movie, but they’re very real. Let’s dive deep into some of the strangest coincidences of life.
1. John F. Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln
Two of America’s greatest Presidents, Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy, share several strange coincidences. The most apparent connection between the two is their public assassinations on a Friday.
John Wilkes Booth assassinated Lincoln on Good Friday, April 14, 1865, at Ford Theatre. Lee Harvey Oswald assassinated Kenndy on Thanksgiving Eve on Friday, November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas. Furthermore, both Presidents were with their wives and another couple at the time of their deaths. However, the coincidences go beyond their murders.
They both fought for civil rights, with Lincoln issuing the Emancipation Proclamation and Kennedy proposing what would become the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Plus, they were both succeeded by Presidents with the last name Johnson, Andrew Johnson, and Lyndon B. Johnson. Finally, Kenndy’s secretary had the last name “Lincoln,” while Lincoln’s secretary had the first name “John.”
2. The Wreck of the Titan and the Sinking of the Titanic
Published in 1898, Morgan Robertson’s The Wreck of the Titan, or Futility, tells the tale of the unsinkable ship called Titan. During the ship’s maiden voyage, it struck an iceberg and sank in the cold sea. 14 years later, the events of the novel coincidently played out in real life.
In April 1912, the RMS Titanic struck an iceberg and sank to the bottom of the sea, almost exactly like its fictional counterpart. In addition to having similar-sounding names and hitting icebergs, they were both called “unsinkable” and sank on an April night near Newfoundland. Both ships also lacked an adequate number of lifeboats. It’s easily one of the oddest coincidences in history.
3. Dennis the Menace Times Two
On March 12, 1951, Dennis The Menace debuted to rave reviews. Illustrated by Hank Ketcham, the plot follows the adventures of a mischievous little boy and his dog Ruff who accidentally cause chaos. Dennis the Menace became a popular character from the moment of his debut. In another incredible coincidence, an unrelated character, also known as Dennis The Menace, debuted in the U.K. on the same day, March 12, 1951, to rave reviews.
The U.K. comic strip follows the adventures of a mischievous little boy and his dog Gnasher as he gleefully causes chaos. Both characters are immensely popular in their respective countries. The U.S. version is known as Dennis in the U.K., while the British comic strip goes by Dennis and Gnasher internationally.
4. Robert Todd Lincoln Witness Three Assassinations
The son of Mary Todd and Abraham Lincoln, Robert Todd Lincoln, is a historical figure in his own right. Lincoln launched a successful law practice and served as the U.S. Secretary of War. Throughout his life, Lincoln witnessed or was present at three presidential assassinations.
While Lincoln wasn’t at Ford Theatre when John Wilkes Booth shot his father in 1865, he was nearby at the White House. He rushed over to be at his father’s deathbed. On July 2, 1881, Lincoln witnessed Charles J. Guiteau assassinate President James A. Garfield at the Sixth Street Train Station. Despite serving as Secretary of War, Garfield invited Lincoln to the event. Lastly, President William McKinley invited Lincoln to the Pan-American Exposition in 1901. Lincoln was nearby when Leon Czolgosz shot McKinley.
Lincoln was aware of these strange coincidences and took them seriously. For the rest of his life, Lincoln refused any Presidential invitation. He was confident it could only end in death.
5. The Jim Twins
In 1940, the Jim twins were put up for adoption and ended up in different families. They had no idea the other existed despite both growing up in Ohio. They first met when they were 39 and realized they had a lot in common.
First of all, their adopted parents named them both James or Jim for short. However, the similarities don’t end there. They both married twice, and their first and second wives happen to have the same first names, Linda and Betty. Furthermore, they both have one son named James Allen. If that isn’t enough, they had similar jobs and cars. It’s easily one of the most shocking coincidences.
6. Tsutomu Yamaguchi Survived Two Bombings
During World War II, the Allies dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6th and 9th. While one bombing was devastating, roughly 70 people experienced both bombings. However, the government of Japan only recognizes Tsutomu Yamaguchi as surviving both.
In August 1945, Yamaguchi left his home in Nagasaki and headed to Hiroshima for business. While Yamaguchi was dealing with business, the first bomb, “Little Boy,” dropped at 8:15 am. Despite suffering severe burns and injuries, Yamaguchi survived and returned to his home in Nagasaki. Three days later, Yamaguchi was back at work when the second bomb, “Fat Man,” dropped at Nagasaki. Amazingly, Yamaguchi survived the second bomb but suffered other burns and injuries. He died from stomach cancer in 2010.
7. Mark Twain and Halley’s Comet
Author Mark Twain lived an extraordinary life writing some of America’s greatest novels. He’s best known for writing The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and the critically acclaimed sequel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. However, Twain’s birth and death were even more extraordinary than his life. The famous Halley’s Comet only appears every 76 years. Coincidentally, the comet appeared on the day of Twain’s birth and death.
On November 30, 1835, Twain was born just as Halley’s Comet was passing by Earth. It appeared again around the time of Twain’s death on April 21, 1910. The oddest part is Twain predicted his death with the comet’s appearance one year earlier.
In 1909 he said, “I came in with Halley’s Comet in 1835. It is coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don’t go out with Halley’s Comet.”
8. The Simpsons Predicted Donald Trump’s Presidency
As the longest-running animated sitcom, The Simpsons has made a few bold predictions that ended up coming true, notably the presidency of Donald Trump. In the March 19, 2000 episode, “Bart To The Future,” Bart gets a glimpse of his future and discovers that his younger sister Lisa becomes president.
In the episode, Lisa becomes president after the disastrous term of Donald Trump. At the time, Trump was a billionaire and reality show host. Trump shocked everyone, including the writers on The Simpsons, when he became President in 2016.
9. The First Lady and Last Soldiers To Die During World War I Graves Are Facing Each Other
Lasting from July 1914 to November 1918, World War I was one of the deadliest and most costly wars in history. The Triple Entente of Britain, France, and Russia waged war against the Triple Alliance consisting of Germany, Italy, and Austria-Hungary.
Despite the Triple Entente being victorious, both sides lost many lives. Roughly nine million soldiers were killed, with another 23 million wounded. The British alone lost an estimated one million soldiers during the war.
The first British soldier to die during the war was 17-year-old John Parr. The last British soldier to die during combat was 30-year-old George Edwin Ellison. Coincidentally, Parr and Ellison’s graves ended up facing each other without any planning. They’re a mere 15 feet apart at Saint Symphorien Military Cemetery.
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10. Edgar Allen Poe and Richard Parker
Edgar Allen Poe is one of history’s greatest writers. Critics and historians often credit him with inventing the detective genre. However, the iconic writer only released one published novel his entire life.
The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket hit bookstores in 1838. The novel follows the strange adventures of Arthur Pym, who finds himself shipwrecked on an island with three others. Realizing they have no options left, they turn to cannibalism and sacrifice a former mutineer Richard Parker.
In a weird twist of coincidence, a real-life man named Richard Parker ended up shipwrecked in 1884. Parker became highly sick after drinking seawater and the desperate crew decided to kill Parker for food to survive. The courts charged the crew with murder after their rescue.
11. Violet Jessop Survived Three Ship Sinkings
Dubbed the “Queen of sinking ships,” Violet Jessop amazingly survived three fatal accidents involving vessels. In 1911, she worked as a stewardess when the RMS Olympic collided with the HMS Hawke. The Olympic suffered severe damage but made it back to shore. In 1912, she was transferred to the Titanic and was on board when it struck the iceberg. She was ordered into one of the lifeboats and held onto a baby until HMS Carpathia rescued them the following day.
Also known as “Miss Unsinkable,” Jessop was on board the HMHS Britannic during World War I. The hospital ship hit a naval mine and sank into the sea, much like the Titanic. Jessop survived once again and later recounted the events in her memoirs.
12. Thomas Jefferson and John Adams
Former Presidents Thomas Jefferson and John Adams had a bromance for the ages. They went from patriotic allies to bitter enemies and then best friends. Both also died within hours of each other on the same day. Their initial friendship began during the American Revolution when they fought alongside each other against the British Empire.
During Adam’s Presidency from 1797 to 1801, Vice-President Jefferson was horrified by Adams’s policies, notably the Alien and Sedition Act. Jefferson then defeated Adams in a ruthless election to become the next President.
After Jefferson’s presidency ended and the bad blood settled, he wished to reconnect with his old friend. With Adams feeling the same way, Jefferson sent a letter to his former friend on January 1, 1812. From that day forward, Jefferson and Adams sent letters back and forth for the rest of their lives.
Coincidently, Adams and Jefferson both died on Independence Day, July 4, 1826. Adams’s final words were, “Thomas Jefferson lives.” Unbeknownst to Adams, Jefferson died five hours earlier that same day.
13. Edwin Booth Saved Robert Todd Lincoln’s Life
On April 14, 1865, John Wilkes Booth assassinated President Abraham Lincoln at the Ford Theater during a performance. The notorious event shaped America over the next several years. It also tied Lincoln to Booth for eternity. However, the Lincoln and Booth family were already tied together.
A few years before the assassination, Lincoln’s son Robert Todd Lincoln was at a train station in New Jersey. He suddenly lost his balance and fell onto the tracks as a train head towards him. Luckily a stranger jumped in and pulled Robert to safety. The younger Lincoln recognized his hero as stage actor Edwin Booth, the brother of John Wilkes Booth.
14. Joseph Figlock and the Falling Babies
In the 1930s, Joseph Figlock lived an ordinary and uneventful life in Detroit, Michigan. His life changed forever when he was involved in two near-fatal coincidences. In 1937, Figlock was sweeping John R. Street when a baby fell from the fourth-floor landing on Fighlock. The baby suffered minor injuries but recovered. However, that’s not the coincidence.
One year later, on September 27, 1938, Figlock was sweeping E. Canfield Ave. when a two-year-old fell from the fourth-floor window above him. Similar to the incident a year earlier, the baby landed on Figlock and sustained minor injuries. Figlock had a true talent for being in the right place at the right time, twice.
15. Anne Parrish and the Missing Book
Children’s writer Anne Parrish experienced an extraordinary coincidence. While living on Weber Street, Colorado Springs as a child, her most prized possession was the book Jack Frost and Other Stories. Although she parted with the novel at one point, it greatly influenced her career as a children’s writer.
Parrish had an enormously successful career and released A Pocket Full Of Poses, The Dream Coach, and Floating Island. In 1929, Parrish stumbled upon a book stand while out walking. She spotted a copy of Jack Frost and Other Stories for one franc among the books. She opened up the book and noticed her name and home address on Weber Street in Colorado Springs. At that moment, Parrish realized it was the same book from her childhood.
16. The Man Who Couldn’t Escape the Civil War
The American Civil War lasted from 1861 to 1865, with battles occurring throughout the country. The Union sought to reunite the country while abolishing slavery while the Confederacy disagreed with the Union’s views. In a strange case of coincidence, one man couldn’t seem to get away from the war.
Wilmer McLean was an ordinary grocer from Manassas, Virginia. His home ended up in the middle of the First Battle of Bull Run in 1861. The experience was so horrible that McLean packed up and moved to Appomattox, Virginia, where he would be safe from the war, or so he thought.
Roughly four years later, in 1865, Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant to end the Civil War and The Confederacy. Coincidentally, the surrender took place in McLean’s house in Appomattox. McLean just couldn’t escape that Civil War. It’s easily one of the strangest coincidences on this list.
17. J.G. Tierney and Patrick Tierney Hoover Dam Death
The Hoover Dam is one of America’s most famous tourist attractions. In addition to being a tourist hot spot, Hoover Dam provides power to Arizona, California, and Nevada. Construction of the dam took place between 1931 to 1936, costing the lives of 112 workers. The second person to die was surveyor John Gregory “J.G.” Tierney, who drowned on December 20, 1922.
Coincidentally, J.G.’s son Patrick Tierney was the last person to die when he fell to his death on December 20, 1935. Oddly, they died while working on the same project on the same day several years apart.
18. Alex Guinness and James Dean
In the 1950s, James Dean and Alec Guinness were budding moving stars. Dean became a household name with his stellar performance in the 1955 movie Rebel Without a Cause. That same year, English actor Alec Guinness ran into Dean. Guinness had a premonition when he laid eyes on Dean’s 550 Spyder.
Best known for portraying Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope, Guinness claimed he warned Dean that if he got behind the wheel of his vehicle he’d be dead in a week. The iconic Dean ignored Guinness’ advice and seven days later, on September 30, 1955, he passed away in a deadly car accident. It could be all a coincidence, or maybe Alec Guinness channeled Obi-Wan Kenobi?
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