One In a Million Coincidences - Part 4

There are loads of coincidences and stories very few people talk about. Let's find out about one in a million coincidences you'll have to see to believe.

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When coincidence strikes, there will always be those who believe fate is responsible and skeptics who try to use reason to find a logical explanation. Life is packed full of serendipitous happenings but here are some coincidences that are sure to leave you lost for words.

Anthony Hopkins And The Girl From Petrovka

Back in 1973, Hollywood actor Anthony Hopkins agreed to appear in a screen adaption of George Feifer’s novel The Girl from Petrovka. To prepare for the role, Hopkins realized that he should probably read the book first, but he couldn’t find a copy no matter how hard he searched. That is until one day when a heavily annotated copy suddenly turned on a bench in a subway waiting room.

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When Hopkins eventually met Feifer two years later, he retold the story of his unexpected find only to discover it was far luckier than he ever could’ve guessed. Feifer explained that he didn’t own a copy of the book himself because he’d lent it to a friend who lost it while riding the subway.

Hopkins then produced the book and to his surprise, Feifer identified it as his original copy by recognizing his own handwriting. There’s no word about whether Hopkins returned the book to its rightful owner, though.

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The Novel That Predicted The Sinking Of The Titanic

In 1898, US writer Morgan Robertson published a novella named Futility, but it wasn’t until over a decade later that it started gaining some unexpected attention. The novel details a shipwreck that occurs after a ship of record size collides with an iceberg in the North Atlantic, and the name of that ship just so happens to be The Titan; sound familiar?

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That’s right, Robertson pretty much predicted the most famous shipwreck in history 14 years before the Titanic liner sank near Newfoundland, killing 1550 people. The spookily similar name isn’t the only coincidence involved, either.

In the novel, the Titan is referred to as unsinkable, just like its real-life counterpart, and despite carrying thousands of passengers on board it had an insufficient number of lifeboats, which is also true of the Titanic. Despite the unmistakable coincidence, Robertson denied his clairvoyant powers, and thankfully he didn’t write any more monumental disasters into reality.

Hoover Dam's Father And Son Deaths

The construction of the iconic Hoover Dam was a monumental and treacherous project which claimed a staggering 112 lives. The first tragedy on the Dam occurred on December 20th, 1921, when a man named John Gregory Tierney, who was surveying the site, was caught in a sudden flash flood and washed into the raging Colorado River.

14 years later on December 20th, 1935, the Dam took its final victim when a young construction worker fell to his death from one of the two intake towers on the Arizona side of the Black Canyon. That man was Patrick William Tierney, the only son of John Gregory Tierney.

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That makes this father-and-son duo the first and last people to die on the dam on the exact same day, 14 years apart. Nowadays you’ll find a commemorative plaque honoring these brave and coincidentally unfortunate men.

A Jack The Ripper Coincidence

On the night of 29th September 1888 at around 8:30 pm, a woman named Catherine Eddowes was found lying drunk on Aldgate High Street in London. After being taken into custody to sober up and eventually released at around 12:55 am, Eddowes decided to give the fake name Mary Kelly, possibly to save herself from humiliation.

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In a cruel turn of events, Eddowes didn’t make it home that evening as she walked unexpectedly into the clutches of one of Britain’s most notorious serial killers known only as Jack the Ripper. 10 days after Eddowes' body was discovered, Jack went on to claim his next and final victim: Mary Jane Kelly. Either he was one seriously perceptive killer, or this is just one deadly coincidence.

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Alice Roth Gets Hit Twice In The Same Game

Almost anything could go wrong at a live sporting event, but no one could be quite as unlucky as Miss Alice Roth. While attending a Phillies baseball game on August 17th, 1957 with her two grandsons, Miss Roth was suddenly struck square in the face by a foul ball that had entered the stands.

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The player responsible was Hall of Famer Richie Ashburn, who had amassed over 2,500 hits in his 14 years of play. Alice Roth’s bad juju doesn’t end there though. As she was being taken out of the stadium on a stretcher with a broken nose, she was struck by another foul ball which broke her knee.

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Once again, the ball had been hit out of the stadium by Richie Ashburn. Fortunately, Miss Roth saw the humour in the unfortunate coincidence and she and Ashburn even became close friends after he visited her in hospital.

Plum Pudding Synchronicity

If you ever think your life is serendipitous, just remember that there was once a man who encountered the same stranger every time he ate plum pudding. The story goes that the 19th-century French poet Émile Deschamps was first introduced to the traditional British dessert by an Englishman named Mr de Fortgibu in 1805.

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About a decade after this encounter, Deschamps ordered plum pudding at a restaurant in Paris only to be told by the waiter that the last one had been sold to the man seated at the back. Of course, this man was none other than Mr de Fortgibu himself.

The incredible story doesn’t end there though, because in 1832 the two were to meet again. While attending a dinner party that served plum pudding, Deschamps joked that the party must be for Mr de Fortgibu. Sure enough, the familiar stranger turned up not much later having arrived at the wrong address on his way to another party.

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Laura Buxton’s Balloon

In 2001, a 10-year-old girl named Laura Buxton was involved in a remarkable chain of events after releasing a golden balloon into the sky. Having attended her grandparents’ 50th anniversary celebrations in Staffordshire UK, Buxton wrote her name and contact details on the balloon and set it free.

The balloon traveled some 140 miles south to the Midlands and landed in the backyard of another 10-year-old girl who also happened to be named Laura Buxton. Astounded at the one-in-a-million coincidence, the girls’ parents arranged for them to meet up and discovered even more similarities.

Both Lauras were around the same height and build, and both had a 3-year-old chocolate Labrador, a grey rabbit, and guinea pigs at home – the latter of which they brought to the meet-up by chance. Over a decade later, the duo are still friends and meet up when their schedules allow it.

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Curse of the 21st

It's not unusual for people to be superstitious about inexplicable things. For some, it’s magpies, black cats, or walking under ladders, but for the French king Louis XVI that was the number 21, and it didn’t work out so well for him.

Before he took the throne an astrologer warned Louis to always be cautious of the 21st day of each month. During his rule, Louis made sure never to do business on the 21st, but in the throes of the French Revolution fate had other plans.

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On June 21st, 1791 Louis and his wife Marie Antionette were arrested while attempting to flee the country, and on September 21st of 1791, their reign was toppled when France was officially declared a republic. If that wasn’t unlucky enough, Louis was then executed by guillotine as a direct result on January 21st, 1793.

Message in a Bottle

Finding a mysterious message in a bottle is something most of us can only dream of, but one man named Mark Anderson truly lucked out in 2006 when he found the oldest message in a bottle on record. Anderson was manning a Scottish fishing boat named the Copious when he happened upon the 92-year-old bottle which landed him a spot in the Guinness World Records.

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After bragging relentlessly to his fellow fisherman friend Andrew Leaper about the find, Anderson was about to get a reality check in the form of one astounding coincidence. 6 years later in 2012, Andrew Leaper was hauling in his nets on the very same boat when he noticed a bottleneck sticking out of the water. The 98-year-old bottle, which contained a note from 1914, outdated Anderson’s by 6 years, making him the new world record holder.

The Bullet That Waited 20 Years To Kill Its Target

The tale begins in 1893 in Honey Grove Texas when a timber businessman named Henry Ziegland abruptly broke off an engagement with his lover. Unable to cope with the heartbreak she took her own life, and her brother then decided to defend her honor by killing Ziegland.

After following Zieglandand and firing the gun, the young man fled the scene believing him to be dead. Remarkably, the bullet had only grazed Ziegland’s cheek and became lodged in a nearby tree.

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Having long celebrated his luck, Ziegland decided to remove the great oak 20 years later in 1913, and he opted for dynamite to speed up the process. In the explosion, the bullet became dislodged and fired off at Ziegland, killing him at last. Karma is not always instant.

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Interrupted Phone Call

This next incredible coincidence was submitted by a Be Amazed reader named Dennis, and it’s pretty unbelievable stuff. Dennis, who was formerly enlisted in the U.S. Army, had never met his brother-in-law, but he knew he was a fighter pilot in the Air Force. When the estranged pair eventually met, they discussed their former postings and realized that they were both stationed in South Korea between 1974-1975.

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That’s just the start of the revelations though, as Dennis also remarked that there was some well-known rivalry between different branches at the time and he distinctly remembers an occasion when an Air Force fighter pilot had ruined an important phone call back to the U.S.

While contacting his mother from outside the base, a fighter jet was doing treetop-level passes over the building he was calling from making it impossible to communicate on the phone. While retelling the story, his brother-in-law couldn’t help but laugh; he was the pilot flying overhead!

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A Shark Inside A Shark

Sharks are some of the most feared creatures in the animal kingdom, and it’s really no surprise when photos as truly terrifying as the one below exist. That is a shark inside another shark!

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Researchers at the University of Delaware snapped a pic of this incredible coincidence when they were hauling in a large sand tiger shark only to discover that a three-foot-long dogfish (a smaller type of shark) was also hooked on the line and had been swallowed whole. The sand tiger shark was released after being tagged, but there’s no word about what happened to the poor dogfish.

"Axe-ellent" Shot

Check out this incredible shot which somehow defies all logic.

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It’s impossible to tell if this was someone’s first-time axe-throwing, or whether this is a feat that could only be achieved by the most highly skilled thrower. Either way, some of us can’t even get a magnet to stick to the fridge successfully, so this is one impressive coincidence.

Impressionist Apple

In the first part of our coincidence series, we've shown you the pigeon that pooped a self-portrait of itself on a leaf, but now here's something far more impressive: an apple artist! This charming portrait must have been years in the making, and it’s really something to behold.

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Lost and Found

There’s nothing quite as heartbreaking as coming across a lost dog poster on the street, but it’s not so often you happen upon one which is accompanied by the dog in question. That didn’t stop this guy from chilling out on the sidewalk under his own photograph, though, totally oblivious to the fact his owner is probably freaking out somewhere.

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Maybe he ran away from home and now he’s missing his home comforts and regretting the rash decision, or maybe he even put the poster up himself just for the attention, like some canine con artist.

Uncanny Resemblance

Being a news reporter comes with its own set of challenges; like following the autocue correctly, dealing with uncontrollable live guests, and all those times you get mistaken for wanted criminals.

Unfortunately for one BBC Crimewatch presenter in 2016, that’s exactly what happened when the stars aligned and the thug in the wanted mugshot turned out to be an uncanny doppelganger of Jason Mohammad, who was co-reporting on the story.

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Poor old Jason looked pretty uncomfortable as he noticed the spitting image, but thankfully he took it all in his stride; Tweeting that he’d seen the comparisons online; he still didn’t deny that it was him, though.

If you were amazed at these incredible coincidences, you might want to check out our entire One In A Million Coincidences series. Thanks for reading!

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