These Real-Life Coincidences Sound Fake But Are — Somehow — 100% True

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In 2017, Finnair flight 666 departed for HEL (Helsinki’s airport) at 13:00 local time. Oh, and it was on Friday the 13th.

A Finnair plane in the air

Nurphoto / NurPhoto via Getty Images



A professor in New Jersey was telling his class a story about how at his former job as a park ranger 25 years ago, a fellow ranger saved his life. While the professor was telling the story, the park ranger who saved him walked into the lecture hall, having tracked him down in hopes of a reunion.


A novella about an ocean liner named the Titan that sank after hitting an iceberg and had a shortage of lifeboats leading to mass casualties was published in 1898…about 14 years before the eerily similar sinking of the Titanic.

An artist's depiction of the sinking of the Titanic

Bettmann / Bettmann Archive / Getty Images



Perhaps even more coincidental: Another author by the name of W.T. Stead wrote a story in 1886 about a ship with limited lifeboats sinking in the Atlantic. Stead was later a passenger on the Titanic and died when it sank.

A portrait of WT Stead in 1890

London Stereoscopic Company / Getty Images


Many people think the word “crap” came from toilet manufacturer Thomas Crapper. However, the word dates all the way back to Middle English, and Crapper’s name is a coincidence (or maybe nominative determinism).


Two fishermen from Kiribati went adrift and ended up washed ashore on Namdrik Island after 33 days lost at sea. Once there, they discovered that one of the men’s uncles — who was thought to have died 50 years earlier — was living on the island, having ALSO gotten lost at sea.

The two Kiribati fishermen sitting on a pier together

Afp / AFP via Getty Images



Thomas Jefferson and John Adams both died on the same day: July 4, 1826…the 50-year anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.


Two of the biggest box-office bombs of all time both had to do with Mars. One was the Disney movie Mars Needs Moms, and the other was Disney’s John Carter.

Disney Courtesy Everett Collection, Disney / Courtesy Everett Collection

Disney Courtesy Everett Collection, Disney / Courtesy Everett Collection


In 1950, there was an explosion at a church in Nebraska due to an accident. However, nobody was injured as every single one of the 15 choir members who were supposed to be there for choir practice were late.


The moon and sun appear to be the same size in the sky because the moon is 1/400th the size of the sun, but it’s also 400 times closer to Earth. This is entirely a coincidence.

The sun and moon during a full eclipse

Ferdinandh Cabrera / AFP via Getty Images



The first issue of Life Magazine featured a photo on the cover of a newborn baby by the name of George Story. Story was interviewed and put on the cover of the final issue of Life Magazine 63 years later, but happened to die of a heart attack just weeks after the magazine announced that it would be ending its run.


Composer Arnold Schoenberg had severe triskaidekaphobia — a fear of the number 13 — and even re-numbered the 13th part of one of his song cycles “12a” to avoid using the number. He ended up dying on Friday the 13th at age 76 (7 + 6 = 13).

A portrait of Schoenberg in his later years

Fred Stein Archive / Getty Images



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