20 Mind-Boggling Coincidences And Statistically Improbable Events That Rocked People's Worlds

BuzzFeed Community users recently shared with us the most highly unlikely coincidences they've ever experienced in their lives. Their stories prompted more "one in a million" accounts. Here's what folks revealed:

1."I was on an online crafting forum where my username was my actual name (first and last). I noticed another poster who had the same first name as my maternal grandmother. I messaged her about some crafting-related question and mentioned that I had never met (or even heard of) another person with that name. She responded, saying that my (uncommon) last name was the same as the maiden name of her husband’s mother. It turned out that she was married to my first cousin on my father’s side. My cousin had been estranged from my family for a long time, and I had no idea where he was. The town where my cousin and I grew up is on the east coast. I still live in the east. My cousin and his wife lived on the west coast."


2."I grew up in a very small town in central NY. I moved to NJ in my late 40s and became a real estate appraiser. One day, I started chatting with a homeowner as he noticed my NY accent and asked where I was from. I told him NY, and he asked where in NY. He said his wife was from NY and asked what town. I said a little town no one had ever heard of, and when I told him, he said his wife grew up there. Well, not only did she grow up there, but she lived on the same street and in the same house! So, I met the daughter of the people who owned the house prior to my family."


A "For Sale" sign in front of a house
Feverpitched / Getty Images/iStockphoto

3."My husband and I have the same first five digits of our social security numbers. Not a wild story, but statistically unlikely. Also, if he were born a girl, he was going to be named the same first and middle name as me."


4."I was out to dinner one night with a friend in New York City (who lives two blocks from me) when we got on the topic of weddings and their food. We mentioned a wedding reception where food trucks were present, and we quickly realized she had attended my cousin and his wife's wedding back in North Carolina in 2017, years before either of us had moved to NYC or met/become friends. It turns out that her mother was my cousin's wife's PhD mentor in another state, and her family was at my cousin's wedding with my dad's entire extended family. She's from Tennessee, and I'm from North Carolina. We met online in New York City when we were both looking for neighborhood friends. We didn't discover this weird connection until a year into our friendship."

"My cousin and his wife also live in NYC, and it turns out my friend sometimes pops down to their neighborhood to visit them, see their kids, and bring treats. We even receive the same adorable pictures of my cousin's kids.

We immediately told our families when we made the connection, and we were both bombarded with pictures of her sitting with or dancing by members of my family at the wedding. There's even a picture of her sitting next to my grandparents, who are now both deceased. We also pieced together that she had asked my dad, who is a biologist, a question about some bugs that were bothering her during this outdoor wedding and reception.

We can't believe we met online, chose to actually become IRL friends, and stayed friends long enough to randomly discuss wedding food and stumble upon this discovery. And, how weird we ended up living two blocks from each other in this massive city. Guess we were meant to be friends!"

—Hannah Dobrogosz

An outside wedding reception
Eli77 / Getty Images/iStockphoto

5."My oldest sister had a birthday recently. She is a college professor with a specialty in dialect and linguistics. I saw a book in Barnes & Noble I thought she would like, so I bought it. The book was written by her mentor from her doctorate program. My sister was mentioned in the book, and our mother took some of the pictures featured in the book. I had no clue when I bought it."


6."When I was 22, I went to Italy with my best college friend as my first trip out of the country. It was the very last day before we flew home, and we stopped in this very small town on our way back to fly out of Rome. We sat down for dinner at this hole-in-the-wall place, and about two minutes later, I looked up and saw my childhood best friend walking in with her sister. It was the first day of their trip, and they'd gotten lost driving from Rome and randomly stopped in this city for food. It was so random, as we hadn't seen each other in several years, and neither of us knew the other would even be in Italy, halfway across the world for us, at the exact same time."


Outside of a restaurant in Italy
Gary Yeowell / Getty Images

7."One time, my partner and I went camping, and the guy at the campsite next to us came over to compliment our truck (he had the same model). We got to talking and asked each other where we're each from. The other guy said he had family in our area, so we asked the name. Turns out he was the great-uncle of my partner's childhood friend/coworker. We were five hours north of our home, and the great-uncle was two hours west of where he lived. We just happened to end up next to him. We got a photo together and sent it to the friend. He was very confused when he got it."


8."About 20 years ago, I was driving from Atlanta, Georgia to Macon, Georgia for work, which was something I had to do about twice a month. During one trip, I found that I was almost out of gas and had to stop at a very rural gas station about two miles off the interstate. While pumping gas, a motorcycle pulled up at the pump behind me. Turns out it was my dad's best friend, whom I hadn't seen in years. He was finishing a cross country ride from California and was on his way to visit with my dad in North Carolina!"


Gas pumps
Supachai Panyaviwat / Getty Images

9."When I was a newborn, my parents found out that there was another newborn born two days before me with the same name as me, except our middle initials were different. They found out because we were both taken to the same pediatrician, and my parents were sent her bill and vice versa. Fast-forward to kindergarten, and me and the girl with the same name were enrolled at the same elementary school. We ended up going to school together until seventh grade. When she unexpectedly passed away when we were 18, her mom told me at the funeral that the medical examiner had my information on the death certificate, and her mom had to correct them."

"Another weird coincidence that happened to me was when I was backpacking in South America. My friend and I were doing a three-day, 30-mile trek in the Peruvian Andes with a tour group. Part of that group was an Australian diplomat and his wife, and they were traveling back to Australia from my home state, Oregon. When they were in Oregon, they were visiting the wineries in my town, and they told me their favorite wine was King Estate Winery’s Pinot Noir. My dad happened to work at that winery at that time. And, one of the other people in the group, another Australian woman, actually has family in Hood River, Oregon, so she and I have stayed in touch, and I’ve seen her when she’s come to Oregon to visit."


10."I am amazed that every single time I am running late, even by a half hour or so, The Police song 'Every Breath You Take' comes on the car radio, and I will get every green light, hit no construction, AND arrive at my destination on time, sometimes early. This has happened for over 20 years."

"And, this is so odd, and I mean no disrespect to the folks all over the world named Kathy, but I've had many close friends over the years named Kathy, and every one of these women has betrayed me. Being a very slow learner, I only realized that pattern five years ago. No more Kathys for me, thank you very much."


Green street lights
Eric Raptosh Photography / Getty Images/Tetra images RF

11."When I was in elementary school, one of my cousins on my dad’s side was stabbed to death by a random stranger, who somehow was able to avoid jail for the murder. Nearly 20 years later, the killer’s kid grew up and stabbed my mom’s cousin to death, totally randomly. It was the most terrible of random coincidences."


12."Last summer, my mom and grandma came to visit me for a few days in New York City. My granddad (who is sadly passed away) was from Brooklyn, so I wanted to take my mom and grandma over there for one of the afternoons they were in town. We ended up in a brewery in DUMBO one Friday afternoon, and it was pretty quiet. We were sitting on one side of the bar, when suddenly a man entered who I immediately recognized. He's one of my parents' neighbors back in North Carolina. He lives down the street from my childhood home. He was also a teacher at my elementary school, and I vaguely know one of his kids through community theater back in NC."

"I called out his name, and he turned and recognized me as well! His daughter had also moved to New York City, and it turns out she moved to my same neighborhood in Manhattan, just 10 or so blocks north. He was there visiting her, but she was working that day, so he wandered around on his own. Somehow, we both managed to stumble into the same random DUMBO brewery that day. He snapped a photo of me and texted some of my former elementary school teachers to show them who he'd bumped into. I never run into him when I'm visiting North Carolina and walking around my parents' neighborhood, but I somehow bumped into him in New York City, in a neighborhood neither of us frequent."

—Hannah Dobrogosz

Glasses of beer lined up on a bar
Dschnarrs / Getty Images/iStockphoto

13."So, my fiancé of 18 years and I have an unusual coincidence. I started doing our genealogy a few years back, and it seems our ancestors both sailed to Hingham, Massachusetts in the 1670s. Mine became the pastor in the Old Ship Church, the oldest church still standing, and the other was the shopkeeper in town where the oldest barn in America is still standing. We stayed in an Airbnb the night before going to explore, and the girl who was our hostess knew the pastor since it was also her church, which is now Unitarian (like my fiancé). She called him to let him know we were coming. He met us there the next day and said his aunt had just done their family genealogy. It turns out he was also descended from the original pastor. Some of the original pastors' and the original shopkeepers' children ended up marrying."

"We have both had other marriages, and we met in our 50s. It's unusually special and wonderful for both of us. 'Maybe it was preordained,' said the pastor. 'Meant to be,' said the shopkeeper."


14."I was driving to another state and got stuck in traffic about an hour from home. I looked over and saw my best friend two lanes away! Also, on a trip across the state, my sister saw her classmate in a random Wendy’s."


cars stuck in traffic
Nick Rains / Getty Images

15."It was time to put my 31-year-old horse down. Her registered name was Prinze’s Becky and her sire was Polish Prinze. As I was driving away and sobbing my heart out, I had a radio station on I never listen to, and the song by Bobby Vinton, the 'Polish Prince,' came on. It definitely gave me chills."


16."I was pregnant with my first child, and my husband and I went to Hawaii for a vacation before having the baby. My husband wanted to play golf, so I went along and rode in the cart. We were paired up with two strangers who had never met before. All of us were ironically from the San Francisco Bay Area. Turns out one of the men we were playing with had a wife who had been my mom’s OB and had delivered me 25 years prior. The second man turned out to be tennis partners with my husband’s boss, and they played doubles every Tuesday. Very small world."


A golf course
Ishootphotosllc / Getty Images

17."My best friend and I had always heard about each other in high school (different schools, but close by) and had a ton of mutual friends. We finally became good friends when we were about 21 and figured out we were born on the same day, the same year, in the same hospital, just a couple of hours apart. Her dad had also gone to school with my uncle. She has since passed, and not a day goes by that I don't think of her. But Kira, if you're there, you're still older!"


18."I got a job in Wisconsin and rented a trailer from U-Haul for my move. It had a town name on it like most features on U-Haul trailers do, but I’d never heard of the town and quickly forgot about it. I got moved in, returned the trailer, and got settled in at my job. My new job requires some travel, and two weeks after I arrived, I got sent to a tiny town of 3,800 people in Minnesota. The name sounded familiar, but I couldn’t place it…and then remembered it was the same town featured on the U-Haul trailer from Arkansas I’d hauled up north: Eveleth, Minnesota. Go figure."


closeup of a U-Haul
Isaac Lee / Getty Images

19."In college, I looked up an old high school friend and ended up hanging out with her and two friends she'd met after high school. One night, we were all out at dinner, and someone mentioned something about famous relatives. Best I could do was my great uncle, who is semi-famous in very specific circles, so I name-dropped him anyway. One girl perked up. I was like, 'Really? You know him?' She said, 'Yes, my father is planning to take over his company when he retires.' Turns out this girl I'd never met before, who I met through a totally unrelated friendship, knew half my family on my father's side almost as much, if not better, than I did."


20.And: "My husband and I were born at the same hospital less than a year apart in Tennessee. I lived in Mississippi, but my mom was visiting her dad when I was born. Fast-forward to when we were 17/18: He moved down here to the same town I live in, and I met him briefly through mutual friends a couple of times. I didn’t think anything of it. Then, at age 19/20, we met at a party, and I was very drunk and went up to him. I was trying to take more risks, and this was my first night trying it out. I asked if he had a girlfriend, then I kissed him. I had completely forgotten who he was at the time, and he even had to ask someone who I was after I left. He only knew my first name. He said that when I left, he couldn’t stop thinking about me. He eventually found me, and we started going out. Now we are married with a son. Just wild how things happen."


Do you have any wild coincidences you'd like to share? Tell us in the comments!

Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.