The world is a mysterious and frankly, odd place. Sometimes, things happen that highlight how oddly repetitive and surreal our world can be. Here are twenty-five particularly odd coincidences.
25. Joseph Figlock and The Falling Baby
In the late 1930s, Joseph Figlock saved a baby that fell from a window. ‘Saved’ meaning that he broke the baby’s fall with his own body. One year later, the unsuspecting Mr. Figlock was walking under the same window and the same baby took yet another tumble right onto Figlock.
24. The Mysterious Case of James Dean’s Porsche
Following James Dean’s untimely death in a car accident, his Porsche became a token of bad luck. Several bizarre incidences of misfortune surrounded the car, including its engine falling out and shattering a mechanic’s legs and a trailer that the car was mounted on slipping and crashing through a shop window.
23. From Colorado to Paris
In the 1920s, American novelist Anne Parrish was browsing in a Parisian bookstore when she came across a copy of a childhood favorite— Jack Frost and Other Stories. Upon opening the book, she found an inscription that read “Anne Parrish, 209 N. Weber Street, Colorado Springs.” It was her own childhood copy, somehow finding its way across the Atlantic and back to her.
22. Ironic Indeed
In 1883, Henry Ziegland had an unexpected stroke of luck. After his ex-girlfriend committed suicide, her brother hunted Ziegland down and shot him. The bullet, however, only grazed Ziegland’s face, lodging in a tree. But many years later, Ziegland used dynamite to blow up the tree—sending the bullet into its intended destination of his head.
21. The Son Surpasses the Father
In 1858, Robert Fallon was murdered by some of his poker buddies, who had accused him of cheating. The killers were reluctant to take Fallon’s 600 dollar winnings, which they deemed unlucky. So they stuck it on a new player. When the police arrived and demanded the 600 be passed to Fallon’s next of kin, they discovered the new player was in fact his son, whom he had not seen for seven years.
The first appearance of Halley’s Comet directly coincided with the birth of famed American author Mark Twain. Twain’s life came to be book ended by the comet—its second appearance coincided directly with his death.
Similarly to the above, famed physicist Stephen Hawking’s birthday fell on the anniversary of Galileo’s death, while his death fell on Albert Einstein’s birthday.
American founding fathers and political rivals Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died within mere hours of each other. The date of their death was July 4, 1826—the fiftieth birthday of the country they’d helped establish.
Robert Todd Lincoln, son of President Abraham Lincoln, was saved by a man who pulled him back after he leaned against a moving train. The man in question was famed stage actor Edwin Booth-brother of Lincoln’s eventual murderer, John Wilkes Booth.
Another coincidence concerning Robert Todd Lincoln is that, in addition to the death of his father, he witnessed two other presidential assassinations— the deaths of James Garfield and William McKinley, respectively.
Upon getting engaged, Stephen and Helen Lee discovered that his father and her mother had also once been engaged, but broke it off due to parental disappointment.
While the RMS Titanic was (falsely) billed as being unsinkable, one of her passengers proved to be. Violet Jessop not only survived the sinking of the Titanic, but also the sinking of the Brittanic and the almost-sinking of the Olympic.
Poe’s “The Narrative Of Arthur Gordon Pym” concerns four shipwrecked sailors, who decide to eat a cabin boy by the name of Richard Parker. Years later, a group of four shipwrecked sailors would end up eating their cabin boy. The cabin boy’s name? Richard Parker
The Battle of Bull Run, the first of the American Civil War, was fought near the farm of 46-year-old Virginia grocer Wilmer McLean. Following the destruction of his property, McLean and his family moved—to Appottomax, Virginia, mere steps away from the court house where Robert E. Lee would surrender to Ulysses S. Grant.
Italian King Umberto I received quite the surprise when he and his aide-de-camp stopped over in a quiet restaurant for dinner. The restaurant’s owner was the king’s exact double. What’s more, the two men shared a birthday and hometown and their wives were both called Margherita. They would also share a death date, as Umberto was assassinated hours after being informed of the restauranteur’s untimely and mysterious death earlier that day.
Nineteenth century Austrian painter Joseph Aigner was plagued by mental health issues. Three times the artist attempted suicide. And all three of those times, the same Capuchin monk intervened to save Aigner’s life. When Aigner eventually did die by suicide at 68, the monk conducted his funeral.
9. Double Exposure
In 1914, a German mother took film containing photos of her infant son to be developed. However, the breakout of World War I stalled the photos’ development. Several years later, she purchased film in a city over 100 miles away to photograph her baby daughter. Once the photos were developed, she received quite the shock—double exposure of the photo of her infant son over her daughter.
8. Jim and Jim
Twin brothers Jim Lewis and Jim Springer were separated at birth and adopted by different families. In addition to both being named James, the twins’ both named their sons James Alan (the difference being that one Alan has two l’s), both first married women named Linda and then married women named Betty, and named their dogs Toy.
In 1975, a man riding a moped was struck and killed by a taxi. A few years later, his brother would also be killed in an accident—also while riding a moped, and by the same taxi driver.
6. I’m Sensing a Theme Here
Similarly to the above, in 2002 a pair of seventy-year-old twin brothers were killed in auto accidents on the same Finnish road, mere hours apart.
While staying in London’s Savoy Hotel to cover the coronation of Elizabeth II, reporter Irv Kupcinet found items belonging to his friend Harry Hannin, a basketball player on the Harlem Globetrotters. When Kupcinet called Hannin to tell him, Hannin informed him that he had found a tie belonging to Kupcinet while staying at a hotel in Paris.
John Parr, the first recorded English casualty of World War I, is buried fifteen feet away from George Edwin Ellison, the war’s last recorded casualty. Reportedly, their graves face each other.
3. Strangers on a Train
In the 1920s, three Englishmen were aboard a train car to Peru. Their surnames were Bingham, Powell, and Bingham-Powell, making them an oddly appropriate trio.
In the late 1950’s, a Mr. George D. Bryson stopped in a hotel on a business trip. He was given an envelope addressed to George D. Bryson, only to discover it wasn’t for him, but rather for his room’s previous occupant, who had his exact same name.
1. Together in Death
Twins John and Arthur Mowforth may have been separated by eighty miles, but they were together in death. On May 22, 1975, both men were rushed to the hospital after complaining of chest pains and both died mere minutes after arriving.