Even though coincidences happen all the time, people perceive them as spooky mysteries when they have important consequences. Irrespective of whether they are positive (serendipity) or negative (catastrophes), coincidences have been a fascinating topic for sceptics and believers alike.
In other words, when such twists of fate take place, it makes many of us wonder about the purpose of our lives, the ultimate order of the universe and if the world is anything more than a chain of lucky accidents. Here is a top 10 list of the strangest “happenstances” throughout history that left many people with serious doubts.
1. The Kennedy-Lincoln Quirk
In spite of the fact that the Lincoln-Kennedy similarities are old news, it is still one of the most unusual coincidences in history. For starters, both presidents were elected at precisely 100 years apart and each was the successor of a president named Johnson, also born 100 years apart. Speaking of presidents, while Lincoln was assassinated in Ford’s Theater, JFK was shot while riding in a Ford Lincoln. Things become even more awkward when you think that Lincoln had a secretary named Kennedy, whereas JKF had a secretary named Evelyn Lincoln.
2. Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s death
As far as most people are concerned, WWI started due to the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand by a Bosnian peasant though to be part of a band of conspirators. However, little is known about the fact that the assassin, Gavriol Princip gave up his plans to murder the archduke after a failed bombing attack. Apparently, during the archduke’s visit Princip was drowning his disappointment in a local café when Franz Ferdinand’s car stopped 20 feet away from him. Coincidence or not, the archduke’s driver did not only take a bad turn that day, but also managed to kill the engine while he was backing up.
3. John Lennon’s assassination
Perhaps one of the most loved artists in the 10th century was shot and killed by a schizophrenic night security guard named March Chapman in 1980. A few years after his death, when a TV station was playing a biographic movie about John Lennon the most peculiar thing was revealed: the actor playing Lennon was also named Mark Chapman. Talk about “you have got to be kidding me” coincidences!
4. Presidents Jefferson and Adams mysterious passing away
Presidents Jefferson and Adams occupy a special place in American history, not only as great leaders who shared their love for the country, both also as founding fathers who were instrumental for the implementation of the Declaration of Independence. The mystery surrounding them resides in their weirdly synchronized deaths days, which were precisely 50 years after the document was ratified (4th of July 1826).
5. The crossword puzzle and the invasion of Normandy
Two weeks before the WWII infamous D-day, London’s Daily Telegraph published a crossword puzzle containing the names of the beaches where the Ally forces would land (Omaha and Utah) along with other classified information accessible only to General Eisenhower’s staff. While initially everyone considered the author of the puzzle a Nazi spy, it turned out that all words were randomly chosen. It is quite fascinating, considering that the chances for such a thing to happen are less than 1 in a billion.
6. Lee Harvey Oswald’s employment file
While there may be many angry people who would like to kill the president regardless of the regime, very few of them will actually have the means to go through with their plans. Not to mention that the odds of also being given the opportunity are fairly low. What makes Lee Harvey Oswald’s case so intriguing resides in the fact that he was hired by the Texas School Book Depository on the 16th of October. So basically, Oswald was working in a facility located fifty feet away from JFK’s motorcade three weeks before the assassination.
7. The Titanic’s tragic end was foretold?
14 years before the one-way trip of the Titanic, American author Morgan Robertson published an intriguing novel depicting the departure of a British luxury vessel that was to meet its doom in the cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean. What seems like a simple coincidence at first becomes stranger and stranger as you read the details. In both situations, 2500 people lost their lives due to the insufficient number of lifeboats, both vessels were 800 feet long and were traveling in April at 25 knots when they hit an iceberg.
8. Booth’s son rescued Lincoln’s son
Many conspiracy theorists strongly believed President Lincoln had quite a mysterious life; yet he was not the only puzzling member of the family. An intriguing episode has his son in the center of attention: Robert Todd accidentally fell beneath the slow moving carriage of a departed train, only to be rescued by no other than John Wilkes Booth, the son of president Lincoln’s murdered.
9. The bloodcurdling deaths of two Finnish brothers
Everyone heard stories about the strong connections of identical twins whom often have the same food preferences, career choices, behaviors, so on and so forth. However, the story of two Finnish brothers who shared a peculiar death seems like a scene taken out of a Hollywood movie. To summarize, the brothers were killed on the same day after being involved in a car accident. Mysteriously, the brothers were killed on the same portion of the road only one mile apart. The suicide version in this case was dismissed, since the second brother had not heard about his sibling’s death at the moment of the crash.
10. Being struck by lighting 7 times
Given the fact that the odds of being struck by lightning are about half a million to 1, the same person being struck more than once is highly unlikely, right? However, that is not the case of Roy Sullivan, a man who was hit by lighting seven times and surprisingly, survived. Sullivan’s astonishing encounters with thunder lasted for 35 years, the last beam striking him in 1977 while he was fishing. The last lighting bolt was also the most damaging, as afterwards he required hospitalization for chest and stomach burns.