With 7.5 billion people walking the planet, bizarre coincidences are bound to happen from time to time. Some events seem so incredibly unlikely, they’re almost supernatural.
Granted, some of those events can be easily explained; the “amazing” similarities between Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy, for instance, have been thoroughly debunked. Other coincidences aren’t quite so easy to explain.
We’re talking about stuff like…
1. Thomas Jefferson and John Adams passed away on July 4, 1826.
That was, of course, 50 years to the day from the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The former Presidents died within five hours of each other; they were the last of the original revolutionaries.
When Adams lay on his deathbed, he told one of his attendants not to feel discouraged, as “Thomas Jefferson still survives.” Adams was incorrect, however, as Jefferson had passed several hours earlier at Monticello.
2. Two twins, separated at birth, lived almost identical lives.
Twins Jim Springer and Jim Lewis were adopted by separate families. Each was aware of the other’s existence, but Springer believed that his brother died in birth; Lewis had no interest in meeting his brother, at least for the first 36 years of his life.
In 1979, Lewis found Springer through a local courthouse. They discovered some incredible similarities, starting with their first names. Both Jims had grown up with family dogs named “Toy.” Both had been married twice—to women named Linda and Betty. Both had sons named James Allen, and both drove Chevrolets.
Scientists are keenly interested in the twins since their bizarre lives provide an interesting perspective on nature vs. nurture debates.
3. A United States park ranger was struck by lightning…seven times.
Roy Cleveland Sullivan had an unfortunate nickname: “The Human Lightning Rod.”
An unkind moniker, perhaps, since Sullivan did seem to attract lightning. He was first struck in April of 1942 while hiding from a storm in a fire lookout tower. In 1969, he was hit while driving a truck on a mountain road. In 1970, lightning struck a power transformer, then jumped across his yard to sear his shoulder.
After his fourth strike in 1942, Sullivan began carrying a bottle of water with him in case he needed to put out fires. Eventually, his friends began avoiding him during stormy weather. That hurt Sullivan’s feelings, but it probably wasn’t a bad tactic—once, as Sullivan helped his wife hang clothes in their backyard, he stood by helplessly as she was struck by lightning (she survived).
4. The gravestones of the first and last British soldiers killed in World War I face each other.
That wasn’t planned, by the way. Private John Parr was only 16 when he died during a battle on the Belgium-France border on Aug. 21, 1914. Private George Ellison died on the Western Front just hours before the Armistice cease-fire on Nov. 11, 1918.
The soldiers’ gravestones face each other, providing a somber bookend to a horrific period of history. In total, Britain lost about a million young men in the first World War. However, the location of the gravestones is a complete coincidence.