What do Edgar Allan Poe, James Dean, Thomas Jefferson, and the atomic bombs that fell in Japan all have in common? They are all part of some very strange, almost unbelievable stories of pure coincidences. These are the ultimate cases of history repeating itself.
One Person Survived Both Atomic Bombs
Imagine being in Hiroshima or Nagasaki when the atomic bombs went off but somehow surviving. Now imagine doing it twice! Tsutomu Yamaguchi, a naval engineer, spent his last day on his business trip in Hiroshima dodging an atomic bomb.
Yamaguchi then limped to Nagasaki so severely burned that even his family didn't recognize him. On August 9th, he was in the middle of explaining to his boss how a bomb could take out an entire city when a familiar white flash and mushroom cloud consumed everything. He survived that second A-bomb and then lived to be 93 years old.
Bizarre Father-Son Deaths At The Hoover Dam
During the Hoover Dam's construction, two men died fourteen years apart, on the same day. On December 20th, 1921, a work crew surveying the dam encountered a flash flood. A man named John Gregory Tierney got swept away. He was the first recorded death at Hoover Dam.
Years later, his son Patrick William Tierney sought out work as an electrician's assistant on the Hoover Dam during the Great Depression. On December 20th, 1935, he fell 320 feet from an intake tower on the Arizona side of the dam. Before Patrick had taken the job, his mother admonished him against it.
These Founding Fathers Died On Independence Day
During the 1775 Continental Congress in Philadelphia, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson became fast friends. Although their relationship floundered after Adams' presidency, they reconciled everything in 1812.
On July 4th, 1826, the country celebrated its first 50 years of independence. On this day, Jefferson passed away at his Virginia estate, Monticello. Adams was on his own deathbed in Quincy, Massachusetts, unaware that Jefferson had died. His last words were, "Thomas Jefferson survives."
An Edgar Allan Poe Novel Came To Life
In 1838, Edgar Allan Poe published his only novel, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket. In the book, a ship's crew ends up stranded with no food or water, and eventually, they eat a tortoise. Later, they drew straws to decide who will be sacrificed, and the death sentence went to former mutineer Richard Parker.
Forty-five years later, the English ship Mignonette sank and left four crew members stranded. Like the characters, they caught a turtle and ate it, but needed more. Then, a 17-year-old named Richard Parker fell over the side of the boat, and the other sailors decided to cannibalize him for survival.
The Civil War Began And Ended In Wilmer McLean's Front Yard
In the summer of 1861, Wilmer McLean was living on his wife's plantation in Manassas Junction, Virginia. On July 21st, Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard took over his farm as a base for the first Civil War fight (and the second in August).
Likely tired of his war home, McLean and his family moved to a hamlet in the Appomattox Court House in 1863. On April 9th, 1865, Confederate Colonel Charles Marshal asked to use McLean's front parlor for a meeting. That afternoon, Marshal surrendered to Union Colonel Ulysses S. Grant.
Same Man Gets Hit By Two Falling Babies
On October 17th, 1937, Time magazine reported a bizarre story surrounding Joseph Figlock, a street sweeper in Detroit, Michigan. Figlock was furbishing an alleyway when a baby struck his head as it fell from a four-story window. Remarkably, neither Figlock nor the baby were harmed.
A year later, Figlock was sweeping the same alleyway when a two-year-old kid named David Thomas fell out of a window. Again, both child and adult survived. Little is known about that specific alleyway or the family who left their babies by open windows.
James Dean's Car Parts Led To More Deaths
James Dean died in a car accident and his death was predicted at the time Dean took ownership of the vehicle.
According to Jalopnik, when Alec Guinness saw the car, he told Dean, "If you get in that car, you will be found dead in it by this time next week." Just seven days later, Dean died. Some of the car's parts were then sold and, coincidentally, were involved in the deaths of several owners who put those car parts inside their own vehicles.
What Goes Around Comes Around In World War I
World War I's starting point, the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, went wrong in every way possible. By pure coincidence, it still worked. The first attempt involved a grenade thrown at Ferdinand's car, although it didn't detonate for ten minutes. Ferdinand survived, and the party of assassins dishearteningly split up.
Against his coworkers' judgment, Ferdinand decided to return to the bomb site to check on the wounded. Unfortunately, his driver got lost and passed a cafe, where assassin Gavrilo Princip was enjoying a post-failed-killing sandwich. The rest was history.
Revenge Is Just As Sweet Twenty Years Later
According to legend, a bullet meant for a man shot him 20 years after its intended date in Honey Grove, Texas. In 1893, Henry Ziegland broke up with his girlfriend, whom records did not name. She passed away shortly after, and her brother opted to shoot Ziegland in revenge.
The brother's bullet only scratched Ziegland's face and hit a nearby tree. But in 1913, Ziegland decided to remove the tree by exploding its base with dynamite. The blast dislodged the bullet, which finished the job it had only scratched the surface of before.
Timur Told You So
In 1941, a Soviet anthropologist named Mikhail Gerasimov exhumed the tomb of Timur, a Turco-Mongol conqueror of the fourteenth century. Allegedly, Timur's tomb had the inscription, "When I rise from the dead, the world shall tremble." On his casket lay the words, "Whomsoever disturbs my tomb shall unleash an invader more terrible than I."
Three days later, Nazi forces invaded the Soviet Union as part of Operation Barbarossa, the largest military occupation in history. In 1942, anthropologists re-buried Timur in full Islamic ritual. A couple of days later, the Soviets won at the Battle of Stalingrad.
Here's The Best Reason Not To Brag
In 2006, a Scottish fisherman named Mark Anderson found a 92-year-old message in a bottle while out at sea. His discovery landed him in the Guinness Book of World Records for the oldest adrift bottle ever discovered. He boasted about his accomplishment and "never stopped talking about it," according to his friend Andrew Leaper.
In late 2012, Andrew Leaper was fishing on the same boat Anderson used when he discovered a message in a bottle. His was 98 years old, which topped Anderson's world record. Leaper said that Anderson was "very unhappy that I have topped his record."
Even Their Deaths Were Identical
In 2002, a 70-year-old Finnish bike rider pedaled along the highway in Raahe. As he attempted to cross the road, a truck crashed into him, ending his life. About two hours later, another bike rider crossed the same road, and was also struck by a truck.
Police who investigated the scenes ran into a surprise. "It made my hair stand on end when I heard the two were brothers," said police officer Marja-Leena Huhtala, "and identical twins at that." Both brothers died in the same way about 1.5 km (0.3 miles) away from each other.
Mark Twain Came And Went With Halley's Comet
Every 76 years, onlookers can see Halley's Comet soaring past earth. Most people only see the comet once in their lifetime, but it came by twice during Mark Twain's life. The first time was the year of his birth, 1835. In 1909, he predicted that he would die when the comet passed again.
"The Almighty has said, no doubt, 'Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together,'" Twain told the New York Times. He died one day after the comet's closest approach in 1910.
One Man Missed Two Malaysian Flights That Crashed
In 2014, there were two tragic plane crashes that were attributed to Malaysian Air Flights. The first was shot down over Ukraine, and the second disappeared mysteriously without a trace somewhere over the Indian Ocean and is considered one of the strangest aviation mysteries of all time.
While these two occurrences could be described as a coincidence, the true coincidence is that Dutch cyclist Maarten de Jonge was scheduled to take both flights, yet didn't manage to get on either of them.
John Wilkes Booth's Brother Saved The Life Of Abraham Lincoln's Son
While John Wilkes Booth may have assassinated President Abraham Lincoln, the Booth family had a relationship with the Lincolns beforehand. Booth's brother, Edwin, was a semi-famous stage actor and a supporter of the Union during the Civil War.
While at a train station in New Jersey, Lincoln's son, Robert Todd Lincoln, leaned up against a stationary train and almost fell onto the tracks as it began to move. Edwin grabbed him by the collar to prevent him from falling, potentially saving his life. It wasn't until years later that Booth discovered who he saved.
The Dollar Of Love
As told in an episode of This American Life on NPR, Esther and Paul Grachan had been seeing each other for a short time when Paul asked Esther to be his girlfriend. That same day, while paying for a sandwich, he noticed that one of the bills he was using had the name "Esther" written on it. So, he decided to keep it and frame it for her as a gift.
Esther was without words when she was presented with the gift. Years later, after the two married, Esther explained that she had written her name on a few dollars after a breakup, telling herself she would marry the man that brought it back to her.
Stephen Hawking Shared The Same Birth Date With Galileo And Death Date With Albert Einstein
All famous scientists that changed the way we view the world, these three men also have important dates in their lives in common. Stephen Hawking was born on the 300th anniversary of Galileo's death, on January 8, 1942.
Furthermore, he also shared something with Albert Einstein, as he died on March 14, 2018, which would have been Einstein's 139th birthday. Something even more surprising about Hawking's life is that he managed to live to be 76 years old, even though he suffered from Lou Gehrig's Disease.
A Meteor Hit The Commette Family's Home
According to National Geographic, the odds of being killed by a meteor are 1 in 1,600,000. It seems improbable that a meteor that had been flying through space for more than four-and-a-half billion years would hit the home of a family with the last name "Commette."
However, this is exactly what happened in France in 2011. Luckily, the meteor was only the size of an egg and nobody was hurt. It's still pretty strange.
The First And Last Dead Soldiers Of WWI Are Buried Next To Each Other
At the end of World War I, it proved to be the bloodiest war in human history, claiming an estimated one million British soldiers lives.
Somehow, without any true planning, 17-year-old John Parr, the first-recorded British casualty of the war, and 30-year-old George Edwin Ellison, the last recorded British death from the war, are buried just 15 feet apart from one another in the Saint Symphorien Military Cemetery.
Abraham Lincoln's Son Was Bad Luck For Politicians
Robert Todd Lincoln, the oldest son of President Abraham Lincoln, was a distinguished politician. In 1881, Robert Lincoln walked along Sixth Street in Washington, D.C. with President Garfield, where he saw Charles J. Guiteau shoot the president.
Later, in 1901, Robert attended President William McKinley's speech in New York where Leon F. Czolgosz shot McKinley twice.
Someone Predicted The Sinking Of The Titanic
Published in 1898, author Robert Morgan published his story known as The Wreck of the Titan or Futility, fourteen years prior to the sinking of the iconic ship. In the novel, there are some incredible similarities between the ship in his own story compared to that of the sinking of the Titanic.
Besides both of the vessels being described as "unsinkable" in the story, the ships also meet their demise at the hand of an iceberg hitting the starboard side of the ship. Furthermore, both ships met their fate in Newfoundland on evenings in April, and both had a shortage of lifeboats.
"Dog" Means "Dog" In A Lost Language
Mbabaram is a slowly but surely dying Aboriginal language in Australia, one that couldn't sound less "English."
So, it was a surprise to many experts when they deciphered that the word for "dog" was the same as ours, with no connection to the English language.
Message In A Bottle
As described by CBS News, Fred and Lynette Dubendorf were taking a walk down the beach when they noticed a bottle washed up on the shore.
Taking a closer look, they discovered that it was a message containing the marriage vows of Melody Kloska and Matt Behrs, who had recently performed their ceremony on a beach across Lake Michigan. The note also had the newlyweds' address and wedding date, leading the Dubendorfs to write a letter of congratulations to them.
Dennis The Menace Was Quite The Coincidence
Many people are familiar with the character of the comic book strip character "Dennis the Menace," the mischievous little boy that came into the forefront of pop culture in 1951. However, few people are aware that the same year another character came to light in the United Kingdom known also as "Dennis the Menace."
Incredibly, although the character was essentially the same, there was almost no plagiarism between the two different characters. By chance, they were both thought of, created, and released in the same year.
Anne Parish Found Her Own Childhood Book
In 1929, author Anne Parish was browsing titles in a bookstore along the Seine. There, she noticed one that caught her eye, Jack Frost and Other Stories. She ended up purchasing the book for the small sum of one franc and met her husband at a local cafe.
When she showed him the purchase she had made, he was in awe. On the interior was written Parish's address. The exact copy she bought had been her own as a child.