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10 Weird Historical Coincidences

by Dylan Angeles
fact checked by Jamie Frater

A coincidence is a collection of events that are related, but unlikely to have a shared cause. In some cases, people will develop fringe theories in order to help explain coincidences that seem connected, and it’s fun to look at the weirder coincidences and speculate on their cause.

10 The “My Way” Killings

Five attractive friends singing together at a karaoke party

People in the Philippines love karaoke. The country is full of karaoke bars, and singing is a large part of their culture. For the most part, karaoke is a playful activity, but some people have taken it very seriously. On more than one occasion, people in the Philippines have been murdered while performing Frank Sinatra’s 1969 song “My Way.” The deaths have been called a coincidence by some because the song is a popular karaoke tune, but many Filipino karaoke bars have banned the song.

In some places, the term “videoke rage” has been used to describe deaths. In one case, 29-year-old Romy Baligula was shot to death by a security guard after he wouldn’t stop singing the song. The song has been known to spawn riots and many people refuse to sing it because of the trouble it might cause.

9 July 11, 1991

solar eclipse

On July 11, 1991, a wave of unexplained UFO sightings occurred over Mexico City. The events were witnessed by thousands of people and investigated by the Mexican government. Coincidentally, the UFOs were seen during a total solar eclipse.

During the eclipse, people in Mexico City reported a large metallic disk in the sky. The object was videotaped by multiple people and broadcast on the news. The event was one of the first widely reported UFO sightings in Mexico City, and since that time, the area has become a hotbed of unexplained activity.

The connections between the solar eclipse and the UFOs have caused some to speculate that the aircraft were predicted by the Dresden Codex of the Maya calendar. The calendar identifies the July 11 eclipse as the Sixth Sun of Quetzalcoatl and says it will bring about changes and cosmic awareness. In 2010, a story appeared on the Internet that suggested the United States was keeping the events of July 11, 1991 hidden from the public. It also suggested that the US government was fighting a secret war against aliens near the continent of Antarctica.

8 Chris Benoit And Wikipedia


In June of 2007, professional wrestler Chris Benoit murdered his family and committed suicide. Benoit was a popular member of World Wrestling Entertainment, and the news of his death shocked people all over the world. Over a three-day period, Benoit strangled his wife and suffocated his seven-year-old son. He then used a weight machine to hang himself. In the wake of the tragedy, it was revealed that Benoit had previously been accused of abusing his wife and was prone to fits of rage. Some felt he might have experienced a case of “roid rage,” been a severe alcoholic, or had brain damage.

In a strange coincidence, 14 hours before the police discovered the bodies of Benoit and his family, his English Wikipedia page reported on the death of Nancy. It said: “Chris Benoit was replaced by Johnny Nitro for the ECW World Championship match at Vengeance, as Benoit was not there due to personal issues, stemming from the death of his wife Nancy.” The event has been called an “unbelievable hindrance” by the police, who seized the computer of the man who posted the information.

Chris Benoit did not leave a suicide note, but sent out a series of texts before killing himself that said: “My physical address is 130 Green Meadow Lane, Fayetteville Georgia 30215.” The circumstances surrounding his death may have been bizarre, but the evidence points to Benoit murdering his family, despite what some might think.

7Windshield Pitting And Operation Castle

Mushroom Cloud of Operation Castle-Bravo

Starting in April of 1954, people in Bellingham and Seattle, Washington started to report unusual holes, pits, and dings in their car windshields. The reports quickly spread to different areas of the state and thousands of people were affected. At first, it was thought to be the work of vandals, but after parking garages and secluded neighborhoods were targeted, the reports began to spread.

By April 15, 1954, close to 3,000 windshields were affected, and police released a statement indicating that 95 percent of the cases were caused by public hysteria. Others put forth the theory that the damage was being caused by the infestation of flea eggs, cosmic rays, or nuclear fallout.

On March 1, 1954, the United States started Operation Castle—a series of high-yield nuclear tests carried out at Bikini Atoll, a group of islands located in the Pacific Ocean. They are approximately 7,700 kilometers (4,800 miles) from Seattle. The initial test of Operation Castle was named Castle Bravo, and it was the first dry fuel thermonuclear hydrogen bomb detonated by the US.

After Castle Bravo was set off, it became clear that the US government had misjudged its power. It was approximately 1,000 times more powerful than each of the atomic bombs used during World War II and the nuclear fallout surrounded the island and spread quickly. The event was the most significant case of accidental radiological contamination in US history.

After Castle Bravo was detonated, five more nuclear tests were carried out in the area. The amount of nuclear fallout released into the atmosphere was difficult to measure because the data was skewed by previous explosions. By coincidence, the timeline for Operation Castle falls directly in line with the 1954 Windshield Pitting Epidemic. The city of Seattle is located in a region where it is possible that nuclear fallout from Bikini Atoll could have hit.

6 Sirente Crater And Triumph Of The Church

DCF 1.0

During the reign of Emperor Constantine, Christianity became the dominant religion of the Roman Empire. It remains unclear what caused Constantine to favor Christianity and the event has become known as the Triumph of the Church. During his childhood, Constantine was exposed to a form of Christianity by his mother Helena but wasn’t baptized until shortly before his death. Officially, Constantine and Licinius legalized Christian worship in A.D. 313.

The Sirente crater is a seasonal lake located in central Italy. It’s pretty much in the middle of nowhere. In the late 1990s, the area was studied by Swedish geologist Jens Ormö, who suggested that ridges near the site indicated the crater was formed by a bolide collision. A study performed by the Sirente Crater Group concluded that the lake was created by the impact of a meteor with the force of a small nuclear bomb.

However, other scientists have pointed to a lack of evidence for a collision and hypothesized that the lake was formed by human excavation. The area is littered with small pieces of exploded bombs and grenades, which has caused some to wonder if explosives might have played a factor.

The existence of the Sirente Crater has caused people to re-examine why Constantine converted to Christianity. Jens Ormö has noted that Constantine and his army were once camped only 60 mi (97 km) from the Sirente crater before the Battle of the Milvian Bridge. The coincidence between the two events is speculative, but still interesting.

5 Violet Jessop


Violet Jessop was an ocean liner stewardess that survived three separate disasters on Olympic-class ocean liners, including the sinking of the RMS Titanic. The three ships were the largest and most luxurious boats of the early 20th century, but coincidentally, they experienced horrible accidents early in their careers.

Violet Jessop was an Irish emigrant who worked her first job as a stewardess with the Royal Mail Line on the Orinoco. On June 14, 1911, Jessop was on the RMS Olympic when the boat crashed with the cruiser HMS Hawke. At the time of the accident, the Olympic was the largest civilian liner in the world. It took heavy damage and flooding in the crash, but was able to make it back to Southampton.

On April 10, 1912, Violet boarded the RMS Titanic on the ship’s maiden voyage. Four days later, the boat hit an iceberg and sank in the North Atlantic. During the sinking, Violet was asked to set an example for the people who did not speak English and were having a hard time following directions. She was able to board the 16th lifeboat and given a baby to look after.

After the outbreak of World War I, Jessop worked as a stewardess for the British Red Cross. On November 21, 1916, she was onboard the HMHS Britannic when the ship hit a mine and sank in the Aegean Sea. The Britannic was the largest ship to be lost during World War I, and 30 people died in the tragedy. As the ship went under, Jessop was forced to jump off her lifeboat and was pulled under the water. She hit her head on the ship’s keel, but was able to surface and be rescued. Before the Britannic was lost, Jessop made sure to grab her toothbrush because it was the one item she most missed in the aftermath of her Titanic experience.

4 Eleanor Rigby


“Eleanor Rigby” was released by The Beatles on August 5, 1966, which was a week before the band’s last commercial tour. In 1966, McCartney gave an interview about how he came up with the lyrics for the song. He said that he originally came up with the idea of “Father McCartney” but figured it was inappropriate to use his dad’s name, so looked in the phone book and found “McKenzie.” Ultimately, the name “Father McKenzie” was used in the song’s lyrics.

McCartney came up with the name “Eleanor” from actress Eleanor Bron and “Rigby” from a store in Bristol named Rigby & Evens Ltd, Wine & Spirit Shippers. In 1984, Paul was quoted: “I just liked the name. I was looking for a name that sounded natural.” In the 1980s, a grave was discovered in St. Peter’s Parish Church in Woolton, Liverpool, with the name Eleanor Rigby on it. Even more coincidentally, a few yards from Eleanor’s grave is another tombstone with the last name “McKenzie” on it.

The cemetery is located near the spot where Lennon and McCartney first met, and the two spent a lot of time in the cemetery sunbathing as teenagers. In response to the news that there was a gravestone with the name Eleanor Rigby, McCartney said that he might have been subconsciously influenced by the name on the gravestone. The coincidence is one of the most famous in rock history and gave momentum to the “Paul is dead” conspiracy.

3 Death Of Ahmad Shah Massoud And 9/11


Ahmad Shah Massoud was a military leader in Afghanistan who was assassinated on September 9, 2001—two days before 9/11. At the time of his death, Massoud was the head of the United Islamic Front (Northern Alliance) and strongly opposed the Taliban. He was a central figure in the resistance against the Soviet Union in the 1980s and became a hero in Afghanistan after the war.

On September 9, 2001, two men posing as journalists killed Ahmad Shah Massoud in a suicide bombing. The culprits placed a bomb in a camera and blew it up while meeting with the military leader. One of the assassins died in the explosion, and the other was reportedly shot and killed while trying to flee the scene. Despite an attempt by the Northern Alliance to keep the news quiet, Massoud’s death was almost immediately reported by the BBC and North American news outlets.

Several months before 9/11, Ahmad Shah Massoud gave a speech to the European Parliament that warned against a major terrorist attack in the United States. It is thought that he was murdered by Al-Qaeda to help protect Osama bin Laden and the Taliban in the wake of 9/11. Osama likely felt he could take control of the Northern Alliance with Massoud out of the picture. Al-Qaeda has never taken responsibility for the assassination.

2 Peshtigo And Great Chicago Fires


On October 8, 1871, the Midwestern United States experienced an enormous firestorm that burned 6,100 square kilometers (2,300 sq mi) of land around Peshtigo, Wisconsin. The event is the deadliest fire in US history and killed 1,500 to 2,500 people. On the same day, the United States experienced the Great Chicago Fire, the Port Huron Fire, the Holland Fire, and Manistee Fire.

The 1871 firestorm was caused by strong winds and forest fires. After gaining enough energy, the blaze quickly developed into a massive wall of fire that reached a speed of 160 kph (100 mph) and produced tornado-style winds. The fire was so hot that sandy beaches were turned to glass, and people were incinerated. The fire jumped over the waters of Green Bay and destroyed 12 separate communities in the area. It tossed rail cars and houses into the air and left thousands of people with nothing.

Some 400 kilometers (250 mi) south of Peshtigo, Wisconsin, the city of Chicago experienced one of its largest fires in history on October 8, 1871. The Great Michigan Fire also started on October 8th and burned a large number of cities in the area. When looking over the destruction, some have come to wonder what triggered the fires.

The coincidence has caught the attention of a group of researchers who have proposed that the fires were all started when Comet Biela broke up over the Midwest. Meteorites are not known to start or spread fires, as they are cold to the touch when reaching the ground. However, it has been suggested that the methane in comets could potentially ignite if the object is large enough and hits a dry patch of land that has experienced forest fires. Others have suggested that an airburst over a forest fire–riddled area could cause a massive firestorm. On October 8, 1871, people all over Wisconsin reported seeing a series of spontaneous ignitions, balls of fire, blue flames, and a lack of smoke usually representative of a firestorm.

1 Chelyabinsk Meteor And 2012 DA14


On February 15, 2013, an asteroid entered the Earth’s atmosphere over the southern Ural region of Russia and exploded. The event was witnessed by thousands of people and became the largest known airburst since the 1908 Tunguska event. The blast produced a light brighter than the Sun, and the shock wave was felt by people all over the area. The energy of the explosion was equivalent to 20-30 of the atomic bombs used at Hiroshima.

The asteroid was not detected by the authorities before the airburst, and the event surprised many people. It wounded 1,500 and damaged over 7,000 buildings. The meteor was caught on tape by multiple sources, which shows a giant fireball in the sky—followed by an enormous explosion of light. It was reported that the meteor made the ground hot, and the city smelled like gunpowder after the explosion. The event was an extremely rare occurrence and the only time in history that a meteor has been known to cause human injury.

Approximately 16 hours after the Chelyabinsk Meteor hit Russia, another asteroid named 2012 DA14 came within 27,700 km (17,200 mi) of the surface of Earth. The asteroid gained a new record for the closest passage to Earth for an object of its size (30 meters or 98 ft).

Despite the incredible rarity of the Chelyabinsk Meteor and close approach of DA14, it has been determined that the asteroids are in no way related because they had significantly different orbits. The coincidence is just crazy because the two events are so rare.

fact checked by Jamie Frater