25 Of The Craziest Historical Coincidences You’ve Ever Heard

Before we get started, these coincidences are not necessarily historically accurate. Their absurdity lends itself to storytelling and exaggeration even if the original story was very much true. In fact, you could even get well reputed historians to argue about the details in many of these cases. But keep in mind, this list isn’t about what actually happened. It’s about what people say actually happened (isn’t all of history anecdotal? Something to think about…). And that can be hard to separate sometimes (just consider how often you’ve disagreed with your friends about things you had all seen with your own two eyes!) But we digress, these are 25 of the of the craziest historical coincidences you’ve ever heard!

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The Blockade Bummer

SMS Cap TrafalgarSource: wikipedia, Image: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sinking_Cap_Trafalgar.jpg

During World War I, the German ship SMS Cap Trafalgar was meant to bust through an allied blockade by disguising itself as a British ship called the HMS Carmania. The first ship it came in contact was…get ready for it…the HMS Carmania.

Historical Accuracy: confirmed


Sister Act

Jennifer BrickerSource: dailymail, Image: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jennifer_Bricker-.jpg#mw-jump-to-license

Jennifer Bricker is an American gymnast who was put up for adoption at birth because she didn’t have any legs. She grew up and developed a love for gymnastics, thanks to her hero, Dominique Moceanu. One day, while Jennifer’s parents were rifling through her adoption papers, they discovered that Jennifer was actually Dominique’s sister (further reading in Dominique’s memoir, Off Balance)

Historical Accuracy: confirmed


Like father, like son

hoover damSource: wikipedia, Image: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hoover_Dam_at_Night.JPG

Of the 112 men that died working on the Hoover Dam, the first was J. G. Tierney on 12/10/1922. Exactly 13 years later on 12/10/1935 the last man died. It was his son, Patrick Tierney. A quick note here: There is some debate as to who died first. This is because the dam’s actual construction started in 1931. In 1922, J.G. Tierney was involved in surveying in order to decide where to build the dam and was not involved in the physical construction of it.

Historical Accuracy: anecdotal


Squanto and his perfect English

first thanksgivingSource: wikipedia, Image: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_First_Thanksgiving_cph.3g04961.jpg

Tisquantum, also known as Squanto, was a Patuxet man that helped the Pilgrims grow crops in the new world. The reason for this is that he spoke fluent English as well as some Spanish due to having been a slave in both England and Spanish North Africa (he had bought his way back to America). Imagine landing in the new world as a Pilgrim and the first person you see speaks your language perfectly.

Historical Accuracy: confirmed (keep in mind, however, that historians can only confirm things based on what people wrote or said)


Ghost Pre-Con

tankSource: wikipedia, Image: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:South_Ossetia_war_58_army.jpg

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon is set during the 2008 Russian invasion of Georgia. The crazy part? The game was released in 2001.

Historical Accuracy: confirmed

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