Tell Us: What’s the Strangest Coincidence You’ve Experienced?

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

“Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous”—so goes an apocryphal quote that has been attributed sometimes to Albert Einstein, sometimes to Doris Lessing, though it was probably said by neither. But when the threads of someone’s life collide in surprising ways, they have a choice: write it off as random chance, or look for a deeper meaning.

While a single coincidence on its own may be incredibly unlikely, statistics tells us that unlikely things happen all the time. When you consider the seven billion people on the planet crossing paths with each other, all thinking things and interacting with their environment, of course every once in a while, someone will think of a song only to have it come on the radio, or run into their ex on vacation halfway across the world.

For a story I’m writing about coincidences, I’d like to hear about yours—the strange and wonderful and spooky moments where you’ve thought, “What are the chances of that?” Email your stories to, and please keep them under 300 words, since, if the callout for my story on adulthood is any indication, we will have hundreds of your emails to sort through. And please let us know if you’re willing to have your name printed with your story, or if you’d like to remain anonymous.