30 Remarkable Real-Life Stories Of Improbable Events

Published 3 weeks ago

Reddit, the internet’s melting pot of diverse communities and discussions, often serves as a platform for sharing stories that range from the mundane to the extraordinary. Recently, one Redditor posed a thought-provoking question to the platform: “What is the most statistically improbable thing that has happened to you?”

The responses that flooded in were a testament to the unpredictability of life and the uncanny coincidences that leave us scratching our heads in disbelief. Here are some of the most intriguing answers that emerged from the thread.

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Image source: Magnetickiwi1, cottonbro studio / pexels

Back in the early 2000s I bought something off the equivalent of Craigslist in my country. I text messaged the seller letting him know I was travelling to his city of more than a million people for work the following Tuesday and I’d arrange to pick it up then. The seller said this was fine.

On Tuesday morning I texted the seller asking what the pickup address was so I could schedule a pick up time. They didn’t get back to me all day so after I had finished my business I started driving back home to my city. I was driving on the highway and had a phone call come through. I looked at the number and didn’t recognise it so I dismissed the call. After a few minutes I realised it might be the seller so I pulled off at the next exit and drove down a couple of streets to find somewhere quiet to park and call them back.

I found a good spot, pulled over and gave the number a call back. Sure enough it was the seller and they had the item with them at work ready for me to pick up. I pulled out a paper map so I could figure out where I was in relation to them and an ETA (this was before Google maps and GPS units). They gave me their address which I found on the map. Then I looked around the car to figure out where I was. I couldn’t believe it. In this city of over a million people, with no prior information of the sellers work address, I was literally parked directly across the road from them.


Image source: CaptnandMaryann, Forest and Kim Starr / flickr

Had a summer job looking for Uranium in the NWT of Canada. The job entailed walking through the woods while using a gamma ray detector to find boulders having Uranium. The theory was if you found a boulder that was “hot” one could traced it back to where it originated and maybe a Uranium mine is found.

One day during a typical survey I found a piece of moss that made the detector absolutely go nuts but no boulder.

Narrowed it down to a piece of moss no bigger than my pinkie finger nail. So I bagged it and flagged the location and went back to camp. Sample was sent to Canada’s Atomic Commission to find out that it was a fleck of radioactive isotope from the Russian Kosmos satellite that hit the eatth near Baker Lake NWT Canada in 1977.

The odds of finding this given the huge area really was statistically improbable.


Image source: Secret_Identity28, Sam Lion / pexels

When I was a teen, I had to re-home my cat due to my family’s financial problems. I was gutted, and cried for a week. Two years later, when I was living on my own, I went to Petsmart and found my cat there, up for adoption. I re-adopted her, and we’ve been together ever since.


Image source: SubtleRapscallion, Azra Tuba Demir / pexels

I was on vacation in Buenos Aires, Argentina and noticed a very distinctive looking couple while eating in a restaurant (think wild hair, tattoos and very unique wardrobe). Thought they looked pretty cool and didn’t think much of it again after that.

Fast forward 7 years and I’m in a Costa coffee in Edinburgh, Scotland…SAME couple is drinking coffee at the table next to me. I couldn’t leave without checking, so I introduced myself, told them my story and turns out they live in Buenos Aires and were on vacation in Scotland. 7 years and a half a world away and we bump into each other is crazy!


Image source: Artai55a, Vlad Chețan / pexels

Was helping my dad spread new soil on our front yard and plant new grass seeds. After spreading the seeds, my dad said that he should have bought hay to cover the grass seeds so the birds don’t eat them. Just after he said this a large speeding truck passed that was carrying bricks of hay and several flew off the truck and tumbled into our yard.


Image source: Low-Stick6746, Anna Shvets / pexels

I was a cashier and a customer coughed on me. I felt the spittle on my face. Of course I got sick. I wound up in the ER with breathing difficulties. They said I had sepsis and if I had waited less than a day to come in I probably would’ve died from it. They did chest imaging and diagnosed me with pneumonia. But they also discovered a 6cm tumor on my spleen that turned out to be an ultra rare cancer that only a few hundred people worldwide have been diagnosed with. I had zero symptoms. No weight loss, zero pain. Absolutely no clue I had huge tumor in my abdomen. The type of cancer I had is caused by a virus. So the pneumonia virus led to a cancer diagnosis caused by a virus.


Image source: nickbarbanera1, Анастасия Триббиани / pexels

Tbh being alive. I was born 26 weeks one of triplets (the only one to survive). My mother said doctors would literally come into the hospital room daily saying either (i would die soon, or if stayed alive wouldn’t walk, have brain damage etc). I was in an incubator for quite awhile as soon as i came out. I came home my original due date. Long story short through surgeries, therapy etc i’m now 25…with mild CP and work with adults with disabilities.


Image source: Western-Sky88, Pixabay / pexels

When I was 8, my dad took a picture of me in a private jet at an air show.

16 years later, I was hired to fly a private jet. At some point, my boss saw the photo from when I was 8 in Facebook and said, “What were you doing in our jet?”

It had been dramatically repainted, but I had been hired to fly the same jet that my dad took a photo of me in.


Image source: BaulsJ0hns0n86, FBO Media / pexels

Driving down a backroad in the middle of nowhere.

Get a flat tire.

Guy walks out of the bush with his dog.

Helps me out, asks for a ride back to town.

Start talking. Turns out we know some of the same people. Turns out dude was a distant cousin.


Image source: GadgetQueen, nappy / pexels

Took us 27 hours to drive from Houston to Dallas, which is normally a 3.5 hour drive. Everything, and I mean everything that could go wrong did go wrong. It’s a story I will tell my grandchildren.

Edit: I was lazy and didn’t want to type it all…but here’s a summary…our new car broke down an hour into the drive because we put too much stress on the engine too soon, drove back to Houston to get another car, started again, that car broke down 1.5 hours later. Had to get it towed to some sketchy roadside shop, got it fixed, got on the road again, stopped to get gas, our dog escaped the car and was running around in the pitch black wilderness, took forever for local PD and us to find her, started again, got pulled over because my boyfriend was swerving (he wasn’t drunk, he was exhausted…), got on the road again, some crazy fog rolled in and everyone had to pull off the side of the road because it wasn’t safe to drive, while we were pulled off to wait for fog to pass, an 18 wheeler slammed into the back of us and totaled the car…I could go on and on and on…we finally made it into Dallas 27 hours later, slept through our event that we even went for…and had to rent a car to get back home…It’s been 10 years and we STILL laugh about that god forsaken trip to Dallas. We have never visited Dallas again…f**k that.


Image source: OfficialAbsoluteUnit, Beyzaa Yurtkuran / pexels

I was sitting on a park bench leaning backwards, stretching, and feeling the grass on the elevated land behind me. I randomly picked a plant. Person I was with: “you got a 4 leaf clover!”, and I was like “oh they must all be like that”. I assumed it was some random plant cluster that all looked like 4 leaf clovers and I was wrong, I totally blindly backwards grabbed a 4 leaf clover on a random park bench.


Image source: ArcticGurl, Julianna / pexels

Lost my class ring outside of school. About a year later I went to a beach about an hour away (I rarely went there as others are much closer). Was washing my hands in the restroom and sitting on the side of the sink was a ring that looked like mine. I checked the name inside, it read *ArcticGurl* ?


Image source: Ok-Bus1716, Karolina Grabowska / pexels

In college a couple of my buddies wanted to go see a dollar movie. Stopped at a gas station to put a few dollars in (I was hella broke) and my buddy offered to buy me a Dr Pepper. I looked down, half in embarrassment/half in pondering) and I saw a $50 bill laying in a box of candy bars and I said ‘nah I’ll pay for yours.’ Filled my tank up, bought a few sodas and some candy and we went on our way.

After the movie they were hungry so we stopped at a Perkins. I didn’t quite have enough to get an appetizer so I just planned on mooching some fries. Waitress came out and said ‘the guy over there ordered this but decided he didn’t want it. Anyone here want it?’ I raised my hand. So I got to eat for free.

Got back to school. Sat down to start marking my finals, on a white board, for the upcoming week and started freaking out. Per my syllabus, I had a final the next day and hadn’t studied at all. Did my best to cram but was exhausted the following morning. Walked in to class and sat down. Professor’s wife walked in, about 10 minutes after class was supposed to start and said he was sick, class was cancelled and we’d take the final the following week.

Was a helluva 24 hour period for me.

Definitely would have purchased a lottery ticket if we had them at the time but alas…


Image source: lologblamme, Ketut Subiyanto / pexels

I am from Denmark.
Traveled to the US.
Doing a roadtrip on the west Coast.
Going to San Diego, finding a bar in gaslight district.
At the table next to me sits a girl from my class from elementary/primary school.
My mind refused to believe it. I simply thought I saw her doubledgaenger until she also recognized me.

Same country, same state, same city, same street, same bar, at the next table at the exact same moment l. It is still something than messes with me.


Image source: i_know_tofu, Artyom Kulakov / pexels

Drove my car off a cliff (easily 60 degree angled embankment) on a gnarly logging road, and it careened 60-70 feet down into a gully. The car bounced between trees all the way down, in a narrow alley of no trees. The roof caved in, the driver’s door was crushed, the passenger side of the hood was demolished…and I didn’t have a scratch. That narrow alley without trees meant none came through the windshield to impale me or crush me. It existed because a young woman had driven her van off the road the week before in the exact same spot, clearing the trees. She did not survive.


Image source: lilstarzz, suLcideee / reddit

Geoguessr dropped me outside of my house


Image source: RabiesInRemission, Ketut Subiyanto / pexels

I’m a dude in his mid-40’s. A few years ago, I was running on a trail at a national park near where I lived at the time, and suddenly heard some hiker randomly yell out “hey u/rabiesinremission!” I looked up and it was one of my buds from high school, whom I hadn’t seen in two decades. We were 760 miles from our hometown and I was floored by the infinitesimally minute probability of just bumping into this guy, in the woods, halfway across the United States from where we grew up. One of the nicest conversations I’ve ever had thanks to the unlikeliest coincidence.


Image source: coffeeinvenice, Anastasia Shuraeva / pexels

My one and only time hitchhiking.

It was in college. The semester was over, so for the fun of it, I thought I’d try hitchhiking home. This was a long time ago, in both a time and a part of my country where hitchhiking was safe.

I get picked up two times, then let off just outside of a mid-sized town in the middle of my province (in Canada). I’m like 18, and this guy in his 40s, heavyset, dressed like a train driver picks me up.

We’re driving for about 20 minutes. Driver looks like he doesn’t talk much.

Suddenly he asks me, “What’s your name?”

I say, “AAAAA BBBB”.

He turns his head and stares at me.

“MY name is AAAAA BBBB!!”

Well, we’re off. I knew I had distant relatives from that part of the province, so we both start rattling off names of family members trying to figure out if we are related, and how. We talked nonstop for two hours.

He lets me out just outside the next town, we wave goodbye. Never saw him again.


Image source: TheScarletPimple, Pixabay / pexels

Watched my wife get struck by lightning. We were dating at the time.

She had a summer life-guard job, but a thunderstorm came up. Drove over to pick her up. Watched the last kid and their mom drive off. She was starting to lock the pool gate when lightning struck her, the gate, and the pool pump house. She flew backwards 10 feet without even touching the ground and landed on some grass. I got out of the car, ran over, and helped her up. She was shaking all over, jittering as she walked to the car.

I saw the whole thing from inside the car, including the flash and (at that distance) instantaneous “crack” (not a “boom”, a “crack”). There were loud noises and sparks coming out of the pump house, so I threw the breakers outside to off, then locked the pool up and drove her home. She shook like that for 10 minutes non-stop.


Image source: A-Aron0118999, cottonbro studio / pexels

After university, I went on a trip to Europe. On my last night before flying home, I went down to the lobby of my hostel to get an alarm clock. At that exact moment, a friend of mine walked into the lobby. Neither of us had mentioned to each other that we were going to Europe that summer. But we ended up in the same city, staying at the same hostel, and entering the lobby in the same window of minutes.


I was walking my dog around the neighborhood, our usual evening walks however it leads to the main road and my bf said no lets go the other way today. I was like ok sure, then suddenly as we are crossing the street a speeding car full of teenagers loses control and crashes onto were we could have been. Divine intervention.. it’s still crazy to think about.

Image source: Icy-Establishment370


Image source: PotatoFrites, Daian Gan / pexels

I was at a Brooklyn art fair and some painting caught my eye. I looked closer, and it was a portrait of the inside of a coffee house I used to study at in college—in Minneapolis.



Picking the slowest checkout lane in the grocery store every single time for the last 15 or so years.

Image source: PM_Me_Your_Vagina1


Image source: lokeilou, Jonathan Borba / pexels

All three of my children were born on one of their great grandparents birthdays.


Image source: KailuaCarpenter96734, cottonbro studio / pexels

My mother donated my older sister‘s handmade high school pottery vase to our churches thrift store in Southern California before we move to Hawaii. Six years later, my mother sees it for sale in a for-profit thrift store called savers on Oahu. She bought it and put it back on our shelf. We Still could see my sister’s name carved underneath.


Image source: HoldComprehensive808, Ron Lach / pexels

I lost my driver’s license on a work trip in a different state than where I was living. Moved from the address and apartment on my driver’s license. 3 years later moved back to the same apartment complex different apartment and in the mail room throwing all my junk mail in the large trash can in said room.  Saw the envelope on top in the trash can had my name on it but different address.  Opened it and my lost driver’s license from 3 years ago nothing else in the envelope.


Image source: h2opolodude4, RDNE Stock project / pexels

I was going through a rough patch, and on Valentine’s Day in 2002 I was at work and we ordered Chinese takeout. My fortune cookie had an inspiring saying in it, so I kept the little slip of paper.

Exactly 10 years later, I had made a major, life altering decision and was second guessing myself. I was also 1500 miles away from home, alone, on Valentine’s Day, sitting in a Chinese restaurant. I got the exact same fortune in the cookie at the end of the meal.

I’ve got both little slips of paper together in an envelope. One of the more interesting things I own.


Image source: OMEGA__AS_FUCK, Pavel Danilyuk / pexels

Not me but I knew a woman whose husband died of a rare form of brain cancer in his 30’s. She eventually moves on, meets a new guy, remarries….and he dies of another rare kind of brain cancer before he’s 50. I can’t even imagine how that might f**k someone up. Losing two spouses to brain cancer like that, and so young.


Image source: Waterproofbooks, Absolute Charm Absolute Charm / pexels

My first time going to the horse track, I didn’t know what I was doing and was just betting similarly to my bf (same type of bet, but picked my own horses). 3rd race in I was betting a box superfecta for $0.50, (that’s where you pick 4 horses, and the “box” parts means the order they finish doesn’t matter as long as they’re 1-4) so a $12 dollar total. I got up to the betting window and one of the horses I had planned to pick was a scratch so I
just randomly picked a horse cause I liked the name. My 4 horses came in 1st-4th and I won ~$3700.


Image source: Bigkahunafishfry, Jonathan Cutrer / flickr

Won $50 from a scratch-off, cashed it out, and was literally mugged outside of the store. First time I ever bought a scratch-off & first time I was ever mugged. Needless to say I never bought another one.

Saumya Ratan

Saumya is an explorer of all things beautiful, quirky, and heartwarming. With her knack for art, design, photography, fun trivia, and internet humor, she takes you on a journey through the lighter side of pop culture.

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anomalies, improbable things, rare coincidence, rare things, statistical anomalies, statistically improbable
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