34 Statistically Improbable Life Experiences That Left People Feeling Shaken, Shocked, And Downright Dazed

Reddit user u/ObjectiveRude156 posed the question: "What is the most statistically improbable thing that has happened to you?" The thread quickly filled with hundreds of eerie, shocking, and highly unlikely stories. Here's what people shared:

1."I 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 were much closer). I 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, and it was mine."


2."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."


White cat with striking eyes looking directly at the camera, sitting inside a cage
Mariia Zotova / Getty Images

3."It took us 27 hours to drive from Houston to Dallas, which is normally a three-and-a-half hour drive. Everything, and I mean everything, that could've gone wrong did go wrong. It's a story I will tell my grandchildren. 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. We drove back to Houston to get another car, started again, and that car broke down one-and-a-half hours later. We had to get it towed to some sketchy roadside shop, got it fixed, got on the road again, and stopped to get gas. Our dog escaped the car and was running around in the pitch-black wilderness. It took forever for us and the local police to find her. We started again, then got pulled over because my boyfriend was swerving (he wasn't drunk, he was exhausted)."

"We got on the road again, and some major fog rolled in, so everyone had to pull off to the side of the road because it wasn't safe to drive. While we were pulled off to wait for the 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 there 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. Screw that."


4."A full-grown moth went inside my nose while riding my scooter. As soon as it went in, I felt something in my nose, but I wasn't sure what. I immediately started breathing heavily so it would come out. I took the scooter to the roadside and closed my right nostril with my finger, then blew out of my left nostril as forcefully as I could. I saw the moth fly away from my nose like a launch pad from the left nostril. I was disgusted and didn't know what to do, but everything felt back to normal immediately."


A moth resting on a glass window with a blurred background
Crispin La Valiente / Getty Images

5."I had a summer job looking for uranium in the Northwest Territories of Canada. The job entailed walking through the woods while using a gamma ray detector to find boulders containing uranium. The theory was if you found a boulder that was 'hot,' one could trace it back to where it originated, and maybe a uranium mine would be found. One day, during a typical survey, I found a piece of moss that made the detector go absolutely nuts, but no boulder. I narrowed it down to a piece of moss no bigger than my pinkie finger nail. So, I bagged it, flagged the location, and went back to camp. The sample was sent to Canada's Atomic Commission, and we find out that it was a fleck of radioactive isotope from the Russian Kosmos satellite that hit the earth near Baker Lake in the Northwest Territories in Canada in 1977. The odds of finding this, given the huge area, really was statistically improbable."


6."My one and only time hitchhiking 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 got 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 picked 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, [first name last name].' He turns his head and stares at me. 'MY name is [same first name last name].' 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 waved goodbye, and I never saw him again."


Person hitchhiking by raising thumb on a rural road with trees and hills in the background
Ville Keskitalo / Getty Images/500px

7."I lost my driver's license while on a work trip in a different state. I then moved from the address and apartment listed on my driver's license. Three years later, I moved back to the same apartment complex (different apartment), and I was in the mail room throwing all my junk mail in the large trash can in said room. I saw the envelope on top in the trash can had my name on it, but a different address. I opened it, and it was my lost driver's license from three years ago — nothing else in the envelope."


8."I had my wallet in my apartment, as I had ordered something online. I walked to the store, and the wallet was not in my bag. I thought I must've left it on my desk. I walk home, and it's not on the desk. I spent an hour tearing the apartment apart. Nothing. Later that night, while at a game night with friends, the police call. They have my wallet. It was found three kilometers down the way from anywhere I had been since I had last had it. When I got it back, it was beat to hell, but everything was still there."


A wallet lies on a road with a blurred person walking away in the distance
Erik Isakson / Getty Images/Tetra images RF

9."I was on vacation in Buenos Aires, Argentina and noticed a very distinctive-looking couple while eating in a restaurant (wild hair, tattoos, and very unique wardrobes). I thought they looked pretty cool, but I didn’t think much of it again after that. Fast-forward seven years, and I’m in a Costa Coffee in Edinburgh, Scotland. The SAME couple was drinking coffee at the table next to me. I couldn’t leave without checking, so I introduced myself and told them my story. Turns out they live in Buenos Aires and were on vacation in Scotland. Seven years later and half a world away, we bumped into each other!"


10."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. The person I was with goes, 'You got a four-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 four-leaf clovers, but I was wrong. I totally blindly, and while backwards, grabbed a four-leaf clover on a random park bench."


A hand holding a four-leaf clover
Alexandra Pavlova / Getty Images

11."I was stationed with a guy in Japan who was originally from Sierra Leone. I transferred to another base in DC and lived in a condo complex in northern VA. One of my neighbors was a cousin of the guy I was stationed with in Japan."


12."When I was a little kid, probably about 6 or 7, I painted a small heart with nail polish on the shell of a box turtle I found. Fast-forward a few years. I was about 16 and was sighting in my hunting rifle when I noticed something moving down-range of me. I lived in the same holler, but at a different house a couple miles away from where I used to live. I went to move it out of the way after I realized it was a turtle. I picked the little guy up and saw the faded heart I drew all those years ago still on his shell in the exact same spot. I went and fed him a few slices of tomato and sent him on his way."


Person holding a small tortoise with both hands, tortoise extending its head and limbs outward
Compassionate Eye Foundation / Getty Images

13."I drove my car off a cliff (easily a 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 that 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."


14."I bought and moved into a house that was one of seven in a culdesac. Getting to know the neighbors, I discovered four of the homeowners shared the same birthday as me. That made me the fifth out of seven in the circle. The first house directly across the street from the circle made it six of eight homes with owners sharing the same birthday."


Suburban street view with four houses, driveways and manicured lawns under a clear sky
Georgeclerk / Getty Images

15."I was driving down a backroad in the middle of nowhere and got a flat tire. A guy walks out of the bush with his dog and helps me out, then asks for a ride back to town. We started talking, and it turns out we knew some of the same people. Well, turns out the dude was a distant cousin."


16."I transferred within the post office to a new facility after 10 years. My first night working there, I opened a tray of mail that contained only one letter. It was a birthday card to a person with the same name as a guy who had been my best friend in college 10 years prior. I hadn’t spoken to him in nearly a decade, and I remember wondering if it was the same person (somewhat common name in my area). I got back to work, and a few hours later, the letter carriers started arriving to start their shifts. I said something to another clerk, and a letter carrier recognized me. Turns out it was the friend from college. He had become a letter carrier eight years prior to that day. I asked if he had a birthday coming up, and he said it was his birthday that day."


Two blue USPS mailboxes side by side on a sidewalk
Catherine Mcqueen / Getty Images

17."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 another 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 six-centimeter 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, no pain. I absolutely had no clue I had a 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."


18."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 I was second-guessing myself. I was also 1,500 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. It's one of the more interesting things I own."


Fortune cookie cracked open with visible paper fortune on a textured surface
Clandestini / Getty Images/Westend61

19."I was at a Brooklyn art fair when 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."


20."All three of my children were born on one of their great-grandparents' birthdays."


A birthday cake with lit candles and "Happy Birthday" icing text
Charles Gullung / Getty Images

21."I’m a dude in his mid-40s. A few years ago, I was running on a trail at a national park near where I lived at the time, and suddenly, I heard some hiker randomly yell out my name. 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, all thanks to the unlikeliest coincidence."


22."I watched my wife get struck by lightning. We were dating at the time. She had a summer lifeguard job, but a thunderstorm came up. I drove over to pick her up and 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 back 10 feet without even touching the ground, then 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) the 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 nonstop."


Lightning bolt striking over cityscape under stormy skies
Wong Yu Liang / Getty Images

23."I am from Denmark and traveled to the US to do a roadtrip on the west coast. I was in San Diego and found a bar. 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 doppelgänger until she also recognized me. Same country, same state, same city, same street, same bar, at the next table over at the exact same moment. It's still something than messes with me."


24."I 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 and first time I was ever mugged. Needless to say, I never bought another one."


Person scratching a lottery ticket with a coin
Tetra Images / Getty Images/Tetra images RF

25."I was waiting for Lyft to assign me a driver for my ride. Since the wait was too long, I decided to try Uber instead. At the same time, I got a notification from both apps. Turns out that I was assigned the same driver on both apps!"


26."I 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've bought hay to cover the grass seeds so the birds wouldn't eat them. Just after he said this, a large speeding truck passed by that was carrying bales of hay, and several flew off the truck and tumbled into our yard."


Two stacked bales of hay isolated on a white background
Creativ Studio Heinemann / Getty Images/Westend61

27."I met a guy in Ireland who raved about a restaurant a few blocks away from where I live, over 4,000 miles away."


28."My mother donated my older sister's handmade high school pottery vase to our church's thrift store in southern California before we moved to Hawaii. Six years later, my mother saw the same vase for sale in a for-profit thrift store called Savers on Oahu. She bought it and put it back on our shelf. We could still see my sister’s name carved underneath."


Ceramic vase with two-tone glaze, upper portion in purplish hue transitioning to a bluish-green lower section
Tjhunt / Getty Images

29."I nearly died three times on August 26th. Head injury when I was 5, bacterial meningitis when I was 10, and a motorcycle crash when I was 20. Bonus points for my ex-wife, who just HAD to file for divorce when I was 41 on, you got it, August 26th."


30."I made (and sadly lost by holding on too long) $10 million on a $150k investment."


Scattered US 100 dollar bills
Alfexe / Getty Images

31."I was in college and decided to take a random trip to the beach, which was three hours away from home. Think like going down to the Jersey Shore from NY. My buddies and I rented a house for the weekend, and everything was good. One night, I decided to go for a walk on the beach; it was probably 1:00 a.m. I was walking in the pitch black, smoking, just minding my business, when I heard two girls' voices somewhere in the dark. As I walked by, I hear someone yell my name, and the two girls came running up to me. It was two of my ex-girlfriends: one I dated in high school, and the other, my freshman year of college."

"They ended up meeting at some point in time and became friends, and neither of them knew the other dated me. I haven't spoken to either of these girls in years. They both decided to take a random trip to the shore that weekend, too, and the house they rented was a mile down from the one I was in. We ended up all hanging out for a few days, and it was a good time. I haven't spoken to either of them since."


32."I've been stung by a scorpion (and bitten by a snake and stung by a bee) and also a brown recluse, which landed me in the hospital, where I had an allergic reaction to sulfa antibiotics."


Spider positioned inside a glass container
Joao Paulo Burini / Getty Images

33."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 entered the lobby in the same window of minutes."


34.And: "I have been hit in the head by live squirrels three times in my life, each on separate occasions."


Close-up of a squirrel peeking from behind a tree trunk
Zen Rial / Getty Images

What's the most statistically improbable thing that's ever happened to you? Tell us in the comments! 👀

Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.