There are 7,794,798,739 people on the planet as of writing this article.
Someone please explain to me how a connected two or three of that nearly 8 billion person total end up at the same bar chatting with each other.
Perhaps people from similar walks of life--the kinds of people that may be connected enough to have the "small world" moment--live similar lives entirely, end up pursuing the same routes as they search for recreation, a career, or a home.
That hypothesis is helpful insofar as it removes the eerie quality of chance encounters. But it comes at a price: nobody wants to feel that their life is lived along predefined grooves and paths.
Of course, there are other possible ways to account for the "small world" experience. But those have plenty to do with stars aligning and the universe churning just so. That might be even scarier and powerless feeling than the shared life path explanation.
However it happens, it happens. And it happened to these Redditors.
supremesneakers asked, "What is your 'It's a small world' story?"
"I made friends with an American girl at a week long sailing camp when I was 13 (I'm from the uk)."
"5 years later one of my friends moved to America for uni and ends up being her roommate in their shared bedroom."
Not a Doppelganger, But Close
"On holiday in France, hundreds of miles from home. On a deserted beach, dozens of miles from anywhere."
"A man jogs past. He is wearing the club shirt of the amateur football club of my tiny British town, and we have an incredulous conversation."
"A month later, I take my daughter to her first ever day of school. At the gates, I see the same man, who was also taking his daughter for her first day of school, in the same class. Our daughters had the same unusual name too!"
Know That Voice Anywhere
"I had a profoundly flamboyant friend who moved to Chicago. My family took a trip there a few months later."
"I told my sister, 'If you happen to see the gayest man in the world, it's probably my friend Adam.' "
"We were riding the train later that day when my sister said, 'Is that your friend?' Lo and behold..."
Inter-generational Gettin' Around
"In 2005, I tutored Woman A in biology at a local community college."
"In 2006, I met Woman B and we slept together for about 3 months."
"In 2007, I hooked up with Woman C for a few months."
"Woman C turned out to be the daughter of Woman A...who turned out to be the sister of Woman B."
Return Trip With an Early Celebration
"When I was a US Marine deployed in Iraq, my mother got remarried. My then stepfather had a son in the Army, also in Iraq."
"We met, completely by accident, hours before I was flying back to the U.S." -- onlysane1
"I was traveling to Iraq for my second deployment and stopped in Kuwait for a few days before heading on to my final destination. Ran into my brother who was on his way home from Iraq." -- RudeInverse
People of Walmart
"I was air defense in the Army. A small part of the service. I was stationed at a tiny little camp in Korea for a year. I now live in a small down in Florida. One day I'm in line at Wal-Mart and I get a tap on my shoulder."
"Dude in line behind me was my old Supply Sergeant from Korea, he recognized the unit regimental crest on my ball cap. We talked for a second and recognized each other after 20 years out."
A Second Opinion
"In 1999 I had a run-in with a minor celebrity known at the time for being on a TV show. By run-in I mean it would have been a fistfight, but I backed down and GTFO."
"It's 2012, and I'm being hit on at a bar by a woman. We get talking, and swapping funny stories. I tell the story of the TV star fight."
"She asks a bunch of questions. Turns out she had a minor role on that show, circa 1999 - and had played his on-screen girlfriend for 3 or 4 episodes. She really disliked the guy."
It Has All Been Leading to this Bus
"I was taking a Greyhound from Atlanta to Pensacola and a bunch of us younger people were just hanging out chatting."
"Started talking about where were from and find out this one guy was born in the same state as me, then the same city, born in the same hospital, within days of one another."
"We easily could have been in the same maternity ward as infants and randomy ran into each other on a random bus in Georgia."
OR He Was Following You
"I went on a holiday to Vietnam and at Singapore airport I ran into my PE teacher from when I was in year 3 (yes year 3 I'm Aussie)."
"So we're in Singapore airport waiting to get on a plane to go to Ho Chi Minh city. We say hi and get on the plane. My family and I go to Ho Chi Minh for a week and then to Hanoi, which is a 2 hour flight from Ho Chi Minh."
"On my last night in Hanoi I run into my PE teacher again...after 2 weeks..in a city of 11 million people."
Too Much Family Tree to Sift Through
"My sister had been friends with this girl since kindergarten. They were really close and spent a ton of time together. My sister even became good friends with the girl's little half brother."
"Well after several years of this friendship we finally discovered that the friend's half brother was also my sister's half brother."
"The friend's step dad was my sister's biological dad. They'd been friends for 8 years."
Do you have something to confess to George? Text "Secrets" or "" to +1 (310) 299-9390 to talk him about it.