"It's a Small World after all..." I can't get that song out of my head now. I believe wholeheartedly in the small world "theory" or kismet, fate, whatever we want to call it. Sometimes you find yourself face to face with someone you'd never thought you'd see again and you can't help but think... "8 billion people in the world... and I see YOU?" The world is large is mass but can be small in scope.

Redditor u/TheBicelator wanted us all to discuss those life moments that seem inexplicable by asking... What was your "wow, this really is a small world" moment?


I run into people I've seen before all the time, I call it a revival encounter. Now I've always lived in highly populated/transient places, such as New York City and South Florida, so I'm accustomed to the coincidence of seeing a familiar face from anywhere. But that doesn't mean it's still not fascinating to understand how we ended up in another random moment.

Eh Oh Eh

happy hour drinking GIF by Barstool SportsGiphy

Live in Canada, I used to travel for work. I went to the UK, landed in London and rented a car to drive to the job. Stopped at a highway rest stop on the M1 and got some McDonalds, went outside and ran in to my next door neighbour from Canada.


Happy Birthday

Driving through France in the middle of the night, stopped at a service station and the friend I was travelling with noticed we'd pulled up next to a colleague of his.


The odds of meeting a specific person you know in a distant land just randomly are pretty slim, the odds of you meeting anyone you know in a distance land are low but much much higher if still low.

Its a similar scenario to the Birthday Paradox, in that paradox while there is only a 1/365 chance (ignoring leap days) that two individual people share a birthday all you need is 23 people to have a 50% chance of any of them sharing a birthday.


bar time

When I was in the military I had a roommate during our mechanic school training. The training after boot camp. He got stationed in California and I got stationed in Hawaii. Three years later I went to Washington state on leave and decided to pop up to Vancouver for the weekend, I go in to a bar and there's my old roommate. His family is from Canada but from the east coast, they traveled to Vancouver for vacation, and and he took time off to go see them since it was cheaper to fly there and all the way back home.


I See Everybody

Red Carpet Star GIF by RegalGiphy

My dad used to travel 4 days out of the week for nearly 10 years. He has a lot of crazy stories from those times.

Sitting next to famous people, staying at the same hotel as a few presidential candidates, sitting next to the CEO of a company he was trying to sell product to. You do it long enough it just happens.


Gina? Is that you girl?

On my honeymoon I ran into my high school girlfriend at a resort in the Caribbean.

One evening my wife was taking a nap so I thought that I would just go out on the balcony and take in the view. I look over to my left, and there was Gina. I had not seen or spoken to Gina in at least 8 years at that time.

Turns out ha she was there on her honeymoon as well. So it is a pretty small world when your high school girlfriend is in the next room over and you are both pretty far from home on your honeymoon.



I've spent years waiting tables so I have come across probably... a million faces. And I sometimes end up coming face to face with the most memorable. And often they're not memorable in a good way. But thankfully this thread is more a positive tale about humanity. It's also proof that time is always fleeting.

50 Years Later

My dad was South African. Had his own business. One day a new customer came in, who was also South African, from the same city, roughly of a similar age. So they got talking, " did you go to so and so place, did you know so and so person... etc.

A few hours later, this customer returns & asks for my dad. "Look," he says, "I went home, dug around, and found this. It's an old photo of a birthday party.

"It's a group photo, in black & white ( was probably about 1935) of some boys, maybe 10 years old, all posed nicely for the camera. " That" he says pointing to one of them, " is me. And that," pointing to another," is you!!"

This man had once, and only once, met my father, 50 years earlier, on another continent, and had a photo of the event.


On the Ranch

When I was about 8 I was at a dude ranch with my family. We were waiting in line for horses and the couple behind us is having a conversation. Suddenly my mom turns around and goes "MARYLIN???" It was her best friend from high school. Ranch was in Arizona, we lived in NJ, Marylin lived in North Carolina, mom and Marylin had gone to school in DC. We had a really fun time hanging out the rest of the vacation and they're still in touch!


The Family Guy

kill myself peter griffin GIF by Family GuyGiphy

All the Dutch people that moved to Canada around the war know each other.

I'll meet a complete stranger and as soon as I hear they have Dutch grandparents I can guarantee we'll find a connection. I moved to Amsterdam and a total stranger told me they had family in Canada. Sure enough, I knew the family.


It's been YOU all along...

My wife and I lived in the same county (260,000 population roughly), but did not go to any schools together or anything like that. We connected in our late 20's through a mutual friend.

When I proposed, my mom and her mom ended up meeting obviously. My mom recognized her mom and told me she was pretty sure my fiancé and I had been preschool classmates.

Lo and behold, my mom digs through a bunch of pictures and finds the preschool class photo, locates me in the photograph and guess who is directly next to me in the photo? My now-wife.

We printed out an enlarged copy of the photo and displayed it at our wedding reception.


Cut to Now

don't leave home ghost GIFGiphy

During my childhood, I moved around a lot. From ages 6-13 i lived in this one house but unfortunately we had to move.

I loved that house despite all the family arguing and other stuff while growing up. Cut to now, I'm 26. My bf and I are talking to his family friends at a small party last week. Turns out they now live in my childhood home and they claim its haunted.


The Puker

My friend and her husband. She and her then boyfriend were serious enough that they introduced their parents to each other. Their moms instantly recognized each other as they had been friendly as parents when their kids were in preschool together.

Something triggered a memory in my friend, and she turned to her boyfriend and said "wait, you're the one who puked all over the toys that one time!" They hadn't put two and two together because they'd never talked about where they had gone to preschool.



My wife was born in the state of California. In a hospital that technically no longer exists (it burned down and got rebuilt). She was born with a heart murmur.

About 24 years later, she's at college getting her masters degree in Vermont. While doing her masters degree, a nurse from California spoke to her class. Telling them about a familiar case of heart mumur in a new born infant.

How one of the hardest pieces of the job is you never know what happened after patients with problems like that leave the hospital.

It was my wife's case she was talking about. She ended up getting to speak to the nurse after her presentation. The nurse who was instrumental in her birth.


Down the Block

I lived in a house from when I was 9 to 18 in the 80s & 90s. Moved a bunch as a kid but definitely spent my formative years in that house. A few months ago, I was talking to a potential client, mentioned I grew up in that neighborhood. He said that was where he lived now. Then I said what block, what house number? Turns out he lives in my old house. He's the second owner after my parents sold it. He said once Covid is over he said I'm welcome to come check it out, which I happily will take him up on.


Numbers don't Lie

I was working in a call center and I needed a caller's Social Security Number. He gave it to me and I said " No, yours...not mine" . Then it dawned on me that his SSN was the same as mine... but with 2 numbers reversed. We were born the same day- In the same hospital.



travel backpacking GIF by The Yeti AdventuresGiphy

I was in a backpackers hostel in Lesotho and I ran into a guy I knew from my hometown in The Netherlands.



My fiancee and I were buying tickets for a Rammstein concert. It took forever because they were selling out so fast so we were clicking a ton until we got two.

A few hours later we called a friend to see if they happened to get their tickets and they did.

When we told each other where our seats were....they are sitting directly next to us. The stadium is huge, no clue how the hell that happened.

Damn COVID.... I wanna see my boys!

With thousands of seats it blows my mind how it's possible. Though we are friends the friends coming always do their own thing (why we didn't buy them all together). Pretty awesome, sad the show hasn't happened yet. Hope the Metallica concert was awesome and you all had fun!!


When in Japan...

I studied abroad in Japan for a year and had a really interesting small world moment. When I arrived, I signed up to get a host family, which was randomly assigned. I spent holidays and weekends with them mostly, it was a family of 4. Eventually I met the sister of my host-mom, who spoke near-perfect English, and she started asking about my life in the US, my family, where I was from. It turned out she had, about 15 years prior, lived in the same small town in Minnesota I was from because she was going to medical school in a nearby city.

Not only that, but at the time my dad was a contractor for the school in the nearby city, he did installation of stained glass windows. The sister of my host mom remembered watching my dad install windows when she was studying there, a full 15 years before I showed up in Japan.



My husband's mum & my mum were really good friends in high school but lost touch over the years... in 2002 I met my now husband at bowling when I was 14 and he was 15 (we went to different schools)... blew my mind when we discovered the connection, I even used to deliver Christmas cards to their house every year with my dad... Almost 18 years later and our mums now share 3 grandkids!


I Know You

twins yes GIFGiphy

Left a job to go to the other side of the country and work somewhere else. Ended up working with the identical twin of the guy I'd worked with at the old job.


Out of Florida

I flew to Florida, 2.5 years ago, to go scuba diving. First time traveling in awhile specifically for a scuba trip, traveling alone. Get on the plane to come home Monday morning early, sit down, start prepping my head phones and music for the flight, when I hear an awfully familiar voice.

It took me like 5 minutes to prairie dog to check it out (socially awkward introvert present!), to find that my uncle is seated 2 rows directly behind me.

He doesn't live in Florida. And he doesn't live in my home state either. He just happened to be on that particular flight going from one to the other for work.


At Uni

bored matthew perry GIF by Nick At NiteGiphy

I was at university in another city. Found home, and found out that my soon-to-be-roommate was the classmate sitting next to me in high school, whom I had lost contact with.



8 billion people and we can still end up on a surprise safari with a neighbor. I have to believe fate plays a part. Can we honestly say life is that random? Maybe we'll never know. Until then... y'all have my picture, see you on a roller coaster in Bali. ;)


Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.