Coincidence Archives - 500 Ways

Gulliver’s Travels

Jonathan Swift wrote a classic book called Gulliver’s Travels that borders on science fiction. It was written before ‘science fiction’ was what you called such books. In this book he wrote about two moons circling Mars. His descriptions of their size and orbital distance weren’t perfect but surprisingly accurate. He did this one hundred years before they were described by astronomers.

Phobos, on of Mars’ two moons

Phobos is roughly the diameter of San Francisco.

A Pig Caused the War of 1812

It is possible that a single pig caused the War of 1812. This pig was always getting into the neighbor’s yard and eating up prized shrubs and flowers. Finally the neighbor got mad and killed the pig with a pitchfork. The pig’s killer was a congressional candidate who lost the election by one vote. This was the vote cast against him by the late pig’s owner presumably because he was upset about the loss of his pig. When the matter of deciding about the war was voted upon, the issue passed by one vote. This was the vote of the candidate who had won the election by one vote.