December 5 might just go down as one of history's most coincidental days ever.
On that date in 1664, a ship sank in the Menai Strait, located off the coast of North Wales. 80 passengers died -- there was only one survivor, a man named Hugh Williams.
That same day in 1785, another shipwreck occurred in the same strait. Once again, all passengers died except for a man by the name of Hugh Williams.
By now it should come as no surprise that yet again in 1820, a third ship lost its battle against the sea, leaving only one survivor. His name? Hugh Williams.
Is all of this the result of pure coincidence, or is something else to blame?video-player-present
While there appears to be a clear connection between the Menai Strait and men named Hugh Williams, the coincidence might not be as sensational as you think.
The Menai Strait is known for its rough waters year-round, but during the winter months, especially in early December, they can be unbelievably uneasy, and the weather is quite gloomy and rainy. Given this, and the fact that the strait is heavily trafficked, it should come as no surprise that it has seen its fair share of shipwrecks. It is believed that during the 200-year span between the three notable shipwrecks, there were upwards of 300 reported wrecks in the strait.
Now that you know about the Menai's shipwreck potential, let's talk about those three survivors being named Hugh Williams. The last name Williams is quite prevalent in much of Wales, as is the first name Hugh. The fact that the survivors all shared the same name is thus nothing more than an odd coincidence. A simple web search of my own name reveals that there are at least 10 people in my home state who share it.
(via The Scuttlefish)