There is a strange, unexplainable phenomenon that plagues the stock market. It’s called the ‘Ting Hai Effect’. There is a huge and a very sudden drop in the stock market whenever a film or tv series starring Hong Kong actor Adam Cheng is released. If this is the strangest thing you have ever heard, you are not alone. It may seem completely crazy but it is true.
The stock market is an enormous global beast that constantly goes up or goes down. And as to which direction it will go in the future is determined by millions of socio-economic and political factors. Many of the world’s greatest mathematicians and analysts have spent years attempting to accurately predict the stock market. All of them have failed.
Sudden drops in the stock market are generally caused by major news releases. The release of a film or a tv show should have no effect whatsoever on the market. Despite this, on the 5th of October 1992, the first episode of a TV series called ‘The Greed of Man’ starring hong kong actor Adam Cheng was aired on TV. The Hang Seng Index which measures the combined strength of Hong Kong’s stock markets fell by 600 points. Two years later, ‘Instinct’ made its TV debut starring Adam Cheng. The Hang Seng Index fell by over 2000 points. Three years later, Adam Cheng stars in ‘Once Upon A Time in Shanghai’ and yet again, the index fell by 300 points.
Over the course of 25 years, this happened time and time again. This phenomenon has been speculated upon by stockbrokers for decades. Not one has been able to explain the true cause but some investors argue the first one or two occurrences were pure coincidences. And, it has since become a self-fulfilling prophecy. When a great number of people believe something to be true even if it is not, they can actually make it happen through their subsequent actions. Owing to this Ting Hai effect, now whenever a film or show starring Adam Cheng is released, it becomes great news especially among financial investors because they are expecting a drop in the stock market upon the release. They could actually be fulfilling this prophecy and making it happen themselves through their investments. Thus, a one-time coincidence had turned into a regularly occurring phenomenon.
When a great number of people believe something to be true even if it is not, they can actually make it happen through their subsequent actions. Owing to this Ting Hai effect, now whenever a film or show starring Adam Cheng is released, it becomes great news especially among financial investors because they are expecting a drop in the stock market upon the release. They could actually be fulfilling this prophecy and making it happen themselves through their investments. Thus, a one-time coincidence had turned into a regularly occurring phenomenon.
Thus, a one-time coincidence had turned into a regularly occurring phenomenon.
Let’s take another example. This tale of coincidence is among two American presidents, Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy. The timelines of their individual lives are so unbelievably similar to each other that many people have a hard time believing that it is just a coincidence.
Firstly, Abraham Lincoln was elected to Congress in 1846. John F. Kennedy was elected to Congress in 1946, precisely 100 years later. Then, Lincoln was elected President in 1860. Kennedy was elected President in 1960, again, exactly 100 years apart. Then, both Presidents and their wives lost their children whilst living in the White House. Brace yourself as it gets even weirder. Both Presidents were shot in the back of their heads on a Friday and in the presence of their wives. Lincoln was shot in the Ford’s Theatre and Kennedy was shot while riding on a Lincoln made by Ford.
When it comes to presidential coincidences, there is something odd going on with their hands. 10% of the population is left-handed but that percentage is massively skewed when it comes to US Presidents. 50% of the previous 12 Presidents were left-handed, thus 5 times higher than the norm.
There might be more to this than coincidence. Some scientists believe that left-handed people are quicker and broader in their thinking. This is backed up by the fact that a large number of historical geniuses like Einstein, Charles Darwin or Isaac Newton were left-handed.
But, there are some incredible stories of coincidences from history that have no logical explanation.
A man is riding a moped down a street when suddenly, a taxi carrying a passenger hits him at high speed. He is killed instantly. Exactly one year later, the dead man’s brother was killed in the exact same way while driving the same moped down the same street and hit by the same taxi carrying the same passenger. To top it off, both brothers were 17 years old when they died. Spooked yet?
CASE OF THE BULLET, 1883
A man named Henry Ziegland broke up with his girlfriend in 1883. She was so upset that she committed suicide. The girl’s brother was so enraged that he tracked Ziegland down and shot him in the head. The brother then immediately turned the gun around and took his own life unaware that the gun shot had not actually killed Ziegland. It narrowly missed, grazing his cheek and lodged itself in a tree bark behind him. For many years, the bullet remained in that tree until one day, Ziegland decided to chop it down. It was such a thick bark that he had to use dynamite to blow the tree up instead. But, the explosion propelled the lodged bullet from the tree straight into Ziegland’s head, killing him. The very smae bullet, meant for his head, all those years ago.
CASE OF THE LOST RINGS
Two tales from Norway.
Whilst fishing, a man named Waldemar Andersen in Norway caught a large cod and brought it home to prepare for dinner. Upon cutting the cod open, he found a gold earring inside which happened to be his wife’s earring. She had lost it exactly a week earlier when it had fallen into the sea. There are plenty more fish in the sea but to catch the very one that has your wife’s lost earring in it is nothing short of amazing.
The second story took place not over a week, but ten years. In 1979, a 15-year old boy named Robert Johansen was fishing in a Norwegian fjord. He was quite pleased to haul in a 10-pound cod that might serve as the family’s dinner that night. His grandmother, proud of the boy, agreed and began to prepare the fish for supper. She was shocked to find within the cod’s stomach a diamond ring, which she instantly recognized as a valuable family heirloom she lost in the fjord while fishing some ten years previous!
One last story.
THE UNSINKABLE HUGH WILLIAMS
It is the story of a ship which sank in the Menai Strait off the coast of Wales on December 5, 1664. All 81 passengers died, except one. His name was Hugh Williams. Then on December 5th, 1785 another ship with 60 aboard sank in the Menai Strait. The only survivor – a man named Hugh Williams. In 1820 on December 5th, a third vessel sank in the Menai Strait. All 25 aboard were drowned except, you guessed it, a man named Hugh Williams.
So apparently, if you are named Hugh Williams, there are super high chances of you surviving a sinking ship!
WHAT EXPLAINS THESE HAPPENINGS?
The chances of each of these apparently highly unlikely events happening to you are minutely small. But, the chances of it happening to someone in the world is very, very high indeed. Almost 100% in fact. Harvard mathematicians Persi Diaconis and Frederick Mosteller came up with a new law called ‘The Law of Truly Large Numbers’ which states that given a sample size large enough, any outrageous and unimaginable thing is highly likely to happen. If enough people buy tickets, there will be a Powerball winner. To the person who wins, it’s surprising and miraculous, but the fact that someone won doesn’t surprise the rest of us.
Although coincidences appear to occur in the external world, in fact, they’re not so objective. Without you, they wouldn’t exist. The Universe is a booming, buzzing confusion of events. Uncountable things are happening around us all the time. And we ignore almost all of them. We have to, or we’d be overwhelmed. So what is it that makes us pay attention to some events, but not to most? It’s simply that some of them have significance for us. So their relevance draws our attention, and we notice them, not even being aware of all the trillions of other things going on.
So, one might, in fact, say that coincidences do have deep meaning. But it isn’t the universe trying to tell us something, or something manipulating our lives. Rather, it is something we impose on the Universe, just as we impose interpretations on the positions of the stars in the heavens, and faces and other shapes on clouds.
And that’s the improbability principle: highly improbable events are commonplace. They’re just a consequence of the mathematics of chance coupled with the psychology of humans.