Mark Twain, Born and Died with Halley’s Comet

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One of the greatest authors who has ever lived, Mark Twain, was born and died during Halley’s comet years. This is a pretty freakish coincidence, but it’s not the kind of thing that hasn’t happened before. Furthermore, Mark Twain predicted his own passing while the comet was once again passing Earth. Now that itself is worth mentioning.

When you think about the chances of something so rare happening it kind of makes people stand up and pay attention. Just think about it for a moment. Halley’s comet passes Earth about once every 76 years. Mark Twain was born in the same year that it went by us, 1835, entering this world shortly after it had passed. That in itself isn’t such remarkable coincidence, he would have been but one of millions of babies born that year. Fast forward almost 76 years to 1910.  Mark Twain, born Samuel Clemens, departed this life by way of a heart attack, just one day after the comet appeared as its brightest.

OK, so we have just determined how freakish a coincidence that was, but things can get a little weirder. The man himself, Mark Twain, seemed to predict his own death when Halley’s comet returned in 1910. In his own wise words:

I came in with Halley’s Comet in 1835. It is coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don’t go out with Halley’s Comet. The Almighty has said, no doubt: ‘Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together

People predicting the future is one of the most common superstitions in the world. The feeling of deja vu can often enhance this feeling. It’s a trick that magicians use in their acts frequently. Many card tricks in particular are just a slight of hand, but make the viewer think that the magician was actually able to see into the future. Obviously it doesn’t happen. Everything is only a coincidence. But perhaps Mark Twain wanted to go out with Halley’s Comet so badly, that his own will aided him in his departure.

This wasn’t the only event in the last couple of hundred years that had an eerie coincidence. Sure, the birth of Mark Twain followed by the death during Halley’s comet is a remarkable one, but there has been one recently. When the former UK prime minister Margaret Thatcher died in 2013, a meteor shower was visible in the night sky that is caused by a comet by the name of Thatcher. It was not named after her, but it was named after its discoverer.



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