Michael Dick of the UK had not seen his long-lost daughter Liza for 10 years. Why were they estranged? Your guess is as good as ours. All we know is that Michael went nuts looking for her.
Where it Gets Weird:
After fruitlessly combing the deserts of Sudbury for her, Michael turned to the Suffolk Free Press for help. The newspaper to write a story on the Dick family's predicament and even decided to include a picture of the family to make Liza feel homesick.
So, the family gathered out in the street, and the newspaper photographer snapped their picture. Sure enough, running the picture of the family farm did the trick! Michael Dick and his family were reunited with Liza just a few hours after the paper hit the streets.
Thanks to the tireless work of brave newsies.
Where it Gets Even Weirder:
After taking a good look at the newspaper photo, Liza realized something ...
"Hey, that's me!"
Liza, the long-lost girl whom the man in the above photo had not seen in 10 years, just happened to be walking past in the background when the photo was snapped.
She didn't know they were there, and she didn't know a photo was being taken. After a decade apart, at the moment her family posed for a photo for a newspaper story about how she was missing, she just happened to be standing within 100 feet of them.
She described the experience as "very strange" and said, "Perhaps it was fate." Yeah, call it what you want. We'll leave it at "weird as shit."
Wait -- why the hell is there an arrow sticking out of that one girl's throat?
Everyone loves a good case of "divine intervention" that can easily be explained away by basic meteorology.
Preferably on Channel Ocho.
For instance, Russia was invaded by Hitler and Napoleon, and they were stopped respectively by a snowstorm and a snowstorm. Wow, big surprise. They didn't finish their invasions during the 72 hours it's not snowing in Russia.
But then, you have the ones that make you wonder. For instance, the Brits burned Washington, D.C., in 1814, and out of nowhere came the first recorded tornado in D.C. history. It trashed the living shit out of the British army and conveniently put out all their fires on the federal buildings.
After ensuring a conveniently sweet remodeling for the White House.
But even that pales next to the most famous example of meteorological deus ex machina: a weather phenomenon that came to be known as the Kamikaze, long before that word symbolized suicidal fighter pilots.
Where it Gets Weird:
The first Mongol invasion of Japan took place in November 1274 and consisted of 23,000 men and 700 to 800 ships. They were at sea for two weeks, made fantastic time and even managed to establish a beachhead on Hakata Bay, Japan. When the Battle of Bun'ei broke out on Nov. 19, Japan was so weak it looked like they should have started scouting out other islands to move to.
This was before Tommy Lee Jones came to straighten them out.
And everything went swimmingly for the Mongols ... that is, until a typhoon came in and wrecked their fleet like a blast from Poseidon's own shotgun. The Mongols suffered horrendous losses and retreated after only one day of fighting, which is saying something when you consider that these are the same folks who conquered everything from Korea to Austria.
But no matter -- they weren't the type to give up. They simply came back with a second, larger invasion in 1281. This force consisted of 140,000 soldiers, 4,000 ships and a two-pronged invasion via China and Korea. It was pretty much the size of six or seven of the previous invasion force. It was the best the Mongol-ruled Yuan Dynasty could muster, and you can bet the Mongol leader, Kublai Khan, expected to conquer Japan this second time around.
By mid-August, the enormous Mongol fleet met the Japanese at the very same Hakata Bay where they had squared off seven years earlier. And, once again, this fleet was destroyed ... by a typhoon.
Where it Gets Even Weirder:
If you're now picturing Japan as a powerful typhoon magnet where you have to carefully slip in durring narrow windows between storms, stop. Storms almost never hit the Hakata Bay, and one of the invasions wasn't even in typhoon season (they tend to hit in the summer, and the first attack was in November).
So exactly how low were the odds of the Mongols getting trashed at Hakata Bay? According to Japanese sources, a typhoon like the one that hit the Mongols during the second invasion occurs "once a hundred years or once a few hundred years." Or, as was the case with Mongolians, every time they invaded Japan.
All their cunning was useless.
Two storms, in seven years, both right when the Mongols were attacking, and in the spot where their fleet was located.
The Mongols never tried to invade Japan again.
For more randomness that had far reaching impacts, check out 6 Random Coincidences That Created The Modern World and 7 Random Animals That Decided The Course of History.
And stop by Linkstorm to discover the Internet, enslave its people and rape its land -- just like Columbus would've done!
Do you have an idea in mind that would make a great article? Then sign up for our writers workshop! Know way too much about a random topic? Create a topic page and you could be on the front page of Cracked.com tomorrow!