Do you believe in fate? Or just strong and bizarre coincidences? There definitely seem to be two camps of people in the world: those who believe that things happen for a reason and those who believe things happen at random, for no reason. Well, whatever you believe, you have to admit that this story is a little freaky. When a soon-to-be-married couple was swapping old childhood photos, Hedong Zhang showed his fiancee a picture of him in front of the Ling Shan Mountain’s Giant Buddha statue when he was a young man. But his fiancee wasn’t looking at him in the photo, she was fixated on the woman just behind him. She was wearing a bright red coat and standing only a hundred feet behind Zhang, if that.

It was, she insisted, her mother.

After bringing the photo to her mom, she confirmed that it was in fact her in the back of the photo, standing behind her future son-in-law 15 years before the couple even met. (The photo was taken in 2000, meaning the now 30-year-old Zhang was 14 at the time.) She even had the same picture of that day, just zoomed in on her and shot from a different angle. You can see the same woman wearing all black is passing in the back of both pictures, making it quite obvious that these photos were taken at the same time.

Strange coincidence in childhood photo.EliteReaders

If that weren’t enough, however, both Zhang and his future mother-in-law kept their bus tickets from the trip. The dates on the tickets not only confirmed that they took the trip at the same time, but they also revealed they were on the same bus, as well.

It just gets weirder and weirder.

16 years after the fateful picture, when these two people who would be so intimately entwined stood unknowingly by each other, the couple shared the story of the picture at their wedding. It was from there that the story gained some media attention and soon became something of a viral sensation in China, the home country of the pair.

In an interview with Hangzhou Daily, the bride had this to say about the uncanny photo:

“My husband said, ‘Although we didn’t know each other then, the skies must’ve planned this for us 16 years ahead of time.’ With this incredible story, we’ll cherish our love even more.”

What a beautiful, interesting story! What do you think? Was it fate that Zhang would stand near his future mother-in-law or a mere coincidence? Share your thoughts on the picture in the comments section below.