As the nation's capital languished during October's 16-day government shutdown, a nurse in Washington, DC, made a Facebook prediction: “Furlough babies????" Lo and behold nine months later, reps at Sibley Memorial Hospital, where the nurse works, say there’s been a nearly 33% increase in births over the last month, says the Washington Post, while two other area hospitals report similarly notable jumps. Anecdotal evidence seems to support the timeline, with one FDA analyst recalling the time around her new daughter’s conception as "all kind of hazy," while a Pentagon worker cops to "celebrating congressional action" with his wife.
Similar booms have been positively correlated with other major events—including the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and a series of East Coast hurricane warnings, notes the Post. But not everyone’s convinced: At least three other DC-area hospitals tell the Post they haven’t seen any "significant" increase, and a sociologist who spoke with McClatchy DC says that seemingly burgeoning birth rates after such events are "usually … just romantic hypotheses with nothing to support them." (Read about a massive Native American baby boom that reportedly took place 1,500 years ago.)