'Psychic' Octopus Predicts Spanish Victory

Published: July 10th 2010
in News » World

Paul the Octopus predicting a winner
Pic: youtube

With the World Cup's final upon us, here is something you have got to see: Paul, a special fortune telling and a rather amusing octopus who has already predicted with 100 per cent accuracy the previous Mondial game scores, has chosen Vicente del Bosque's Spain to beat the Netherlands in the tournament final. 

Working from his aquarium tank in Oberhausen, Germany – his astonishing record in predicting international soccer matches since 2008 stands at 10-1 – Paul has made his choice before an army of cameras from all over the world.

The cephalopod's latest prediction had an immediate impact on Spain and the Netherlands, just two of the countries where it was broadcast live. But Spanish fans can't decide whether Paul's winning prophecy is a cause for celebration or vice versa. On the one hand, they can be optimistic – the octopus has been correct all along this World Cup after all. On the other hand, the Spanish team is afraid that the scenario from the Euro 2008 games will repeat: when the aquatic creature got all the games right accept for the final game.

Paul's bets are based on his food selection – when consulted, the octopus is faced with a choice to pick his mussel-based lunch from one of two jars with flags on them. Whichever box he picks, that country will prevail.


The octopus, who was born in the UK and was moved to the German aquarium, has become a national celebrity after correctly predicting Germany would beat Australia in their opening match, then lose to Serbia, then beat Ghana and then beat England. Until the semifinal, "Paul's prediction was phenomenal," many Germans agreed. Nevertheless, being as lucky as he is, or talented if you wish, Paul doesn't get any slack: predicting Spain would surpass Germany to the final resulted in death threats from outraged German fans.

By the way, Paul tried to repair his relations with the Germans by choosing them as the winners over Uruguay in the match for third and fourth places, which Germany ended up winning. Whatever happens, Paul will be remembered as one of the symbols of the World Cup along with the noisy vuvuzelas.


Lucky for him Germany won third place, otherwise Paul would have been sleeping with fishes, ending up as the first fried prophet, a la calamari style.


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