'Psychic' octopus Paul maintains perfect match prediction record
AFP/The Local · 8 Jul 2010, 15:42
Published: 08 Jul 2010 08:22 GMT+02:00
Updated: 08 Jul 2010 15:42 GMT+02:00
The "psychic" creature has correctly predicted all six of Germany's matches and, amid excruciating drama broadcast live on national television on Tuesday, plumped for Spain, causing anguish across the country.
The eight-legged soccer soothsayer was spot on Wednesday, as Carles Puyol's semi-final header shattered Germany's dreams of winning their fourth World Cup.
Two plastic boxes, one with a German flag and one with a Spanish, were lowered into Paul's tank at an aquarium in western Germany, each with a tasty morsel of food inside.
The box which Paul opens first is judged to be his predicted winner.
But with classic fickleness, German fans turned against their beloved octopus after he forecast a Spanish win.
According to daily Der Westen, there have been "a host of comments on Facebook, Twitter ... suggesting Paul should be fried, grilled or turned into a seafood salad or paella. Others wanted to throw him into the shark tank."
On Berlin's "fan-mile," a massive open air set-up where hundreds of thousands of fans watched the game, some sections of the crowd also turned against their former hero, singing anti-octopus songs.
The Spanish government on Thursday expressed concern for the future well-being of Paul, expressing concern the Germans may take some kind of 'revenge' for their exit on the mollusc medium.
"I am concerned for the octopus ... I am thinking of sending him a protective team," joked Prime Minister Jose Luiz Rodriguez Zapatero on Radio Cadena Ser.
Environment and Fisheries Minister Elena Espinosa suggested there be a moratorium on going after Paul: "On Monday, I shall be at the European Council of Ministers and I shall be asking for a (fishing) ban on Paul the octopus so the Germans do not eat him!"
Such sentiments were echoed by the Spanish Industry Minister Miguel Sebastian, who even called for the creature to be given an "immediate" free transfer to Spain to "ensure his protection."