Paul the 'psychic' octopus predicts wins for Germany and Spain

AFP/DPA/The Local
AFP/DPA/The Local - [email protected] • 9 Jul, 2010 Updated Fri 9 Jul 2010 11:59 CEST
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The cephalopod oracle has spoken. Germany will beat Uruguay in the third-place play-off on Saturday and Spain will defeat the Netherlands in the World Cup final on Sunday, according to the "psychic" octopus Paul, who has an unblemished record in picking winners this tournament.

The eight-legged clairvoyant, who has become a sensation by correctly predicting all six Germany matches this tournament, plumped for his country of residence on Friday in an event carried live on national television.

In the now familiar routine, two boxes were lowered into his tank, each containing a mussel and the flags of the two opposing teams.

The two-year-old mollusc medium took a brief rest before predicting Spain would beat the Netherlands in the final to hoist the World Cup this year.

But the supernatural art of making football predictions has become a dangerous job for the English-born cephalopod, as some bitter German fans have threatened to turn him into sushi after he predicted a semi-final defeat for Die Mannschaft.

Paul's home, an aquarium in the western German city of Oberhausen, has received death-threat emails saying "we want Paul for the pan," said entertainment supervisor Daniel Fey.

"Since yesterday our colleagues have kept a very close eye on Paul," Fey added.

Even Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luiz Rodriguez Zapatero has called for octopus bodyguards.

"I am concerned for the octopus ... I am thinking of sending him a protective team," joked Zapatero on Radio Cadena Ser.

Stung by Paul's "treachery" at picking Spain over Germany in the semi-final, some sections of the 350,000-strong crowd watching the game on giant screens in Berlin sang anti-octopus songs. The honour of Paul's mother was called into question, according to witnesses.

Friday's predictions are expected to be the last for Paul, who in octopus terms is a pensioner, at the grand old age of two-and-a-half. Octopuses generally live three years at the latest.



AFP/DPA/The Local 2010/07/09 11:59

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