2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa was bewitched by a psychic octopus “Paul”. By predicting the winner in every important world cup match Paul attracted the media quite impressively. His success rate was 85%. He predicted a win for Spain against Netherlands in the final match in 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa by eating the mussel in the Spanish box.
Paul the octopus was hatched in 2008 at a sea life center in Oberhausen, Germany. From the very beginning, Paul was used as an animal oracle for predicting the winner of football matches. Firstly, Paul was attending only German matches. He came into worldwide attention with his accurate prediction in 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
During a divination, the octopus was presented with two boxes containing food. Each box was marked with a national flag in an upcoming match. Paul the octopus predicted the winner by choosing the box with the flag of the wining team.
Sea life’s entertainment director Daniel Fey said,
“There was something about the way he looked at our visitors when they came close to the tank. It was so unusual, so we tried to find out what his special talents were.”
According to the animal rights organization PETA octopuses are some of the most intelligent invertebrates with complex thought process, short and long term memories and different personalities. They can learn through observation and particularly sensitive to pain. The organization complained that it would be cruel to Paul to keep him a permanent confinement. The sea life center denied the accusation mentioning as he was born in captivity it would be dangerous for him to release.
Following Paul’s rise to fame a businessman offered 30000 euro for him. Nevertheless the sea life center rejected him.
Paul’s prediction in the 2010 world cup endowed him with a celebrity status. Paul predicted each of the German matches in that world cup played against England, Australia, Argentina, Serbia, Ghana and Spain. After foretelling Argentina the loser, Nicolas Bedottou, an Argentine chef posted an octopus recipe on Facebook. Paul also threatened by the Germans as he chose Spain over Germany in the semi. Then Spanish prime minister announced that Spain would be a safe haven for him.
Paul the octopus died on October 2010 aging two and a half years, a normal life span for the species.
However, Paul’s fan need not disappointed. Paul’s aquarium is said to be grooming a successor. He was also named Paul as well. But he wouldn’t be a psychic octopus by predicting the winners of world cup like Paul.