Tuesday, July 13, 2010
The Minions of Cthulhu Know All
Octopus oracle picks Spain to win World Cup
BERLIN (AP)—Eyes around the world were on Germany’s octopus oracle Paul on Friday as he made his biggest prediction yet in the World Cup: Spain will beat the Netherlands in the final.
Paul’s prescient picks in the World Cup—he has yet to predict a match wrong—have propelled him to international fame from obscurity in an aquarium in the western city of Oberhausen.
TV stations in Germany, Great Britain, Taiwan and elsewhere broadcast live pictures, complete with breathless commentary, of his final decision.
Millions watched as the eight-legged oracle descended upon on a tank marked with a Spanish flag, sitting for only a few minutes before grabbing a mussel and devouring it, while completely ignoring the Dutch tank—indicating a Spanish victory in Sunday’s final match in Sunday’s final.
It was the first time the 2 1/2-year-old floppy octopus had been tasked to pick a game in which Germany wasn’t involved, as the Oberhausen Sea Life aquarium bowed to demand. He correctly called Germany’s wins over Argentina, England, Australia and Ghana and the country’s loss to Spain and Serbia.
He also predicted Friday that Germany will win over Uruguay in Saturday’s match for third and fourth place.
Paul first developed his abilities during the 2008 European Championship in which he predicted five out of six games involving Germany correctly. But while he had only a community of local fans two years ago, his World Cup prognostications have brought him something like stardom. He has his own Facebook fan pages and a list of admirers that includes the Spanish leader.
His handlers say he is coping with fame well.
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