Paul is dead.

And I’m not talking about what you hear when you play the album backwards …

Paul the octopus is dead. This is the octopus that predicted the outcome of the recent World Cup tournament using an ingenious combination of random behavior and confirmation bias.

Paul had reached the octopus old age of 2½ years and died in his tank on Tuesday morning in an aquarium in the western German city of Oberhausen, spokeswoman Ariane Vieregge said.

Paul seemed to be in good shape when he was checked late Monday, but he did not make it through the night. He died of natural causes, Vieregge added.

Natural causes. That means he was eaten by a halibut, right?

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In July, Sea Life Aquarium’s psychic octopus, Paul, correctly predicted that Spain would beat Germany in their World Cup semifinal match in South Africa. Photo from NPR

After rising to global prominence during the World Cup in South Africa in June and July, Paul retired from the predictions business after the final between Spain and the Netherlands – the result of which he also forecast correctly – and returned to his prime role of making children happy.

He was tickling them with his tentacles!

Many copycat animal oracles emerged after Paul began his lucky streak:

The latest was a saltwater crocodile named Dirty Harry, who predicted Spain’s World Cup final win and called the result of Australia’s general election by snatching a chicken carcass dangling beneath a caricature of Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

Paul also donated some of his time to help endangered sea turtles.

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