Paul — an octopus at the Sea Life public aquarium in Oberhausen, western Germany — has so far correctly predicted the outcome of each of Germany’s World Cup matches. On Tuesday, Paul contemplates Wednesday’s match between Germany and Ghana. [larger view]
The World Cup and all the fanfare that surrounds it is truly amazing to experience. But perhaps strangest thing of all is that several zoos and aquariums in Germany have been asking some of their animals to predict the winners to the German World Cup matches. One of them, Paul, has distinguished himself by correctly predicting the outcome for all of Germany’s matches so far.
Paul the octopus lives in Sea Life aquarium in Oberhausen, Germany. He makes his predictions by choosing between one of two mussel-baited transparent cubes marked with either the German flag or the national flag of their opponent. The container that Paul chooses first is interpreted to indicate Paul’s prediction for who will win the upcoming game.
So far, Paul’s predictions have been 100% correct: He correctly chose Germany over Australia on June 13 in their first Group D match, then chose the underdog, Serbia, over Germany, and yesterday, Paul correctly chose Germany to advance past Ghana and to enter the final 16.
But Paul is not a newcomer to choosing winners for soccer/football matches.
“For the European Championship in 2008 Paul had a success rate of more than 80 percent for the German games,” stated Tanja Munzig, a spokeswoman for Sea Life in Oberhausen in western Germany where the eight-legged oracle lives.
Interestingly, Paul was born at Sea Life in Weymouth, England — and England also has a team in the World Cup.
Paul the Octopus by Cuttlefish Poet.
National Public Radio [audio]