Octopus Correctly Predicts Germany

Octopus Correctly Predicts Germany

Alisa Opar
Published: 06/26/2010

We’ve written about some impressive octopi, including one that enjoys tackling a Rubik’s Cube and another that builds a mobile home out of coconut shells. But Paul the “psychic” octopus may be among the most beloved cephalopods yet. The 2-year-old mollusk oracle—which lives in Germany but was born in England—has correctly predicted the outcomes of all three of Germany’s World Cup matches so far, and has chosen Germany as the victor over England in tomorrow’s game. UPDATE  7/7: Paul chooses Spain over Germany in Wednesday's match.

Paul supposedly picking Germany to beat England in the June 27 World Cup match.
Here’s how he chooses the winner: In Paul’s tank at the Sea Life Aquarium in Oberhausen, his handlers bait two clear cubes with mussels and adorn each with a national flag. Whichever country's container he eats from first is his supposed prediction.

Skeptics might scoff, but Paul is three for three so far. He foresaw the German trouncing of Australia on June 13, Der Spiegel reports, and a few days later—bucking the bookies—he called Serbia's upset over Germany. He also correctly picked a mussel from the German cube when his adopted country’s team beat Ghana on June 23.

Paul is a practiced hand when it comes to prediction: He correctly foretold 80 percent of German games during the 2008 European Championship. Makes you wonder if Paul’s handlers have tried his luck at, say, guessing the winning lottery numbers.