He's a sucker for soccer

When people want to know what's going on at the 2010 World Cup, they go online, turn on the television or pick up a newspaper.

But some people turn toward the animal kingdom to find out who will win.

Paul the German octopus correctly predicted that Germany would beat Argentina in the quarterfinals of the World Cup, and has since received numerous death threats from disgruntled Argentina fans, who are threatening to eat him. Fans are angry that the team was eliminated from the World Cup, and they want revenge against the octopus who predicted it.

Paul's keeper, Oliver Walenciak, said the animal will be protected and that "he will survive."

So far, Paul has been correct for all of Germany's 2010 World Cup matches. He chose Spain to beat Germany, a move his keeper hoped was wrong. Spain beat Germany 1-0 Wednesday.

From his tank at Oberhausen Sea Life Aquarium, Paul made his predictions by choosing from boxes bearing the flags of the soccer teams. His caretakers place a mussel in each of the plastic boxes, and the case he opens first is deemed his choice.

Paul maintained an 80 percent success rate during the European football championships in 2008, and failed to predict Germany's 1-0 defeat in the final against Spain.

But would you trust this psychic cephalopod when placing your bet this weekend?

Michelle Childerley, who calls herself an animal communications expert, said that all animals possess psychic ability, just like humans. As for Paul's abilities, Childerley claims he is aware of what he's being asked.

"He's picked up on what everyone around him is thinking," she said. "He's basically tuned in to the more positive team at the moment he makes his choice."

While octopi are, generally speaking, crafty creatures, we're not willing to bet the farm just yet. Paul has yet to make his prediction for this weekend's matchup between The Netherlands and Spain, and while the slippery soothsayer has had a good run in this year's Cup, we're just not sure we want to depend on him to correctly flex his mussels.
Published Thursday, July 8, 2010 1:46 PM by bulldog
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