World Cup 2010 Final: Octopus Predicts Spain to Beat Holland

Paul the psychic octopus has predicted Spain will beat Holland and win World Cup 2010 while Germany shall be triumphant in the third and fourth place play-off.

Paul, the so-called ''octopus oracle'' predicts Spain's 2010 soccer World Cup final victory over The Netherlands by choosing a mussel, from a glass box decorated with the Spanish national flag instead of a glass box with the Dutch flag, at the Sea Life Aquarium in the western German city of Oberhausen July 9, 2010. Photo: Reuters

It’s the news that all the football fans have been waiting for since the first match of the World Cup 2010 and now we can officially confirm who the Psychic Octopus has backed to win this Sunday’s World Cup 2010 Final.

In a breath-taking event, broadcast live across German TV, Paul, the so-called “psychic octopus” has predicted Spain will beat Holland and win World Cup 2010 while Germany shall be triumphant in the third and fourth place play-off.

The two-year-old celebrity octopus, who has accurately picked the outcome of all six of Germany’s World Cup matches so far (including their shock defeat to Serbia), quickly tipped Spain to beat the Netherlands. It took him only three minutes to make up his mind.

“That was fast – it looks like a clear-cut victory for Spain,” said Tanja Munzig, spokeswoman for Sea Life in Oberhausen. She was surprised by his speed in picking Spain. For some matches it took Paul more than 60 minutes to decide.

Earlier on Friday, Germans heaved a sigh of relief when Paul tipped Germany to beat Uruguay in the World Cup match for third place. There were cheers in offices across Germany after crowds of viewers tuned in to watch Paul live. Photo: Reuters

The octopus, considered by some to be the most intelligent of all invertebrates, got the choice of picking food from two different transparent containers lowered into his tank – one with a Dutch flag on it and one with Spain’s flag. The container Paul opens first is regarded as his pick.

On Friday he wasted no time in diving for the container on the right side with the Spanish flag on it. Two German television networks interrupted their programing for live coverage of the two-year-old celebrity octopus’s picks. Networks in Spain, the Netherlands and elsewhere in Europe also broadcast Paul’s decision live.

Earlier on Friday, Paul has also stuck his tentacles on the line by predicting that Germany will beat Uruguay in Saturday’s third place play-off. The oracle’s new found-fame has come at a cost however, after he received death threats from angry Argentina fans, claiming he was to blame for their exit.

More over, after Paul accurately picked Spain to beat Germany in the semi-final, some Germans called for a public roasting of the oracle octopus. Even crueller, some fans have begun posting recipes on the internet, believing that Paul’s reward for his clairvoyant powers should be a meeting with the barbecue or the paella pot.

Spain's Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero was quoted in Spanish media reports saying he was concerned about Paul's safety. "I am concerned for the octopus. I am thinking of sending him a protective team," Zapatero said.

However, the octoped has got in support in the unlikely form of Sanish Prime Minister Jose Luiz Rodriguez Zapatero who has joked he will provide Paul with a team of boduguards. Zapatero said: “I am concerned for the octopus. I am thinking of sending him a protective team.”

Spanish environment and fisheries minister Elena Espinosa has also sworn to protect the octopus. “On Monday, I shall be at the European Council of Ministers and I shall be asking for a [fishing] ban on Paul the octopus so the Germans do not eat him,” Espinosa said.

It’s worth noting that Paul is in fact English. He was born in Weymouth to be precise and moved from the town’s Sea Life Park in 2006. But he never showed any of his potential.

Fiona Smith from the Sea Life Park said: “He never made any predictions while he was living here but maybe he was waiting for a big event like the World Cup until he revealed his abilities.” [via Daily Telegraph (UK), Reuters and Daily Mail (UK)]

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