Paul the Octopus II Makes Public Debut, but No Promises

Five-month-old octopus Paul II, successor to the famous octopus Paul who predicted the outcome of eight matches at the World Cup 2010, made his public debut in Germany on Wednesday.

Octopus Paul II, successor of the World Cup oracle Paul, makes his first public appearance in an aquarium in Oberhausen, western Germany on Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010. Photo: Roland Weihrauch/Oberhausen Sea Life Aquarium

Paul the Octopus’ successor has made his public debut at the dead psychic’s aquarium in Oberhausen, western Germany, on Wednesday, but his keepers aren’t yet promising deep soccer insight from the youngster.

5-months-old Octopus, who also named Paul, hasn’t turned his tentacles to the tricky art of forecasting results yet, but soccer pundits who enjoyed the original Paul’s amazing World Cup 2010 predictions wait with bated breath.

Paul I held the world like putty in his hands as he correctly predicted the outcomes of eight World Cup 2010 matches – including Spain’s 1-0 win over the Netherlands in the final in South Africa.

Paul the younger is only 5-months-old and is reportedly a bit more conservative than the tentacle fortune teller he succeeds.

Paul hails from near Montpellier in southern France and weighs nearly 10.5 ounces (300 grams). Aquarium spokeswoman says he will made his public debut after two months in quarantine.

Octopus Paul II eyes the crowd as he makes his first public appearance at a German aquarium. Photo: Roland Weihrauch/Oberhausen Sea Life Aquarium

Aquarium spokeswoman Tanja Munzig said in a statement: “No one yet knows whether Paul will be able to follow in his footsteps, or rather, his tentacle steps.”

Paul the Octopus II, given the name in honour of the legend, was placed into his tank in a ceremony broadcast live on national television.

Aquarium manager Stefan Porwoll said he was ‘actually supposed to meet his fellow octopus and media star personally and learn from him.’

The first Paul was hatched from an egg at the Sea Life Centre in Weymouth, Dorset, in 2008 before moving abroad. He had correctly predicted the results during the World Cup 2010 by selecting mussels from boxes draped in the colours of the competing teams.

The one he would open – and eat the contents of – would be declared the winner. Flags of the opposing teams were placed on each box already before he made his pick.

It has not yet been decided whether Paul II will follow in his predecessor's wake and predict the results of Euro 2012. Photo: Roland Weihrauch/Oberhausen Sea Life Aquarium

Paul was such a global phenomenon he almost upstaged the World Cup 2010 itself. When news emerged of his passing Facebook and Twitter were abuzz with messages of condolences and no-little humour.

His keepers said he passed away last week, a Chinese filmmaker sparked a conspiracy theory shortly after by claiming that Paul the first had been dead for months.

Jiang Xiao accused bosses at the Sea Life Aquarium in Oberhausen of subterfuge in secretly replacing the octopus with a body double. She said she was ’60 to 70 per cent sure’ Paul had died in July before the World Cup final – and was replaced.

Some believe Jiang may have had alterior motive to her claim, as she is currently developing a movie entitled “Who Killed Paul The Octopus?”

A spokesman for the Sea Life Aquarium in Oberhausen Tanja Munzig denied her allegations and insisted Paul had died ‘a simple and straightforward death of natural causes.’

Paul II is highly unlikely to make it to the next World Cup because they usually only live up to 4 years. Unless of course he decides to have a go at picking winners at the UEFA Euro 2012. [via Metro (UK) and Daily Mail (UK)]

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