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The German Soccer Team's Octopus Oracle

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The German Soccer Team's Octopus Oracle

Strange News

The German Soccer Team's Octopus Oracle

The German Soccer Team's Octopus Oracle

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On The Show Me Your Cleats Blog

Sea Life Aquarium in Oberhausen, Germany, has been using an octopus named Paul to pick the winners of Germany's soccer games since the European Championships two years ago. Paul's keeper, Oliver Walenciak, puts two glass jars in his aquarium, one with the German flag, one with the opposing team's flag, and mussles in both jars. Whichever jar Paul eats from is the predicted winner. Paul correctly chose Spain over Germany to win in the semifinals.

MELISSA BLOCK, host:

Well, speaking of predictions, Robert, an octopus has become one of the more unlikely stars of this World Cup. His name is Paul. He's 2 1/2 years old, and he lives at an aquarium in Oberhausen, Germany.

Mr. OLIVER WALENCIAK (Octopus Keeper, Sea Life Aquarium): My name is Oliver Walenciak, and I'm Paul's keeper.

ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

Oliver Walenciak spends his days entertaining Paul.

Mr. WALENCIAK: It's a cute octopus. We are playing quite a lot, so I would say we fall in love to him.

SIEGEL: The aquarium staff decided to use Paul to choose the winners of Germany's matches, which he did with uncanny accuracy. Here's what they did. The staff placed two glass jars in Paul's aquarium, one with the German flag and one with the opposing team's flag. They placed food in both jars. And whichever jar Paul decided to eat from, they took as the team he predicted to win the match.

BLOCK: Like yesterday, Paul shocked Germany by eating out of the jar with the Spanish flag. Some fans are blaming the octopus for Germany's defeat today. They're saying he jinxed an already superstitious team, but his perfect record of World Cup prognostication is intact. No word yet on whom he favors in Sunday's final.

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