Did octopus ruin Germany's World Cup hopes?

Published Jul. 7, 2010 1:00 a.m. ET

He had an ink-ling Germany would lose. And Paul the psychic octopus proved himself a prophet once again Wednesday when he successfully predicted the team's loss to Spain in the World Cup semifinals in Durban, South Africa.

The eight-legged oracle has enjoyed a 100 percent prediction success rate for Germany's previous World Cup games.

Paul’s technique involves two plastic boxes, one with a German flag and one with that of the team’s opponent, being lowered into his tank.

Each contains a tasty morsel of food, and the box that Paul opens first is judged to be his predicted winner.

His latest prophecy, which was shown live on television, drew gasps from the crowd assembled at the Oberhausen Sea Life center in western Germany.

Paul tantalized his audience by lingering over Germany's box, but took just five minutes to plop down on Spain.

And once again, his prediction was proved spot-on after Spain's Carles Puyol headed in a 73rd minute winner to seal a 1-0 win and a place in the World Cup final.


Sea Life's Mark Oakley told NewsCore that the speed with which the sea-dwelling seer had selected Spain had meant he was "pretty sure" they would emerge victorious.

Similarly, Paul had wasted no time when selecting Germany to beat England in the round of 16 — a decisive steer that eerily predicted the emphatic nature of Germany’s 4-1 win.