Spain vs. Germany Game: What's an Octopus Have to Do With the World Cup?

Cynthia Dermody

octopusNot since Groundhog Day has the world been so focused on the movements of an oblivious creature in what many consider to be a monumental global event: The outcome of today's Spain versus Germany semifinal World Cup match.

Paul the Octopus, the psychic sea creature who has accurately guessed all of Germany's World Cup wins so far, had made his prediction: Spain will win today's game.

Of course, his countrymen now hope that Paul is not an oracle after all and that he breaks his perfect record so Germany can face the happy orange-wearing footballers from the Netherlands in the finals this Sunday.

How does an octopus predict a soccer match? It's not rocket science. I guess you could call it marine science.

Two clear boxes, each containing a picture of the flag of each of the competing countries, are lowered into his tank at the aquarium. Whichever box Paul swims to and envelopes with his eight tentacles has won ... so far. Watch this news clip about Paul to see him in action:

The sushi jokes continue. When he chose Germany to defeat Argentina in the quarterfinals, Argentina's fans threatened to eat him, but staff at the Sea Life Aquarium in Oberhausen, Germany, where Paul lives, say they refuse to let that happen, regardless of the outcome of today's much anticipated game. After all, I bet ticket sales to that aquarium are booming.

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