Melbourne-based writer and journalist. Purveyor of finally crafted radio plays. A Muppet of a man.
The FIFA World Cup madness is over for another four years, and while we’ll debate about red cards, fake dives or dropped goals for weeks to come, one thing is certain: we have a new oracle amongst us.
Paul, the young octopus from the Sea Life Centre Aquarium in Oberhausen, Germany, captured the hearts and minds of a nation by correctly predicting the outcome of world cup matches. Out of the seven games played by Germany, he correctly predicted all winners, in addition to the Spain victory in the final against the Netherlands.
Like many fortunetellers and soothsayers before him, Paul used the time-honoured technique of reading entrails. He was presented with two containers with the competing teams flag on them, each containing a mollusk, and whichever container he chose was his prediction. A simple practice, but eight out of eight can’t be wrong.
So much confidence was shown in the young cephalopod that there has been an estimated 50 million pounds gambled, purely based on the outcome that he predicted.
But like all young prophets, Paul is now under threat. Once content to live in his tank, there is now a vocal minority in Germany calling for him to be eaten. The Octopus isn’t responsible for the loss, he just saw the storm clouds gathering. You have to wonder, is this eight-legged wonder really to blame for the Germany defeat? By predicting the outcome correctly, isn’t he just fulfilling his duty?
Whatever the outcome, I’m sure it’s one that Paul saw coming. The question everyone is asking now, is that is this a unique, special octopus, or do they all have the ability to predict the future? With the giant octopus from Melbourne Aquarium predicting Julia Gillard to win the Federal election, these Mystic Megs of the ocean could be hitting the headlines for years to come.