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Who is Paul the Octopus?

Paul the Octopus or Paul Oktopus (hatched in 2008) is a common octopus, living in a tank at aSea Life Centre, a commercial attraction in Oberhausen, Germany. The octopus is used as ananimal oracle in an attempt to predict the results of football matches, usually international matches in which Germany is playing.

During a prediction, the octopus is presented with two boxes. Each contains food, and is marked with the flag of a national football team in an upcoming match, among which he is said to choose his predicted winner. The octopus is reported to have chosen the box with the flag of the winning team in several of Germany's six Euro 2008 matches, and in each of their first six matches in the2010 FIFA World Cup. He has predicted a win for Spain against the Netherlands in the World Cup final on July 11 by eating the mussel in the box with the Spanish flag on it.

Paul was hatched from an egg at the Sea Life Centre in Weymouth, England, then moved to a tank at one of the chain's centres in Oberhausen, Germany.Paul's name was taken from the title of a poem by the German children's writer Boy Lornsen: Der Tintenfisch Paul Oktopus.

2010 FIFA World Cup

Paul has predicted the winners of each of the six 2010 FIFA World Cup matches the German team has played so far, against Australia,Serbia, Ghana, England, Argentina, and Spain. His prediction that Argentina would lose prompted Argentine chef Nicolas Bedorrou to post an Octopus recipe on Facebook.

There are always people who want to eat our octopus but he is not shy and we are here to protect him as well. He will survive.
—Oliver Walenciak (Paul's keeper)

Paul correctly predicted the outcome of the semi-final, by choosing the food in the box marked with the Spanish flag. German supporters drew hope from his incorrect choice for the Germany versus Spain match in the UEFA Euro 2008 but were disappointed. The prediction led to death threats as German fans called for Paul to be cooked and eaten. In response, Spanish prime minister Jose Zapatero jokingly offered to send Paul official state protection, and the Industry Minister Miguel Sebastian called for Paul to be given safe haven in Spain.

Results involving Germany
Opponent↓Tournament↓Stage↓Date↓Paul's prediction↓Result↓Outcome↓
PolandEuro 2008group stage8 June 2008Germany2–0Correct
CroatiaEuro 2008group stage12 June 2008Germany1–2Incorrect
AustriaEuro 2008group stage16 June 2008Germany1–0Correct
PortugalEuro 2008quarter-finals19 June 2008Germany3–2Correct
TurkeyEuro 2008semi-finals25 June 2008Germany3–2Correct
SpainEuro 2008final29 June 2008Germany0–1Incorrect
AustraliaWorld Cup 2010group stage13 June 2010Germany4–0Correct
SerbiaWorld Cup 2010group stage18 June 2010Serbia0–1Correct
GhanaWorld Cup 2010group stage23 June 2010Germany1–0Correct
EnglandWorld Cup 2010round of 1627 June 2010Germany4–1Correct
ArgentinaWorld Cup 2010quarter-finals3 July 2010Germany4–0Correct
SpainWorld Cup 2010semi-finals7 July 2010Spain0–1Correct
UruguayWorld Cup 20103rd place play-off10 July 2010Germany
↓Tournament↓Stage↓Date↓Paul's prediction↓Result↓Outcome↓
Netherlands vs. SpainWorld Cup 2010final11 July 2010Spain

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