The 2010 FIFA World Cup winner is? Spain (or maybe the Netherlands).
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ya85knuDzp8"]YouTube- Final bet: Oracle Paul the Octopus picks Spain over Netherlands to win World Cup[/ame]
At least that’s what Paul the Octopus, the World Cup’s unlikeliest star, has predicted today. For those of you who don’t know who Paul is, he’s an Octopus in Oberhausen’s Sea Life Aquarium in Germany, and has so far successfully ‘predicted’ the result of Germany’s World Cup games so far. Paul has also predicted Germany to beat Uruguay for third place tomorrow.
He makes his predictions by choosing between two boxes decorated with the flags of the two countries, which are lowered into his tank, that both contain food. The one he picks is the winner.
Paul has so far only got two results wrong, both in EURO 2008. The odds on him predicting the outcome successfully so far are 64-1. If I had put a £10 accumulator on him predicting every game correctly, I’d be £1,426 (quite a few squid!) better off at this point.
According to scientists, Paul’s predictions are down to the shape of the competitors' flags. 'Experiments have shown that the Octopus vulgaris can distinguish brightness, size, shape, and horizontal or vertical orientation of objects. They are more drawn to horizontal shapes,' said Shelagh Malham, a lecturer in the School of Ocean Sciences at Bangor University. Germany’s flag is horizontal, so is the flag of Serbia, Spain and Holland.
According to Janet Voight, from the Field Museum in Chicago, Octopi can’t differentiate between colours, but can tell when one flag is bolder than the other. That may explain why he chose Spain and Serbia over Germany, as their flags are slightly more vivid.
His predictions have landed him in hot water, nearly literally. After his correct prediction that Germany would beat Argentina, Nicolas Bedorrou, an Argentinian chef, was so incensed that he threatened to cook Paul in retribution. Some Germans expressed similar sentiments after his correct prediction that Spain would beat them. Don’t worry however, Spain’s Prime Minister Jose Zapatero has promised Paul official state protection should he need it!
It has emerged recently to that Paul has a rival. Mani the Parakeet from Singapore has succesfully predicted the outcome of all four Quarter-finals. Mani has predicted a Dutch win in the final.
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zF1YgIgozZE"]YouTube- Singapore Pyschic Bird Predicts Holland to win World Cup 2010! - 08/07/2010[/ame]
Mani blotted his copybook by predicting Uruguay over Netherlands in the semi’s but other than that has been flawless and this week topped Google’s “Hot Searches” in Singapore (I’m guessing there’s not much porn there!).
Sadly, this could well be Paul’s last major tournament. He’s now 4 (and British-born, we’ll take any success we can!), pretty old for an octopus, who usually only live two years. Pauls remarkable run of luck may run out of legs soon.