Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Paul, the octopus who predicted World Cup results, dies

Paul, in happier days, correctly predicts a victory for Germany. (AP)

Paul, the tentacled oracle who predicted the results of World Cup matches last summer, has died at the age of 2 1/2.

The lifeless body of the octopus was discovered in his tank early Tuesday morning, according to a spokesman at the Sea Life Aquarium in Oberhausen, Germany.

"He appears to have passed away peacefully during the night, of natural causes, and we are consoled by the knowledge that he enjoyed a good life here," Stefan Porwoll, manager of the aquarium, told the Daily Mail, nipping conspiracy theories in the bud.

Oddly, this is one outcome Paul did not appear to have predicted. Or perhaps he simply chose to go privately and with dignity, in a Gehrig-like way.

He had a great run, though, becoming a global celebrity with his accurate prediction of match winners. Although fame and fortune lay at his eight feet legs, he knew when to walk away and retired after nailing the outcome of the final between Spain and the Netherlands. "He won't give any more oracle predictions - either in football, nor in politics, lifestyle or economy," Tanja Munzig, a spokeswoman for the Sea Life aquarium in Oberhausen, said this summer. "Paul will get back to his former job, namely making children laugh."

And that is how Paul lived out his days -- most octopi live only 2-3 years. While it is impossible to know if Paul left any survivors, there are tons of wannabes, including Mani the Parakeet in Singapore, Lorenzo the Parrot in Hannover, Germany, and Dirty Harry, a saltwater crococile who predicted Spain's World Cup win and called the result of Australia's general election by snatching a chicken carcass dangling by a caricature of the prime minister.

All are but pale imitations of Paul, whose name will be whispered in awe whenever creatures of the deep gather.


RIP Paul the Octopus. I'll never forget the time we spent together at the ESPYs. than a minute ago via Twitpic

He knew this day was coming. RIP Paul the octopus.less than a minute ago via TweetDeck

Sad sad day with the passing of Paul the Octopus, World Cup seer. Cause of death remains a mystery, but I'm guessing he didn't drown.less than a minute ago via web

Melissa Bell has more at Blog Post.


Picture this: A life in photos

By Cindy Boren  | October 26, 2010; 8:16 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: With Tony Romo out with broken clavicle, Jon Kitna controls Cowboys' future
Next: DeSean Jackson passes concussion test, Andy Reid says


I think it's time to honor him by making some good calamari out of him and sending him to the Spanish national team. ;)

Posted by: nvamikeyo | October 26, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Let's have 8 moments of silence in honor of Paul. His next destination is to a sushi bar. Seriously, how come this wasn't the lead story in the Sports section?

Posted by: randysbailin | October 26, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

I blame Bob Bradley.

Posted by: FulhamDC | October 26, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Am I the only one who suspects foul play? I'm sure many Germans still held a grudge against Paul for predicting Spain over Germany in the World Cup.

RIP Paul. Not listening to you cost me $5. I will pay more heed to prognosticating cephalopods in the future.

Posted by: taupecat | October 26, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

I think it was the Dutch, taupecat. You know how they are. (Disclaimer: I am of Dutch extraction.)

Posted by: Cindy Boren | October 26, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

The specific natural cause of death was boredom due to watching and predicting soccer games.

Posted by: marblenc | October 26, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Pass the butter.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | October 26, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Some crazy German fan poisioned him....

Posted by: 4thFloor | October 26, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Now that Paul the Octopus is no longer around
Conspiracy theories will abound
And some could have a case
For, in death’s wet embrace,
The autopsy says that he drowned

Posted by: NewsMonkey | October 26, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

"Octopi" is NOT the plural of "octopus." Some respect, please.

Posted by: phvr38 | October 26, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Awwww, that is so sad :( RIP ole friend, RIP!

Posted by: clermontpc | October 26, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.

characters remaining

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company