Paul, the octopus who predicted World Cup results, dies
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. http://twitpic.com/310v5s
He knew this day was coming. RIP Paul the octopus.
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.
Melissa Bell has more at Blog Post.
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| October 26, 2010; 8:16 AM ET
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