“Octopus Oracle” Picks Spain to Beat Germany in World Cup

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REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

In this unpredictable world, why not rely on an octopus to foresee World Cup outcomes?

Sea Life in Oberhausen, Germany is home to an eight-tentacled mystic named Paul. The octopus gained fame after correctly predicting the winners of all five of Germany’s matches so far. He’s now a national celebrity, with his most recent prediction broadcast live on television.

How does Paul prognosticate? His handlers at the aquarium lower two boxes of food into his aquarium, each box with a different country’s flag. By eating the food in one box before the other, Paul effectively “predicts” the outcome of these countries’ soccer match. (For video of Paul’s predictions, check out TIME’s World Cup blog.)

Today the octopus let Germany down by picking Spain to beat them in the World Cup semifinal. But Germany’s fans can take hope – Paul was only 80 percent accurate during the 2008 European Championships. But 80 percent accurate? Not too shabby for an octopus.

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