Tentacled Tribute: Paul the Octopus Gets A Memorial

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A monument of the octopus Paul at the Sea Life aquarium in the German city of Oberhausen

Alex Domanski/Reuters

In all fairness to the tentacled tipster, he surely saw this coming.

One of the undoubted highlights of 2010 was an octopus called Paul becoming a worldwide celebrity in light of his prodigious ability to correctly call the outcomes of World Cup soccer matches starring his beloved Germany. Paul correctly tipped the outcome of all seven of Germany’s games plus the Spain-Netherlands final. How did he do it? Simple: He made his predictions by opening the lid of one of two boxes, each containing a mussel and bearing a team flag.

(See TIME’s exclusive interview with Paul.)

But all good things must come to an end, and Paul’s own end came late last year, after he passed away in his sleep (no doubt dreaming about soccer). The pressure must have reached fever pitch (if you will) at his former home, the Sea Life aquarium in Oberhausen. Spokeswoman Tanja Munzig said that soccer fans around the world have been clamoring for a memorial to Paul; if that was the case, did they ever get what they asked for.

(See pictures from the 2010 World Cup.)

To wit: A six and a half foot (two-meter) tall plastic replica of Paul clutching a ball in his eight arms. Fittingly, Paul’s cremated ashes were placed in a gold-leaf-covered urn inside the ball. And while the world (bookmakers notwithstanding) mourns the cephalopod’s departure, it’s worth noting that his cremation was the humane thing to do, with far worse fates on offer. After all, he could have been deep-fried. (via AP)

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