Paul the Octopus Is Dead, Long Live Bo Si, the “Psychic” Panda

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The panda Bo Si

ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images

Who couldn’t have seen this coming?

The world of predictions is such a fickle place. If you thought that 2010 was going to be remembered for Paul the Octopus’s psychic World Cup predictions (and exclusive interview with TIME’s World Cup blog) then you were wrong. For we have a new player on the scene and he ain’t gonna be turned into paella anytime soon.

(See pictures from the World Cup.)

China is currently enthralled by the exploits of a panda who goes by the name of Bo Si. He plumped for a Chinese athlete to be the first gold medal winner of the Asian Games, which are taking place in Guangzhou in Bo Si’s home nation. Lo and behold, the sportsman Yuan Xiaochao promptly won for the martial art of wushu.

How did Bo Si do it? He was given two choices: a bamboo shoot, which represents a Chinese winner, or an apple, which equates to a foreigner. The fact that pandas exist on a bamboo diet and that the host nation are firm favorites to top of the medals table and have the biggest squad at the Games are clearly coincidental factors that must never be mentioned again.

(See pictures of pandas.)

And if anything untoward were to happen to Bo Si, fear not as he has 11 panda pals at Guangzhou’s Xiangjiang Safari Park, who are also taking part in these predictions proceedings. “The pandas have tended to favor Chinese athletes,” wrote the China Daily without a hint of irony. NewsFeed remains ever so slightly skeptical but if Bo Si can let us know when Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding will take place, we’ll never question the Chinese again. (via Discovery News)