As the world cup final finally gets under way, I thought it might be worth reflecting on one of a few disturbing underbellies, namely the unfortunate turn taken for the public image of a hapless octopus named Paul Allen, aka Paul the psychic octopus. Most will be familiar with Paul’s abilities. Hatched January 2008 Paul is a common octopus living in a tank at a Sea Life Centre in Oberhausen, Germany, who is used as an animal oracle to predict the results of soccer matches, usually international matches in which Germany is playing. With an almost faultless success rate – he accurately ‘predicted’ the winning team in four of Germany’s six Euro 2008 matches, and in all seven of their matches in the 2010 World Cup – which rose to 85 percent with Germany’s third place playoff win over Uruguay on 10 July, people, in particular the Germans, have come to expect great things from Paul and his popularity has snowballed. After Germany lost to Spain (as Paul predicted), however, some German soccer fans, eager to lay the blame for their countries failings on forces outside of their control began a campaign of hate against poor Paul culminating in death threats, and today’s Sunday Video, one of a few supposed snuff flicks of the prophetic cephalopodic phenom himself.
What is interesting to me, apart from a reaffirmation that we as a species are so viciously fickle, is that some might actually feel relief to know that this is not Paul, quite aside from the fact of this hideous and quite unnecessary death (apologies also for the sound track). For the record I have come to understand that octopus is best when excessively tenderized prior to cooking, and not boiled alive like a lobster. Paul has predicted a win for Spain against the Netherlands today.
Paul the Psychic Octopus is DEAD ***Not for the weak hearted*** via sanahaly
This post was contributed by Thomas Hollingworth