IRAN: Ahmadinejad slams Paul the 'psychic' octopus
But after accurately predicting the outcome of all seven World Cup games, Paul now faces accusations of "spreading Western propaganda and superstition" from none other than Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Ahmadinejad reportedly called Paul a symbol of "decadence and decay" among the enemies of Iran during a speech in Tehran over the weekend.
Whether Paul will be able to save his career remains to be seen. Ahmadinejad's comments follow a string of bad reviews and increasingly seedy offers, including death threats from disappointed Germany fans, a Chinese movie called "Kill Paul Octopus," and a bid from a Russian betting firm.
Paul rose to stardom by 'predicting' the outcomes of games by eating a mussel out of a box marked with the flag of the winning team.
"Those who believe in this type of thing cannot be the leaders of the global nations that aspire, like Iran, to human perfection, basing themselves in the love of all sacred values," Ahmadinejad said, according to the British Daily Telegraph.
Ahmadinejad's comments have inspired a fair amount of snark from Paul fans around the world. Irish journalist Rory Fitzgerald even penned a satirical piece for the Huffington Post in which Paul 'responds' to the 'unprovoked attack.'
" 'As an octopus, I can claim some objectivity in my view [of] human affairs,' " a 'visibly shaken' Paul said, adding that he had never before seen such a lack of a sense of humor in a human being, "despite the fact that he lives in Germany."
Paul resides at the Sea Life Oceanarium in Oberhausen, Germany, where his handlers will hopefully keep him grounded and safe.
-- Meris Lutz in Beirut
Photo: Paul the octopus predicted outcomes of games by eating a mussel out of a box with the winning team's flag. Credit: Associated Press