Celebrity soccer prognosticator Paul the octopus picks Germany over Argentina in World Cup game
BERLIN — Octopus oracle Paul on Tuesday hesitated but ultimately picked Germany to win -- again -- this time over Argentina in their quarterfinal matchup at the football World Cup.
Paul, who rose to global fame after correctly predicting all four of Germany's games in this year's tournament, indicated that Saturday's game will be a tough battle and that it may even end in a penalty shootout.
While English-born Paul made a snappy decision to pick Germany over his native country, this time it took the octopus about an hour to approach a water glass containing a mussel marked with a German flag, said Tanja Munzig, a spokeswoman for Sea Life Aquarium in the western city of Oberhausen.
Paul ignored a similar glass with Argentina's flag, but he also did not reach inside the German glass with his tentacles to grab the seafood goodie.
"Paul kept staring at the German glass and only when we wanted to take out both glasses, he finally jumped inside the German one and gulped down the mussel," Munzig said. "All of his behavior indicates that Saturday's game will be very tough and it may even go into extra time and penalty shootout -- but in the end Germany will win."
Two-year-old Paul has proved to be a reliable oracle in the past -- in addition to predicting Germany's win over England, he foretold the victories over Australia and Ghana and the country's loss to Serbia. During the 2008 European Championship, he predicted 80% of all German games right, Munzig said.
Despite being a naturalized German, Munzig said, Paul is not a biased octopus and "he may even have some relatives in Argentina, who emigrated there many generations ago."
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-- Associated Press
Photo: Paul predicts a German victory over Argentina in their 2010 World Cup quarterfinal match. Credit: Kirsten Neumann / Reuters