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Octopus oracle

July 6, 2010

An octopus famed for his skill at predicting winners of World Cup soccer matches has selected Spain to beat Germany in Wednesday's semifinal. German fans will be hoping this is Paul the octopus' first wrong prediction.

Paul the Octopus hovering over the Spanish plastic container
Paul makes his selection by eating a mussel from one of two boxesImage: AP

With a 100 percent record in the 2010 World Cup so far, Paul the octopus has a perfect track record at predicting the outcome of Germany's games.

Housed at Sea Life aquarium in Oberhausen, Paul has correctly predicted the four German wins and even the surprise group stage loss to Serbia.

On Tuesday, Paul was once again given the choice of picking food from two different plastic containers lowered into his tank - one decorated with a Spanish flag and one with a German flag. The container which Paul opens first is seen as his prediction.

Close up of Paul in his tank with a football in the background
Paul has wrongly predicted Germany vs. Spain beforeImage: AP

Paul initially went for the container marked "Spain" before moving around the tank and hovering over the German box. But he quickly headed back to the 'Spaniards' and selected the food from that box.

His selection has been met with groans of discomfort from German football fans.

Although his record has been faultless in the 2010 World Cup, Paul has been wrong before. In the European Championships in 2008, he had an 80 percent record, only getting one match wrong.

That time, he plumped for Germany to beat Spain in the final.

Author: Catherine Bolsover (AFP/dpa/Reuters)
Editor: Nancy Isenson

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