Paul the Octopus Dies

Paul, the so-called “octopus oracle”

Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters/Landov

updated 10/26/2010 AT 9:35 AM ET

originally published 10/26/2010 AT 8:30 AM ET

Paul, the Psychic Octopus, who correctly called the winners of last summer’s World Cup, has died. He would have been 3 in January.

“Management and staff at the Oberhausen Sea Life Centre were devastated to discover that oracle octopus Paul, who achieved global renown during the recent World Cup, had passed away overnight,” the aquarium in Germany said in a statement Tuesday. No further details were given.

Born in January 2008 in Weymouth, England, Paul accurately forecast the results of all but two of Germany’s games during Euro 2008 (he slipped up on predicting the defeats to Croatia and Spain). At this summer’s World Cup, he maintained a perfect record, correctly predicting all of Germany’s results before picking Spain to beat Netherlands in the final.

Paul’s method: His caretakers at the Sea Life Centre placed a mussel in each of two clear plastic containers within his tank, and each container was marked with the flag of the competing soccer team. Paul always took his first mussel from the container bearing the flag of the team he “knew” would win.
Stephen M. Silverman

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