Psychic octopus (named Paul) picks Germany over England in World Cup

Psychic octopus? Octopus Paul from Germany has been predicting World Cup winners.

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    Octopus Paul sits on a box with a shell inside on June 16, 2010 at the Sea Life aqarium in Oberhausen, western Germany. Paul's task is to decide in favour of one of the shells hidden in boxes with the flags of Germany and Serbia and to act thus as oracle for the upcoming match of the FIFA Football World Cup between the two countries on June 18, 2010 in South Africa. Paul decided for Serbia.
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A 2-year-old octopus oracle — born in England, but raised in Germany — has predicted a German win over England in Sunday's World Cup game.

The mollusk named Paul chose a mussel out of a water glass marked with the German flag over a mussel in a glass with the English St. George's Cross, said Tanja Munzig, a spokeswoman for the Sea Life Aquarium in the western city of Oberhausen, on Friday.

Paul has proven to be a reliable oracle in the past — he predicted Germany's win over Australia and Ghana and its loss to Serbia. During the 2008 European Championship, he predicted 80 percent of all German games right, Munzig said.

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Germany's national team faces England in a much-anticipated round of 16 faceoff in South Africa.

"Paul's prediction was phenomenal," Munzig said. "He swam straight over to the German glass, climbed in and even put a lid on top once he was sitting inside. It was completely crazy."

The organizers of Friday's event were still analyzing why Paul covered the glass with a lid.

"Either he was a bit ashamed that he gave up his English roots so quickly," Munzig said, "or he was just absolutely convinced about a fast, overwhelming German victory."

Munzig said that even though Paul was born in England, "he now carries a German passport," because he has lived in Oberhausen for most of his life.

Other animal oracles in German zoos cannot claim such a strong track record.

Nineteen-year-old hippo Petty falsely predicted a German win over Serbia last week. She had to choose between two piles of hay with red apples on top at the Chemnitz zoo in eastern Germany and nibbled from the wrong pile.

Tamarin Anton, a monkey at the same zoo, chose the wrong raisin a few days ago, incorrectly claiming that Ghana would beat Germany, kicking it out of the World Cup.

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