Germany hopes Paul the Octopus is wrong

Paul the Octopus picked Spain to win in the semifinal match between Spain and Germany.

Mark Keppler/AP
Paul the Octopus predicts that Spain will win the semifinal match in the 2010 World Cup against Germany by eating the mussel out of the box with Spain's flag on it. Paul has been 100 percent correct in his predictions for German match ups in this World Cup.

UPDATE: Sorry Germany, Paul the Octopus is still flawless in his World Cup 2010 picks.

Paul picked Spain to beat Germany in their semifinal match earlier this week and the oracle animal is now six for six on his predictions for this year. After a scoreless first half, Spain's Carles Puyol nailed a header into the back of the German goal, giving the Spaniards a 1-0 lead.

Spain will now face the Netherlands in Sunday's final at Soccer City in Johannesburg. Despite his country's loss, Paul the Octopus will be allowed to predict the outcome of the championship game.


For Germany's sake, Paul the Octopus had better be wrong.

On July 6, the prognosticating cephalopod predicted that Spain would defeat Germany in their semifinal World Cup match. And by "predicted" we mean "selected the mussel from the box with the Spanish flag on it."

So far, Paul has been phenomenal. The "psychic" octopus has correctly picked the outcome of all Germany's matches in the 2010 World Cup, calling all of their victories against Ghana, England, and Argentina, and their loss to Serbia.

IN PICTURES: Paul the Octopus predicts World Cup outcomes

The Germans are hoping however that Paul's prowess will come to a halt on Wednesday, when Germany faces Spain. The last time Paul predicted a match between these two teams, it was the finals of the European Championships in 2008. Paul picked Germany to win. He was wrong: Spain won 1-0.

But since then, Paul has not been wrong. He has an overall record of 9-1. "This is not a good omen," wrote Bild newspaper's online edition after the news of Paul's pick made its way across Germany.

A spokeswoman from Paul's home, Sea Life in Oberhausen, Germany, told Reuters, "To err is not only human - animals can also make mistakes. Let's hope Paul got this one wrong."

Animals in fact are often wrong, at least when it comes to prophesying the outcomes of soccer matches. Especially those in German zoos in this World Cup. At the Chemnitz Zoo, a female sloth bear, Renate, incorrectly picked Argentina over Germany on July 2.

Also at Chemnitz, a monkey named Tamarin Anton predicted that Ghana would beat Germany. Wrong. And a 19-year-old hippo named Petty predicted that Germany would beat Serbia. Wrong again. Paul the Octopus however, is five for five on his picks this year.

Paul himself could be hoping he made a mistake on this one. The Telegraph reported that Argentinean paella death threats for the octopus started to come in after the quarterfinal match between Argentina and Germany.

Argentina's newspaper El Dia said that, "All you need is four normal potatoes, olive oil for taste, and a little pepper," and Argentinean chef Nicolas Bedorrou also described on Facebook, in somewhat graphic detail, how he would like to kill and cook Paul the Octopus.

Win or lose however, Paul has his keeper, Oliver Walenciak, on his side. "There are always people who want to eat our octopus but he is not shy and we are here to protect him as well. He will survive, " Walenciak told the Telegraph.


IN PICTURES: Paul the Octopus predicts World Cup outcomes

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