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Who Was Paul the Octopus?


Paul the Octopus correctly predicts a win by Spain over Germany in the 2010 FIFA World Cup semi-final.

Paul the Octopus (reportedly hatched January 2008; died 26 October 2010) was a common octopus from Weymouth, England, who lived in a tank at a commercial attraction, the Sea Life Centre in Oberhausen, Germany. Paul became internationally famous after his feeding behavior was used to correctly predict the winner of each of Germany's seven matches in the 2010 World Cup, as well as the outcome of the final match.

The prediction process was designed so that Paul was presented with two boxes containing food in the form of a mussel, each box marked on the outside with the flag of a national football team in an upcoming match. His choice of which mussel to eat first was interpreted as indicating his prediction of a win for the country whose flag was on that box. His selections were correct in four of Germany's six Euro 2008 matches, and in all seven of their matches in the 2010 World Cup. He also correctly selected a win for Spain against the Netherlands in the World Cup Final on 11 July by eating the mussel in the box with the Spanish flag on it. These predictions were 100% (8/8) correct for the 2010 World Cup and 86% (12/14) correct overall. The keeper at the aquarium states that Paul was not the same octopus that predicted the results for the 2008 UEFA European Football Championships. Paul was retired after the 2010 FIFA World Cup and died soon after.

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