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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Paul The Psychic Octopus Rocks The Soccer World

It’s the Octopus Paul – the oracle, the soothsayer, the official football star who found fame without stepping anywhere near a football field. Everyone’s mad over the resident of the Sea Life Aquarium in Oberhausen, Germany. So far he has managed to correctly predict the winner of every game at the tournament featuring his adopted country’s team (he’s British born but reared in Germany). Actually not just Paul, many pet owners can detect a sixth sense in their pets. How does Paul see the future it is not very clear. By the way, he’s named Paul after a poem by German author Boy Lornse titled Der Tintenfisch Paul Oktopus. His keeper Oliver Walenciak believes it might have something to do with the fact that “all octopus have nine brains so he might has exceptional powers. So, its not just Paul, but many psychic octopuses could be gliding around in the deep blue. Octopuses can learn, they can process complex information in their heads, and they can behave in equally complex ways. But it would be a mistake to try to give octopuses an IQ score. They are not intelligent in the way we are—not because they’re dumb but because their behavior is the product of hundreds of millions of years of evolution under radically different conditions than the ones under which our own brains evolved. Octopuses are known to be highly intelligent and curious. Divers are amazed by the elaborate trails octopus follow along the seafloor. They say octopus are innately curious and take great care to examine divers, tugging at their masks and air regulators. Researchers and aquarium attendants tell tales of octopuses that have tormented and outwitted them. Some captive octopuses lie in ambush and spit in their keepers’ faces. Others dismantle pumps and block drains, causing costly floods, or flex their arms in order to pop locked lids. Some have been caught sneaking from their tanks at night into other exhibits, gobbling up fish, then sneaking back to their tanks, damp trails along walls and floors giving them away. So, is Paul just another intelligent octopus with a distinct personality? Why this affinity for football? Nobody knows.
Recently Octopus Paul has competition. Singapore’s Mani; the 13-year-old parakeet too has been correct in his predictions for all the quarter-final ties and the Spain-Germany semi-final. However they have predicted differently for the World Cup Final. Paul has selected Spain whereas Mani's winner is Netherlands.Lets see who has the last laugh!

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