09 July 2010

Paul Says Spain To Win The World Cup - Do You Buy The Prediction?

Octopus Paul says Spain will win World Cup

Friday, 09 July 2010 20:19

getty images from soccernet.espn


BERLIN: Germany's oracle octopus Paul picked Spain to beat the Netherlands in the World Cup final on Sunday in a live television broadcast watched across Europe.

The two-year-old celebrity octopus, who has accurately picked the outcome of all six of Germany's World Cup matches so far, quickly tipped Spain to beat the Netherlands. It took him only three minutes to make up his mind.

"That was fast — it looks like a clear-cut victory for Spain," said Tanja Munzig, spokeswoman for Sea Life in Oberhausen. She was surprised by his speed in picking Spain. For some matches it took Paul 70 minutes to decide.

The octopus, considered by some to be the most intelligent of all invertebrates, got the choice of picking food from two different transparent containers lowered into his tank — one with a Dutch flag on it and one with Spain's flag.

Reaction in Spain was swift, with the country's biggest selling sports daily website Marca.com running the headline: "The octopus Paul makes us champions."

The container Paul opens first is regarded as his pick. On Friday he wasted no time in diving for the container on the right side with the Spanish flag on it.

Two German television networks interrupted their programming for live coverage of the two-year-old celebrity octopus's picks. Networks in Spain, the Netherlands and elsewhere in Europe also broadcast Paul's decision live.

Earlier on Friday, Germans heaved a sigh of relief when Paul tipped Germany to beat Uruguay in the World Cup match for third place. There were cheers in offices across Germany after crowds of viewers tuned in to watch Paul live.

Normally he only picks Germany matches. But for the final Sea Life made an exception.

The octopus in Oberhausen turned into a global celebrity for correctly picking the winners of all six of Germany's World Cup matches — including their two defeats to Serbia and Spain.

On Friday Paul first settled on top of the Germany container but after a few minutes shifted to the Uruguay container. Then after about 15 minutes he went back to Germany container, quickly opened the lid and ate the morsel of food inside.

Not an ordinarily superstitious people, Germans have become believers in Paul's possible psychic powers. The country was shocked and distraught when he picked Spain to beat Germany after tipping German wins over Argentina, England, Ghana and Australia.

Paul's selections have become top news across Germany and around the world. Some commentators even wondered aloud whether his improbable winning streak might have begun to influence some of the more superstitious players.

But after Paul accurately picked Spain to beat Germany in the semi-final, some Germans called for a public roasting of the oracle octopus. Newspapers and websites were filled with suggestions on how to cook and eat him.

Officials at Sea Life in Oberhausen have installed extra security to protect their octopus.

"Paul is in safe hands with us," said Munzig.

Spain's Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero was quoted in Spanish media reports saying — in jest — he was concerned about Paul's safety.

"I am concerned for the octopus...I am thinking of sending him a protective team," Zapatero said.

Spain's Environment and Fisheries Minister Elena Espinosa also said: "On Monday I shall be at the European Council of Ministers and I shall be asking for a (fishing) ban on Paul the octopus so Germans do not eat him."

Comment: By NKLpunya

From the picks of the octopus, it seems this creature is attracted to objects with red and yellow colours , more so a spot in red colour.

It hates green the most and neutral to other colours.

Between Germany and Australia, there is no combination of red and yellow colours to the Austarlian flag, thus Paul chose to sit on the container with the Germans flag.

Between Germany and Serbia, though there are red and yellow colours on the Germans flag but the red spot (Serbia's logo) at the center of the Serbia flag which perhaps attracted the octopus the go near.

Between Germany and Ghana, the octopus seems to hate the green strip at the bottom of Ghana's flag thus distracted the octopus to go near.

Between Germany and England and Germany-Argentina, there is no combination of red and yellow colours to the England and Argentina flags, therefore not attracted to the octopus.

The above observations are supported by Paul's preference to pick Germany over Uruguay in the third placing clash between the two coutries. Uruguay's flag is made up of light blue and white stips with a light faded yellow sun logo within the white background at the top left edge of the flag. Blue and white do not really attracted the octopus so as the faded yellow spot of the sun.

However between Germany and Spain, both countries have red and yellow colours to their respective flag but Paul was probably most attracted to the red logo at the center of the Spain flag. Probably, the black strip or band on the Germans flag distracted the octopus to go near.

Now between Spain and the Netherlands, like England, Argentina, Ghana and Australia, there is no combination of red and yellow colours to the Netherlands' flag. No wonder Paul was so fast in making the decision to go to sit at the top of the container that contains the flag of Spain.

For me, it's just coinsident that the behaviour of Paul the octopus in choosing to sit at the top of the respective container matched the results of the games between the said countries.

Between Spain and the Netherlands, I'm going for the Netherlands. The Dutch play the beautiful game that you enjoy to see. On the other hand, Spain tends to make the game boring with their short passes around the center of the field, especially when they played Paraguay and they deserve to lose to Switzerland. Spain played a cautious and slow game when they met Germany, however the Germans played to the tune of the Spanish which was not in their advantage. Compounded by the lost of Thomas Muller, due to the two yellow cards he received, it's not pity but deserve that the Germans lost to the Spanish.

But with the Netherlands, I believe the Dutch would not take the same approach as what the Germans has done. Obviously, the final is for the Dutch to lose if they play to the tune of the Spanish. The Dutch must play like when they beat Brazil and Uruguay. They must possess the ball as much as possible and to get it back from the Spanish once the ball is with the Spanish. This was what the Dutch has done when they played Brazil, Uruguay and the earlier games. They cannot afford to give the Spainish the space to manovoeuvre their art of passing game. This was what the Germans got punished. I was thinking before the game start, the Germans will play like when they beat England and Argentina. How true was my expectation? Now my expectation, of the Dutch, they will stick to their strategy of field dominance and go on to beat the confidence Spanish and the 36 years agony of losing their first final appearance to Germany will close its chapter. Also, at least my pain of seeing the English, my favourite team, losing to the Germans can heal a bit.

Lets wait for the game this Sunday (early Monday morning in Malaysia) and it is not for Paul the octopus to decide. It's just coincident, it's just coincident. Human beings tend to exaggerate when such things happened and relates it to psychic, supernatural etc., etc....


Zhi Len said...

German people are so superstitious. I would call them brainless to belief an octopus. How mean of them in thinking to kill it just because of that it picked them to lose....

Louis Ng (黄福成) said...

Nobody could keep their mind clear out of the heat of WC for that moment and thus got amazed and paranoid with Paul's prediction. Am greatly impressed that you could still able to do a rational analysis during the tournament, hahaha. Though eventually the end result was not as what we favored (My Poor Holland), I think it's a sound analysis.

P.S. Luckily it was an extra time goal for the Final. Am sure both bookies and fans are happy.

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