Dorset

Dorset centre 'sad' at loss of 'psychic' octopus

  • 8 July 2010
  • From the section Dorset

Staff at an aquarium in Dorset have said they wished they could have kept a "psychic" octopus which correctly predicted Germany's World Cup results.

Paul was quarantined at Weymouth Sea Life Park before moving to Germany, where he has now become a star.

Staff at the centre said they were "sad" to have lost such an "emerging talent".

Paul foretold the results by choosing a mussel placed in one of two plastic boxes in its tank in Oberhausen.

One box bore the German flag and the other the flag of the opposing team.

'Impressive skills'

Matthew Fuller, senior aquarist at Weymouth Sealife Park, said: "We wish we could have hung onto him.

"He didn't show any special abilities while he was here for his eight weeks of quarantine, but that's probably because we didn't have a chance to give him the opportunity.

"Octopuses are the most intelligent of all invertebrates, so it's not a shock that Paul turned out to have such impressive skills.

"Past experiments with octopuses show they can distinguish between shapes and patterns which might be the flag link in his recent predictions."

Betting odds

Although staff at the park have been following Paul's recent success, they have not put on any bets - a move they may now be regretting as according to one bookmaker this common octopus has earned punters up to £1,400.

William Hill took "so many" bets on the sea creature tipping the World Cup winner that they have cut their odds on Paul's predictions from Even money to 10/11.

Graham Sharpe, Hill's spokesman said: "This is the first time we've genuinely had punters coming into betting shops and asking staff about the predictions made by an octopus.

"If you had just bet £10 on each of Paul's six successive winning selections on Germany or their opponents so far, you would have made a healthy profit of £84.

"But if you had put the winnings from each bet all on to the next one, you would now be looking at £1,400 of profit."

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