'Psychic' octopus predicts Spain to win World Cup

Paul the 'psychic' octopus picks the Spain box

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An octopus credited with psychic powers has predicted that Spain will defeat the Netherlands in the World Cup final.

The German zoo animal also predicted a win for Germany against Uruguay in the third place match. He has so far correctly forecast every World Cup game involving the national team.

The tip for Spain was his first for a game not involving Germany.

He predicts by choosing a mussel from one of two boxes bearing the flags of the competing nations.

Paella threat

The two-year-old cephalopod has become an international celebrity.

His prognosis of South Africa's World Cup final, made from his tank in the Sea Life Aquarium in the western German city of Oberhausen, has been relayed on satellite TV around the world.

He correctly predicted all of Germany's World Cup games, including a shock defeat by Serbia in the group stages and the ousting by Spain on Wednesday.

After that defeat, there were calls in Germany for Paul to be roasted with lemon juice and olive oil or turned into a plate of paella.

But his owners said on Thursday that he is safe with them.

"If Paul gets it wrong tomorrow, nothing is going to happen to him, to Paul," said Sea Life's Tanja Munzig.

"Paul has proven his mettle so far and there is nothing bad waiting for him round the corner if he gets it wrong. It could happen to anyone. Even an octopus can get it wrong!"

His record is not perfect, anyway, say his owners. Paul got it wrong in about 30% of Germany's games during the 2008 European Championship, including their loss to Spain in the final.

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