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Ryan Bailey

All hail Paul the psychic octopus

Few could have predicted that Argentina would lay on the floor and let Germany walk all over them like a threadbare hotel lobby carpet, but Paul the soothsaying octopus had every faith in Die Mannschaft. The underwater oracle - who is exploited by lives in an aquarium in Oberhausen - has thus far accurately predicted each German result, and as you can see above, he called the immaculately organized Europeans' victory prior to today's quarterfinal. They say octopuses* are among the smartest creatures in the sea, but Paul's prognosticating powers have proved superior to the majority of land-dwelling football pundits and analysts.

The German nation will be keen to see the English-born octopus' prognosticating powers once more before Wednesday's semifinal match, but if the mollusk-huggers at PETA get their way, he will be freed from his mystical chamber of prediction. AFP reports:

"Paul is stuck in a small aquarium. ... We think that Paul would be fine in the sea," marine biologist Tanja Breining from PETA said.

Taking time away from counting all the gate receipt money they have collected during the World Cup, the Oberhausen aquarium responded by saying an octopus born in captivity wouldn't stand a chance in the ocean. "It is highly likely that he would die," they said. Clearly the most sensible way to settle the dispute is to let Paul chose his own future by sticking a couple of glass boxes in his tank ...

*Yes, that's the correct pluralization. Look it up.

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