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Dirty Tackle

Who will replace the octopus oracle at the World Cup?

Dirty Tackle
Brazil's animal oracle predicts home win
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A turtle named "Cabecao," or Big Head, swims in a pool in Praia do Forte, Brazil, Tuesday, June 10, 2014. The turtle, Brazil's answer to German octopus Paul who started the psychic animal craze during the 2010 World Cup, predicted Tuesday that the host nation will beat Croatia in the opening game of the World Cup on Thursday. (AP Photo/Lucio Tavora, Agencia A Tarde)

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OctoPaul rose to international fame after predicting a total 12 out of 14 international soccer games correctly. This included 13 games of Germany's national team as well as the 2010 World Cup final between Spain and the Netherlands.

To refresh your memory, here's Paul picking Spain in the final:

Often considered a fan of the German side, Paul had only been wrong about their losses to Croatia and Spain in the Euro. When he finally switched sides and correctly predicted the Germans defeat against Spain in the World Cup semifinal, Paul received death threats by Germans asking for the octopus to be cooked. Jokingly, Spain's Prime Minster Zapatero responded that he'd send a rescue team for Paul. Instead, Paul died of natural causes in his tank in October, 2010.

With the search for a successor going on globally, we have listed some contenders who might replace Paul for this year's World Cup:

Nelly the elephant

Originating from Africa but living in a German wildlife park, it is questionable whether Nelly will favor the German side as much as Paul did. Her keepers say she predicted 30 out of 33 matches correctly during the 2006 women's World Cup and her first round picks might not have been what her host country's natives would like to see.

 Nelly makes her picks for the German nationals' group stage:

 Shaheen and Waslawi the camels

Shaheen and Waslaw live in similarly dry conditions as Nelly's ancestors did. Coming from Dubai, the two camels should thus be used to the heat they may have to take for their bold first-round predictions.

[Related: Camels predict Croatia to beat Brazil, Portugal over Gemany ]

Here's teaser for Shaheen's picks:

 Psychic pandas

According to Chinese Media, two pandas will forecast which teams will win in each of the tournament's games. The Giant Panda Protection and Research Centre in Sichuan will have the fluffy bamboo-lovers pick between three food baskets to determine a winner or a draw during the group stage. Tree climbing races will then be used for the pandas to choose winners in the knock-out phase.

 Here is a video for you to get to know the psychic pandas:

Isidoro the ocelot

Another challenger who comes with the advantage of knowing the terrain in Brazil is the ocelot Isidoro. He can also be followed on twitter @IzzyPicks.

PRI The World and the Franklin Park Zoo have partnered to bring you this promo-video for the Latin-American predator:

 Big Head the loggerhead turtle

The host nation have found their own answer to Paul's absence. A Brazilian loggerhead turtle named Big Head has already predicted the Selecao to beat Croatia in the opening match.

One last contender that has enjoyed very little recognition is a Belarusian giant crab named Petrovna. Her boyfriend, Petrovich, went 26-for-39 with his predictions during the IHF Ice Hockey World Cup in Minsk this year, but was retired afterwards.

[Related: Belarusian giant crab predicts ice hockey games ]

The new sports oracle at the Minsk Oceanarium was announced to be his girlfriend. It remains to be seen if she can come close to Petrovich's 67 percent accuracy performance.

Learn everything you need to know about Petrovich here:

 

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