German victory predicted by octopus

Right up until Mesut Özil's awesome strike last night, fans throughout Germany were preparing for the worst. The DFB also demonstrated pessimism and efficiency in equal measure by booking flights home for today. But they needn't have worried about crashing out in the World Cup, as their fate already had been decided. By a psychic octopus.

[Photos: Mesut Ozil and his team celebrating the game-winning goal]

For reasons that don't expand much beyond shameless aquarium publicity, a Sea Life center in Oberhausen put feeding boxes in their octopus tank prior to each of their group stage games - one was decorated with Germany's flag and the other with that of their opposition. Imaginatively named octopus Paul then randomly chose a box performed a detailed statistical analysis of the teams and picked a winner.

Octopuses (yes, that is the correct collective term) are renowned as the most intelligent of the invertebrates, and Paul has done his species proud thus far by accurately predicting victory against Australia and a loss against Serbia. His reputation as an underwater oracle was further cemented before last night's match, when he correctly called a victory over Ghana. If you're sceptical about his mystical powers, Bild have video. (Is it just me or is it very amusing that the German word for octopus is "Kraken"? I hope the Germans quote Liam Neeson when they put Paul to work.)

Paul's sense of impartiality will be put to the test for Germany's next game, however, as the mollusk was actually born in England ...

Image: Bild

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