Paul the psychic octopus picks Spain to win Football World Cup

World Cup fever has infected the animal world. Even the denizens of the ocean are weighing in on which team–Spain or the Netherlands–is going to win the final, in South Africa this weekend.

Spain will defeat Netherlands in Sunday’s Football World Cup final, according to the latest prediction from Paul the psychic octopus, ESPN reported today.

“To intense media interest on Friday morning, Paul, who has an unblemished record in the tournament so far, picked Spain as the victors in the Johannesburg final and also predicted that Germany will defeat Uruguay in Saturday’s third-place play-off,” ESPN said.

“The decision was welcomed in Spain–who were also tipped by Paul to defeat his home country, Germany, in the semi-finals–with Marca’s website leading with the story of how el pulpo Paul predicted that Spain would be campeones.”

This is how AP reported the story in video:

How Marca reported it:



Most intelligent of invertebrates



The octopus is the most intelligent of the invertebrates. It uses an amazing suite of abilities to avoid predators like sharks, eels, and dolphins. A master of camouflage, the octopus can change color and shape to remain unseen, and release a “smoke screen” of black ink when spotted.

Read and see more about the octopus and other “one-of-a-kind” sea creatures–and visit the National Geographic Ocean website for more galleries, videos, facts about the wonders and mysteries of the sea.

Photograph by Luis Miguel Cortes, My Shot

Second octopus favors Spain

Do the octopuses of the world have a psychic connection?

Also predicting a win for Spain was Jabulani, an octopus in South Africa.

“Two jars containing the Spanish and Dutch flags were lowered into his tank, and he picked the Spaniards as the World Cup winners,” said Eye Witness News, a local broadcaster.

Birds not on same wavelength

But the animal psychics are not all looking in the same crystal ball. Over in Singapore a psychic parakeet, Mani, is causing a flap with his prediction that the Netherlands will be the world champion, reports News 5:

Changing Planet

Meet the Author
More than forty years in U.S., UK, and South African media gives David Max Braun global perspective and experience across multiple storytelling platforms. His coverage of science, nature, politics, and technology has been published/broadcast by the BBC, CNN, NPR, AP, UPI, National Geographic, TechWeb, De Telegraaf, Travel World, and Argus South African Newspapers. He has published two books and won several journalism awards. In his 22-year career at National Geographic he was VP and editor in chief of National Geographic Digital Media, and the founding editor of the National Geographic Society blog, hosting a global discussion on issues resonating with the Society's mission and initiatives. He also directed the Society side of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship, awarded to Americans seeking the opportunity to spend nine months abroad, engaging local communities and sharing stories from the field with a global audience. A regular expert on National Geographic Expeditions, David also lectures on storytelling for impact. He has 120,000 followers on social media: Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn