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Psychic octopus 1 - 0 everybody else
June 29, 2010 8:49 AM   Subscribe

Paul, an octopus in Germany, has made international headlines with his perfect record predicting the outcome of Germany's World Cup matches. On Tuesday, the cephalopod chose the national squad to defeat Argentina on Saturday. But it could be a tight game.
posted by orrnyereg (55 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
They're not telling you about the fifteen other octopodes, Albert through Otto, who started alongside Paul.
posted by Wolfdog at 8:58 AM on June 29, 2010 [9 favorites]


I think the FA are already interviewing Paul as Capello's replacement
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:59 AM on June 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Finally, Paul wrapped his eight legs around the German box, plucked out the mussel and threw his weight behind the Mannschaft.

You can say that again.
posted by 2bucksplus at 9:00 AM on June 29, 2010 [25 favorites]


There is always a winner in a coin flipping contest. Congrats, Paul!
posted by yoyoceramic at 9:01 AM on June 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


He should team up with Oscar the Cat for the cutest extortion scheme ever.
posted by griphus at 9:02 AM on June 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Man, I hope Paul's wrong. The Argentinian team has such beautiful hair.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 9:03 AM on June 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Aw, no fair! I already put my psychic octopus limerick in the other thread. (Yes, it does too scan, shut up.)
posted by Sys Rq at 9:10 AM on June 29, 2010


The Argentinian team has such beautiful hair.

Maradona could endorse a line of conditioner: The Strands of God.

But the octopus may be right about the quarter-final. I haven't seen the Germans mount coordinated attacks like that since the heyday of the Luftwaffe.
posted by Joe Beese at 9:19 AM on June 29, 2010 [7 favorites]


So... a psychic octopus that can predict the future...

Nope. Can't see how this could possibly turn into a horror movie.

Unless of course, some soccer hooligans attempted to kidnap it for the purposes of winning all future wagers, and accidentally released it into a tub of some sort of radioactive toxic waste.

Because then we are upper-case Fucked.
posted by quin at 9:20 AM on June 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


In 1978, when my country played the World Cup final in and against Argentina, a man was interviewed in the TV studio about his remarkable dreams. He always dreamed about football, and these vivid dreams always predicted the outcome of the match The Netherlands played correctly.

So he was asked to predict the coming final.

And his predictions were nothing what happened, he didn't even have the players that started right.

I always wondered about what happened to that man, afterwards.

[Or, in other words, stories like about the psychic octopus creep up every World Cup. They belong to the furnishing. Just like players complaining about the ball, unusual bad decisions by the referees, and FIFA cronies making billions tax free]
posted by ijsbrand at 9:21 AM on June 29, 2010


"Cthulhu fta-GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAALLLLLL!"



(The Deep Ones are often impressed by an excellent offense.)
posted by darkstar at 9:25 AM on June 29, 2010 [5 favorites]


Who names an octopus Paul? Sure, there's a lack of traditional names for cephalopods but Paul? [NOT PAULIST]
posted by tommasz at 9:26 AM on June 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


On Tuesday, the cephalopod chose the national squad squid...

FTFY.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 9:27 AM on June 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Paul has more warmth and charisma than most German sports analysts.
posted by Mayor Curley at 9:28 AM on June 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Who names an octopus Paul?
This has been traditional ever since Paul of Tarsus, who (true fact!) also had eight tentacles and was a keen predictor of football matches.
posted by Wolfdog at 9:30 AM on June 29, 2010 [5 favorites]


Who names an octopus Paul?

Ringo?
posted by Sys Rq at 9:33 AM on June 29, 2010 [5 favorites]


Paul has more warmth and charisma than most German sports analysts.

Also: more legs.
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:42 AM on June 29, 2010 [9 favorites]


First, John was the walrus, then the walrus was Paul, now Paul is an octopus.

This is why I don't understand the World Cup.
posted by cottoncandybeard at 9:44 AM on June 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm guessing the German side must be touched by his noodly appendage.
posted by New England Cultist at 9:47 AM on June 29, 2010


I call bullshit on this story. It's a well known fact that after the 1986 World Cup all octupuses have secretly harbored dreams of being able to play for Argentina.
posted by MuffinMan at 9:47 AM on June 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


good for Paul... of course I too have accurately predicted all of Germany's games AND all the winners (so far) in the round of 16 (the next game could mess it up though, I say Port over Spain)... nobody is calling me psychic though. Just lucky.
posted by edgeways at 9:51 AM on June 29, 2010


Okay, a psychic octopus would be impressive. But Paul seems to have made the international headlines only after Germany's last game, and honestly, using the England v Germany match as a demonstration of psychic ability? Come on, now, there are protozoa who could have told you which way that one was going to go.

(disclaimer: I say this with all due respect for my national team, who I am sure worked very hard. Or something.)
posted by Catseye at 10:04 AM on June 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


First, John was the walrus, then the walrus was Paul, now Paul is an octopus.

We're all just suckers for octopus-Beetles crossovers.
posted by quin at 10:06 AM on June 29, 2010


It has to be said, none of those protozoa were drinking in pubs near where I live, in South London.
posted by Grangousier at 10:07 AM on June 29, 2010


Beetles? WTF fingers?
posted by quin at 10:08 AM on June 29, 2010


Finally, Paul wrapped his eight legs around the German box, plucked out the mussel and threw his weight behind the Mannschaft.

[. . .]

"Paul just has a good instinct for football," Tanja Munzig, the aquarium's spokeswoman, told the Associated Press after Paul gave Germany the nod over England last week. "From where he gets his forecasts, we cannot say for sure. This will remain his secret."


People say Germans aren't funny. True, there may be less funny in Germany per capita than in some other places. But still, sometimes? Germans can be pretty goddamn funny.

Also, I will be spending the remainder of the World Cup awaiting opportunities to use the phrase "cuddly cephalopod." Maybe we can get the German squad to take it on as their nickname, like how Italy's the Azzuri and all that. ". . . and the Cuddly Cephalopods are really taking it to the Argentinian side now . . ." Like that.
posted by gompa at 10:10 AM on June 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


i hope for paul's sake, they don't get him involved in red wings hockey games
posted by pyramid termite at 10:28 AM on June 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


If he was so smart he'd already have figured a way to make himself less tasty.
posted by Keith Talent at 10:52 AM on June 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


If only they had had him in 1939 they could have saved everyone a lot of trouble.

Someone had to do it.
posted by drjimmy11 at 10:54 AM on June 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Just be glad he can't play 8 vuvuzelas simultaneously.
posted by briank at 10:55 AM on June 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


People say Germans aren't funny.

Let me assure you, they have ways to make you laugh.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:05 AM on June 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


On Tuesday, the cephalopod chose the national squad to defeat Argentina on Saturday

Man, I completely misread this and thought "that's got to be a sting for whoever's managing Germany right now"
posted by rollick at 11:08 AM on June 29, 2010 [1 favorite]




Maradona could endorse a line of conditioner: The Strands of God.

With essential oils derived from cheeseburgers and cocaine
posted by Kirk Grim at 11:14 AM on June 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


upper-case Fucked.

aka Proper Fucked.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:24 AM on June 29, 2010


I'd like to be under the sea.
posted by The Whelk at 11:32 AM on June 29, 2010


tommasz: Who names an octopus Paul?


Maybe it's short for Paul-up-us?

(from wikipedia)
The actual Latin word for octopus and other similar species is polypus


Finally, Paul wrapped his eight legs around the German box, plucked out the mussel and threw his weight behind the Mannschaft.


Yeah, I think this sentence really confirms it might be short for up something.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:42 AM on June 29, 2010


He's just choosing the team with the biggest mussels.
posted by benzenedream at 11:58 AM on June 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


First, John was the walrus, then the walrus was Paul, now Paul is an octopus.

This is why I don't understand the World Cup.


Forget it, Donny, you're out of your element.
posted by joe lisboa at 12:02 PM on June 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


I saw his prediction before the England game and wish I'd put some money on it because then I'd be squids in.

I said I'd be squids in.

Oh please yourselves.
posted by ciderwoman at 12:21 PM on June 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Of course, he's joined Twitter: http://twitter.com/PsychicOctopus
posted by orrnyereg at 12:48 PM on June 29, 2010


Paul is dead.
posted by archivist at 12:59 PM on June 29, 2010


GOOGLE OCTOPUS PAUL, LEARN THE TRUTH ABOUT ONE WORLD CUP GOVT
posted by dubold at 1:51 PM on June 29, 2010 [5 favorites]


"...in the round of 16 (the next game could mess it up though, I say Port over Spain)... nobody is calling me psychic though. Just lucky."
posted by edgeways at 9:51 AM on June 29

Unlucky mate. Spain beat Port 1 - 0. hurrah, the boring defensive portugese are going home. why did they bother to take ronaldo? they never gave him the ball today. Quiroz got that one wrong.

as for argentina vs germany, COME ON ARGENTINA.

Could be Argentina vs Brazil in the final. Or Argentina vs Spain. Can't see either of Uruguay or Ghana getting past either of Germany or Argentina. Holland vs Brazil should be one of the matches of the tournament. And Spain will blow Paraguay away (based on todays performance - nerves took over maybe?)
posted by marienbad at 2:11 PM on June 29, 2010


Assuming a 50:50 chance of guessing correctly, it is 2^(n-1) where n is the number of games. So guessing 4 games in a row correctly is 8:1 odds, 5 games 16:1 and so on.

So you would think it would be 16:1 chance Germany will win the next game. But it's really 50:50 (assuming random chance) for any one game, so there is a 50% chance of Germany winning the next game. It's only a 16:1 if someone had bet before any games were played that Paul would guess 5 in a row correctly.

You know, how many pet dogs, bears and fish were also making predictions around the world and got it wrong? Most of them, we never hear about, only the randomly lucky ones make headlines - after the fact!
posted by stbalbach at 3:03 PM on June 29, 2010


oh. oh. this is the funniest thing i've read in weeks. thanks, guys. i really needed to laugh today.
posted by janepanic at 3:46 PM on June 29, 2010


In Hungary there's a kind of lottery called Toto, in which you bet on 13 soccer matches. The outcomes can be either Win, Loss, or Tie; on your ticket, you make a prediction for each game, and if you get them all right you get a million forints.

Unlucky Laszlo has a different take on the Toto, though. He wants to buy a ticket in which all of his guesses were wrong, so he can flaunt the ticket to his friends and gain their sympathy for his terrible fortune. So the question is: What is the minimum number of tickets that Unlucky Laszlo has to buy to ensure that he has one unlucky ticket?

This problem is quite solvable for shorter seasons, and the answer is very nice to work out if there are up to six matches in the season. Thirteen is still an open problem, though...
posted by kaibutsu at 5:10 PM on June 29, 2010


Okay, a psychic octopus would be impressive.

A psychic anything would be impressive.
posted by IvoShandor at 4:19 AM on July 1, 2010


After Germany's loss yesterday, disgruntled fans are apparently calling for Paul the Octopus to be cooked and eaten for his betrayal.
posted by elizardbits at 10:20 AM on July 8, 2010


It'd be funny to find out that Germany didn't try very hard because their faith in a psychic octopus made them certain they would be victorious.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:37 AM on July 8, 2010


Oh--wait. Apparently Paul was correct in his prediction.

Well, then it's settled. DEEP FRY THE WITCH!
posted by Sys Rq at 11:39 AM on July 8, 2010










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