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Octopus Paul Retires!

July 13, 2010
Octopus with a world cup trophy

Octopus Paul is retiring from the oracle business and will not give any more oracle predictions. He will be getting back to do what he likes best: play with his handlers and making children laugh.

The psychic cephalopod became a global sensation and the star of FIFA World Cup 2010 by correctly predicting the result of every Germany game at the World Cup. He signed off with a perfect eight out of eight record by picking Spain to beat the Netherlands in the final.

Paul took one last curtain call on Monday when aquarium employees at the Oberhausen Sea Life presented the octopus with a golden cup – similar to the official World Cup trophy. Although the cup was garnished with three mussels, Paul ignored it for several minutes as it was lowered into his tank. He finally picked off one mussel and devoured it in front of television cameras.

Octopus with a world cup trophy

Never in sporting history has such a wacky thing happened. Octopus Paul now has a Facebook page and millions of fans and followers all over the world. FIFA World Cup 2010 will always be remembered as the Octopus Pauls World Cup. Paul became a talisman for gamblers, with bookmakers William Hill claiming the octopus’s forecasts cost them 500,000 as punters flocked to follow his advice. Bookmakers, marketing experts and brokers around the world have offered large sums of money for the octopus.

For those who have been hoping that Octopus Paul will still be around to liven up FIFA WORLD CUP 2014 to be held in Brazil, you are in for a sad surprise. Even if Paul does not retire from his oracle business, he will be long gone by the time the next world cup comes around.

Brazil FIFA World Cup 2014 Logo

Brazil FIFA World Cup 2014 Logo

Octopuses have a relatively short life expectancy, and some species live for as little as six months. Most species may live for three to five years. Reproduction is a cause of death: males can only live for a few months after mating, and females die shortly after their eggs hatch. They neglect to eat during the (roughly) one month period spent taking care of their unhatched eggs, but they don’t die of starvation. Endocrine secretions from the two optic glands are the cause of genetically programmed death (and if these glands are surgically removed, the octopus may live many months beyond reproduction, until she finally starves).

Once the octopus reaches adulthood, it will eventually get the urge to mate. As with most creatures, the octopus’s main purpose in life is to reproduce. If it knew just what was waiting for it soon after, it might think twice about mating. Both the male and female octopuses die soon after mating. The male dies a few months afterwards, while female dies shortly after the eggs hatch. If this is what happens to human beings too, I can’t imagine how life would be like, haha!

Octopus mating game

A male octopus's hectocotylus, or mating arm (with pink lining), is inserted into the female's mantle.

Paul is about two and a half years old now so it is a certainty that he will not live to see the next world cup. But if Paul (poor Paul, lol!) does not have the chance to mate in the aquarium, will he live to see the next world cup? I don’t have the answer to that…you will have to ask marine biologists.

The worldwide frenzy over Octopus Paul may spawn a rash of octopus products such as toys, jewelry, fashions and movies. Hmmmm…maybe we will be seeing movies like “Octopus Story”, “The Octopus Strikes Back”, “Lord of the Octopus”, “Octopus Man” and “Octopus of the Carribean” hitting the cinemas soon.

Octopus fashion

Octopus kiddy fashion

Octopus kiddy fashion

Octopus hat

Octopus brooch

Octopus toy

Octopus bag

But one thing is certain. The Oberhausen Sea Life Aquarium in Germany will definitely be seeing huge throngs of visitors queuing up to see Paul in the coming months. Paul, may you enjoy your retirement and may you bask in your World Cup glory!

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1 Comment

  • Reply Sherry Disdier April 15, 2012 at 4:43 am

    How much for the octapus brooch please?

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