Remember Octopus Paul? In case your memory is already hazy, let me help you refresh it. Paul is the octopus who correctly predicted the outcomes of all seven of Germany’s games at World Cup 2010 plus the Spain-Netherlands final. He made his predictions by opening the lid of one of two boxes, each containing a mussel and bearing a team flag. He was beyond doubts the star of World Cup 2010.

Paul the Octopus during World Cup 2010

After he passed away in his sleep in October last year, the Sea Life Centre in Oberhausen, Germany, decided the celebrity octopus should be immortalized with a shrine to mark his uncanny predictions.

Yesterday, three months after the soothsayer’s death, the Sea Life aquarium in Oberhausen unveiled an outsized memorial to the World Cup’s most unlikely star: A 6 1/2-foot (2-meter) tall plastic replica of Paul clutching a ball in his eight arms.

Photographers surround the monument of Paul

Aquarium spokeswoman Tanja Munzig says Paul’s cremated ashes were placed in a gold-leaf-covered urn visible through a see-through screen on the over-sized ball covered with different national flags.

The ashes of the tentacled creature are contained in a golden octopus urn visible through a see-through screen

The urn of a sculpture of Paul inside the ball

“We acted upon the wishes of fans and created a place of remembrance.

“This monument was also built to show visitors just how much people around the world loved Paul,” Munzig told The Associated Press.

In addition, the aquarium created “Paul Corner”, which includes newspaper clippings in many different languages that tell of Paul’s global fame and exhibits gifts sent to the museum.

A family in Spain sent a glass of mussels in oil as a reward for Paul after he correctly predicted that Spain would win the World Cup, Munzig said.

A fan from New Zealand tailored a red, sleeveless football shirt for Paul – with a hole for each tentacle.

A successor to Paul, a French octopus named Paul II, was unveiled at the aquarium on November 3 after spending two months in quarantine.

He has yet to attempt to follow his predecessor’s fortune-telling but it is thought the Sea Life Centre may tempt him with flag-covered mussel treats for the 2012 European Championships in Ukraine and Poland.

After the original Paul’s death last year, Stefan Porwoll, manager of the Oberhausen Sea Life Centre, said: ‘Paul delighted people from all continents with his seven consecutive correct predictions for the matches of the German national team and for the final.

‘He was dear to all our hearts and we will sorely miss him. It is a comforting thought that he had a good life with us with the best possible care delivered by a committed team.

‘His success made him almost a bigger story than the World Cup itself.’

Paul the Octopus has finally got his tentacles permanently wrapped around a giant soccer ball.

Paul the Octopus's monument unveiled at the Sea Life aquarium in Oberhausen yesterday.

Here in Malaysia, there was a glut of Octopus Paul t-shirts on sale last year as businessmen capitalised on Paul’s fame. Just look at a few samples of the t-shirts available here in Malaysia.

Paul the Octopus told me so

Paul, the psychic Octopus, ROCKS!

Pulpo Paul t-shirt

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Paul the Octopus, the tentacled oracle who enthralled millions of people around the world by correctly predicting results at this year’s World Cup, was murdered today by unknown assassins. German police suspects it may be the work of some Dutch soccer fans who were incensed by Paul’s prediction of their loss to Spain in the world cup final. German police are seeking help from Interpol to assist them in their investigations.

Paul the Octopus

There are some quarters who think that Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad  may have a hand in Paul’s death. Ahmadinejad has criticised that the sea-based oracle represents the decadence and decay that characterises ‘his enemies’. He has accused Paul of spreading ‘Western propaganda and superstition’ during a speech in Tehran.

Paul was in good shape when he was checked late Monday, but he did not make it through the night. He was assassinated under cover of darkness between Monday night and Tuesday morning.

I guess that must have really caught your attention. I am sorry to clarify that there is no truth to the above.  Actually Paul had reached the octopus old age of 21/2 years and died from natural causes in his tank on Tuesday morning at the Oberhausen Sea Life Center in the western German city of Oberhausen, spokeswoman Ariane Vieregge said. Life expectancy of octopus is about 2 and a half years.

“We are consoled by the knowledge that he enjoyed a good life here.” said Stefan Porwoll, manager of the Oberhausen Sea Life Center in western Germany. “We had all naturally grown fond of him and he will be sorely missed.”

“Paul amazed the world by correctly predicting the winners of all Germany’s World Cup clashes, and then of the final,” Porwoll said.

Paul also inspired a special clothing line and mobile phone applications. A documentary film on Paul is scheduled to debut soon. Paul’s name will live on the Greek island of Zakynthos, where a permanent sea turtle rescue center funded in part by donations generated by the famous octopus is being established.

“El Pulpo Paul” became so popular in Spain that the northwestern Spanish town of O Carballino tried to borrow him and made him an “honorary friend.”

The aquarium has not yet decided how best to commemorate their most famous resident, he said.

“We may decide to give Paul his own small burial plot within our grounds and erect a modest permanent shrine,” Porwoll said. “While this may seem a curious thing to do for a sea creature, Paul achieved such popularity during his short life that it may be deemed the most appropriate course of action.”

The sea center has Paul’s body in cold storage as it finalizes funeral plans.

After rising to global prominence during the World Cup in South Africa in June and July, Paul retired from the predictions business after the final between Spain and the Netherlands – the result of which he also forecast correctly – and returned to his prime role of making children happy.

After his World Cup soothsaying skills were revealed, the English-born Paul was appointed as an ambassador to England’s bid to host the 2018 World Cup. He had English roots, having been hatched at Weymouth Sea Life Center on England’s south coast in 2008.

Will Spanish flags be flying at half-mast on the day of Paul’s funeral? That would truly create history!

You brought so much added fun to this year’s world cup and you will be sadly missed. I, in particular, will truly miss you. My blog posts about your World Cup antics brought huge amount of traffic to my blog. And for that, I am truly  grateful to you!

Der Tinten Fisch Paul Oktopus, rest in peace!

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Football fans in the Spanish city of Madrid are a lucky lot. Last summer, Real Madrid dished out more than $200 million to sign Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka

Now the city’s Madrid Zoo Aquarium has launched an audacious bid for Paul — the psychic octopus who correctly predicted Spain’s triumph at the FIFA World Cup 2010. The aquarium had offered to beat any offer already on the table in its quest to clinch Paul’s transfer from Germany’s Oberhausen Sea Life . The zoo’s spokesman said they were also ready to offer other animals in exchange for the octopus and said Paul would be accorded the “best care” befitting of a national hero.

Madrid Zoo Aquarium

Oberhausen Sea Life staff  announced Paul’s retirement from the predictions game earlier this week but said they were considering a host of offers from around the globe. Paul is on course to be the world’s first multi-millionaire octopus should the Oberhausen Sea Life choose to cash in on his global fame.

Paul’s 100 percent record is incredible but the minute he gets it wrong his credibility all disappears. Paul has thus ended his oracle days at exactly the right time.

Considering he is more consistent than all the top football stars like Cristiano Ronaldo, the winning bid should be quite a hefty sum. But taking into consideration that Paul may be around for only another six months to 2 years, Spain needs to expedite the transfer so that they can rake in millions from tourists and from advertisements and endorsements.

There is no limit to the ways in which Paul could be marketed. The gaming industry would be the logical use for Paul. Paul can be licensed for children’s toys, video games or cartoon shows. He can be an icon for a brand. A good use for him would be in adverts featuring two competing brands, such as Coke versus Pepsi or DHL versus FedEX. Which does Paul prefer?

I personally feel that it is most effective to use Paul in light-hearted commercials. Imagine Paul sitting on a tin of Coke in his aquarium and saying “This is the real Coke…nothing can beat it!”. Or picture Paul delivering a heavy FedEX package and saying “FedEX is the best….trust me!”.

And maybe launch a new tv reality show “Who Wants To Be An Octopus”.

Who Wants To Be An Octopus?

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Octopus Paul has come out of retirement to do one more prediction for his Malaysian fans. Knowing how much Malaysians care about their politics, Oracle Paul has made his prediction on the outcome of Malaysia’s next general election! So here it is….Paul’s final prediction before he went back into retirement again.

Paul's Prediction For Malaysia's Next General Election

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FIFA World Cup 2010 is finally over and Octopus Paul has really stolen the limelight from all the soccer stars. Despite being dismissed as pure fluke, Paul has defied all odds and achieved a 100% correct track record in his World Cup predictions. For the grand final, a lot of cynics worldwide bet their money against Paul and threw their support behind Netherlands based on their perceived superiority of Netherlands over Spain.

And Paul is having the last laugh now. Spain, Paul’s choice to win the world cup, beat Netherlands 1-0 through an extra time goal by Andres Iniesta in the 116th minute to win their first world cup title.What a heart-stopping game it has been! The photo below is taken from ESPN Soccernet.

Andres Iniesta celebrates his winning goal!

Those who have faithfully followed Paul’s predictions when they placed their bets are now grinning from ear to ear. What a bonanza world cup this has been for them!

Fans who had placed bets based on Paul's predictions are grinning like this dog now!

It is truly amazing that an octopus can pull off such a feat. I know it is probably just coincidence but the coincidence borders on eeriness. I would not be surprised at all if Paul is featured in a show like “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not” in the near future. And Paul has put to rest the widely-held notion that a single person is too insignificant to make an impact in this world. An octopus can make such an impact in this world so humans should not seek refuge behind the excuse that they are too small to make an impact in this world.

Paul, thank you for livening up this World Cup and hope you will still be here to keep us entertained when the Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup comes around. A backlash against you by incensed soccer fans will see many of your cousins ending up on dining tables as charred octopus, octopus ravioli, grilled octopus, octopus calamari and the like. But we are consoled by the knowledge that you will be well-protected at the Oberhausen Sea Life Aquarium. In case you really feel the need to migrate, Spain will welcome you with wide open arms.

Octopus ravioli

Octopus salad

Octopus in cooking pan

Grilled octopus

This world cup will also be remembered for the vuvuzelas.  The popularity of the vuvuzelas resulted in brisk sales worldwide and many far-sighted sellers on Ebay saw sales of vuvuzelas shoot through the roof. I personally bought one yellow vuvuzela from an Ebay seller based in Hong Kong a couple of days ago but I will probably have to wait another week or longer before I can receive it. I am really curious as to how loud the horn can be. And it will be a great souvenir to remind me of this world cup in years to come.

A vuvuzela

There has been a lot of curiousity as to the origins of the vuvuzelas.  And someone sent me this email about the possible origins of this noisy horn.

Origin of the vuvuzela?

But I cannot see how the “vuvuzela” in this photo can be blown unless the man’s “little brother”  has some special power. To verify that, you would need to fly to Papua New Guinea.

It’s already 5.10am here in Malaysia. I have not slept any wink for the whole night but it has been worth it. I will catch up on my sleep in a few hours’ time. Have a great week!

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Octopus Paul proved yet again why he has been accorded the title of Oracle Paul when his choice for the Germany-Uruguay match lived up to his prediction. Germany beat Uruguay 3-2 after coming from behind in a pulsating match in Port Elizabeth to secure third place for the second successive World Cup.

Germany’s midfielder Sami Khedira headed in the winning goal in the game that saw both Thomas Muller and Diego Forlan move onto five goals for the tournament.

Sami Khedira's Winning Header Goal (photo taken from ESPN Soccernet)

With his prediction materialising yet again, Paul has thus continued to maintain a 100% correct record in his predictions for this World Cup. It could be pure fluke but there is no doubt that Paul has undeniably become the star of this world cup tournament. The most intriguing question now is whether Paul will again be right in his prediction for the Spain-Holland final. Will Spain really lift the FIFA World Cup 2010 championship trophy as predicted by Paul?  The whole world waits with bated breath!

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Octopus Paul has made his prediction for the World Cup 2010 finals and he is going to make lots of enemies in Netherlands with his latest prediction. Paul has predicted that Spain will be the FIFA World Cup champions while Germany will beat Uruguay to bag the third place.

The octopus, who has now attained almost celebrity status worldwide, chose the winners of World Cup’s two remaining games at an event held in Germany. He was first asked to predict the outcome of tomorrow’s Germany-Uruguay clash.

Two boxes, one with Germany’s flag and the other Uruguay’s, were lowered into Paul’s water tank. Paul took his sweet time to make his prediction, keeping fans and the media in anticipation as he fiddled with the two boxes for a while. Initially it looked as if Paul was going to choose Uruguay but he finally opened the lid of the box containing the German flag and ate the food inside – his standard way of signalling the winner.

Then Paul did what the whole world has been waiting for: his prediction for the Spain-Netherlands final. Paul feasted from the plastic box containing the Spanish flag. Octopus Paul has made his choice.

Spain will be the World Cup 2010 champion!

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It appears that some German fans are lacking a sense of humour. The keepers at the Oberhausen, Germany aquarium where Paul resides have received death threats and octopus recipes after Germany was knocked out by Spain on Wednesday. And Germans aren’t the only ones incensed at Paul. Angry Argentinian fans blamed him for Argentina’s embarrassing 0-4 defeat by Germany and threatened to eat him to avenge his prediction. Paul’s handlers are stoically undeterred by the threats.

Paul’s keeper in Oberhausen, Germany said “there are always people who want to eat our octopus but he is not shy and we are here to protect him as well. He will survive.”

Paul hatched from an egg in an aquarium at Sea Life Weymouth in Weymouth, England but is now residing in an aquarium at the Sea Life Oberhausen in Oberhausen, Germany. His name Paul is based on the title of a poem by the German writer Boy Lomsen: Der Tintenfisch Paul Oktopus.

This is where Paul resides.

According to statements from Sea Life’s entertainment director, Daniel Fey, Paul showed his intelligence early on: “There was something about the way he looked at our visitors when they came close to the tank. It was so unusual, so we tried to find out what his special talents were.”

During the UEFA Euro 2008, Paul made his debut in predicting soccer match results. He was correct in 70% of the predictions that he made but he was wrong in his prediction of the winner of the final match which saw Germany pitted against Spain. Paul predicted a win for Germany but Spain emerged from the match as champion.

After that successful run of picks in Euro 2008, Paul is on fire again but with an even better track record this time, correctly predicting the outcomes of all the six matches that Germany had so far played in this World Cup 2010. Fans of Spain and the Netherlands will no doubt be anxious to see what Paul’s prediction will be for the final. Presuming, that is, his handlers aren’t too bummed out by their team’s defeat to make him pick between two non-German nations. So the question on every one’s mind now is this: Will Paul be predicting the outcome of the Spain-Netherlands final?

If you have placed your faith in Paul and have bet on all the 6 matches that he had made predictions for, you would have been laughing all the way to the bank now. And if Paul himself has bet on his own predictions, this is how he would look like now.

Octopus Paul With His Winnings

With the fame that Paul has attained in this World Cup, I would not be surprised if this year’s top selling Christmas toy is an Octopus  blowing a South Africa 2010 vuvuzela! Hey, China toy makers, take note, there is a fortune to be made here!

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It is really amazing…..Octopus Paul is right again! Spain beat Germany 1-0 through a header by Carles Puyol in the 73rd minute. The whole of Spain is celebrating now.  Paul has been 100% correct in his predictions in this World Cup and that is really incredible!!

Carles Puyol scores!

Carles Puyol scores!

The above photo is taken from ESPN Soccernet. By the way, I realised now that the photo showing Paul predicting Spain to be the winner in my last post is a fake and I apologise for that.

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The waiting is over…..Spain is predicted to “whacka whacka” Germany. Octopus Paul at Oberhausen Sea Life Aquarium in Germany has picked Spain to win the Germany-Spain semi-final match. With a 100% correct prediction track record so far in this World Cup, I bet millions of people will place their bets on Spain winning the Germany-Spain match. What are you waiting for? Call your bookie now!

Paul picks Spain!

I don’t know whether the Germans will feel betrayed….but the Spaniards will feel more confident now. David Villa may get such a big morale boost that he scores a couple of goals.  And let’s hope that Paul will not end up in a German cooking pot!

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