Paul, the German octopus, who became world famous during last summer’s soccer World Cup when he correctly predicted the outcome of the German games and the eventual winner died in his sleep early this morning in his tank from natural causes. He was 2 ½ years old.
The Oberhausen Sea Life Aquarium released a statement today with the news of the cephalopod’s death. “He appears to have passed away peacefully during the night, of natural causes,” said Sea Life manager Stefan Porwoll reported in AFP. “His success made him almost a bigger story than the World Cup itself… We had all naturally grown very fond of him and he will be sorely missed.”
Last summer, two boxes with food inside and the flags of Germany and the opposing teams were lowered into Paul’s tank. Paul predicted the winner by eating the food from that country’s box. He correctly predicted all the outcomes much to the dismay of German fans who threatened to eat him when he didn’t predict their country to win. German fans were especially upset when Paul predicted correctly that they would be defeated by Spain in the semi-finals. Spain came to his defense though. The Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luiz Rodriguez Zapatero said Paul should get bodyguards while Spain’s Industry Minister said Paul could be transferred immediately to Spain to “ensure his protection,” according to AFP.
After Paul’s World Cup psychic predictions came true he retired but appeared in a Chinese movie and was paid to endorse England’s 2018 World Cup bid according to Yahoo Sports.
A yet to be determined memorial for Paul will be held at the Sea Life Aquarium and a permanent shrine will be erected for him. Currently his body is being held in cold storage until memorial plans are made.
The aquarium had been grooming another “Paul” in anticipation of the original’s death. The new octopus, also to be named Paul, is a younger common octopus. But time will tell if the new Paul has the same psychic powers as the old one.