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The Oracle of Oberhausen

The Oracle of Oberhausen

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Published by Phantomimic
Paul The Psychic Octopus
Paul The Psychic Octopus

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Published by: Phantomimic on Jul 14, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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03/01/2014

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The Oracle of Oberhausen
Paul The Psychic Octopus
 by PhantomimicAll rights reserved © RAGG
 
The Soccer World Cup is over, a new champion, Spain, has emerged, andthe Spaniards have finally gotten over the hangovers from celebrating theevent. This World Cup with its brilliant games and many controversies boththrilled and outraged us, giving rise to many vigorous debates and moreWorld Cup lore. The goal that was not called for England in their lossagainst Germany. A goal eerily similar to Geoff Hurst's infamous "ghostgoal" in the 1966 final, also against Germany, that England won. Thehandball that allowed Uruguay to defeat Ghana and creep into the semifinalsafter a 40 year dry spell. The shocking non-performances of former worldchampions Italy and France. The stunning defeats of the Brazilian favorites by the "Clockwork Orange" Dutch team, of Flamboyant Diego Maradona'sArgentina by Germany, and of the German team itself by the Red SpanishFuries. And finally the nail-biting final that condemned the Dutch team toyet another second place finish. But years from now when the soccer has all but been forgotten the event that will be remembered will be how Paul, anunassuming octopus dwelling in a tank at the Sea Life Center inOberhausen, Germany, correctly predicted the outcome of 8 consecutiveWorld Cup games.It all started during the 2008 matches for the European Soccer Cup. In whatwas a publicity stunt for the aquarium, Paul's keepers began introducing intohis tank 2 plastic boxes each containing a tasty mussel. The boxes with lidsthat the octopus could open had the flag of the German team on one of themand the flag of the opposing team on the other. The idea was that the boxthat Paul opened first would be the winner of the game. Thus, during theEuropean Cup Paul predicted that the German team would win all of its 6games but got 2 of the results wrong when the German team was defeated by
 
Croatia in the Group phase and by Spain in the final. As it turns out Paulwas just honing his divination skills.Two years later, during the group phase of the World Cup the cephalopodcorrectly predicted that Germany would defeat Australia and Ghana and loseagainst Serbia, but still he remained a local phenomenon. It was during theround of 16 games when Paul predicted that Germany would defeat Englandthat he began to receive international attention, and then everyone went wildwhen the octopus correctly predicted that Germany would defeat Argentinain the quarter finals. Paul's divinations began to be transmitted livethroughout Germany and to other countries, and pundits for and against themollusk expounded their views in electronic and printed media. Paul becamea superstar, a media sensation with his own Twitter and Facebook fan pages.The German soccer fans sensed that the mysterious forces that Paulchanneled were on their side. Would Germany win the World Cup?Alas it was not to be, Paul was an honest soothsayer and he called them likehe saw them. For next game he chose Spain as the winner. Gloom and doomwashed over the German fans. The German players were shocked to learnthe news; the cephalopod's "vibes" were no longer on their side. How couldTHEIR octopus do this to them? On the eve of the game they all prayed andmany took solace that Paul had been wrong before, but to no avail, Spaindefeated Germany in the semifinal. Angry fans flooded the German mediawith their favorite octopus recipes. Articles were printed labeling Paul a"traitor". The aquarium received threats and Paul's security detail had to bedoubled. Spaniards on the other hand were delighted that the oracle was ontheir side. The Spanish president announced that he was considering sending

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Paul the octopus died in his sleep on October 26 of this year, may he rest in peace. : ^ (
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