Octopus Oracle Remembered in Memorial

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January 21, 2011

The octopus Paul, which shot to worldwide fame for apparently correctly picking the winner of several games in the 2010 soccer World Cup, is the subject of a memorial. Paul died of natural causes a few months after the World Cup ended.

A spokesman for Paul's current owner, the Sea Life aquarium in Oberhausen, Germany, has announced the creation of a giant octopus grasping an even larger soccer ball, commemorating Paul's success. Fittingly, Paul's ashes are in a gold-leaf-covered urn that has been placed inside the giant soccer ball.

Paul initially shot to fame during the Euro in 2008, when he correctly "picked" the winner of four of Germany's five matches. Then this year, Paul went 8-for-8, correctly "picking" the winner in all seven of Germany's matches and then picking Spain to win the final.

How did he do it? Workers at the aquarium devised a system that involved lowering into Paul's tank two plastic containers of food, each one decorated with the flags of the two countries contesting the soccer match. Observers interpreted Paul's initial opening of a food container as his pick for the upcoming soccer match.

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