Paul The Psychic Octopus Featured In Google Doodle On Day 5 of The World Cup

Paul the octopus is no longer with us but his legend lives on.

Today, Google’s homepage doodle features the psychic cephalopod in the clouds, wearing a halo and struggling to choose between two boxes, one of which bears the Belgium flag while the other carries the Algerian flag. Clicking on the doodle will take you to the first World Cup match of the day featuring Belgium and Algeria.


This is the third Google doodle involving the FIFA World Cup, according to The Telegraph.

Paul was a common octopus. He was hatched from an egg at the Sea Life Centre in Weymouth, England in 2008. He was later moved to a tank at The Centre’s facility in Oberhausen, Germany, where he lived for the majority of his life.

Paul achieved celebrity status when he began predicting winners of soccer games. His keeper would present the octopus two boxes of food, each marked with the flags of the respective teams playing on that particular day. The box from which he chose to eat represented the winner.

Originally, his keeper tasked him with forecasting results of games played by the German National Football Team. Paul correctly chose the winning team in several of Germany’s six Euro 2008 matches, and all seven of their matches in the 2010 World Cup.

After Paul passed away in 2010, his former care givers decided that his legacy should live on and proposed the building of a shrine to recognize the aquatic psychic.

In January 2011, The Sea Life aquarium in Oberhausen unveiled a 6 1/2 foot permanent memorial that features a giant replica of the octopus clutching a soccer ball in his eight arms. The ball is emblazoned with different national flags. Inside the statue, visible through a see through screen, there is a golden octopus shaped urn which contains the ashes of the tentacled mystic. 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.

Since Paul’s death, other animals have tried their paws at predicting game winners with varying degrees of success. There was Citta, an Indian elephant living in the Krakow Zoo, who was chosen to predict the Euro 2012 outcome, along with the aptly named Psychic Pig. Ukraine’s Fred the ferret was another pick for the European tournament, and was tasked with choosing between two bowls of beef each bearing a different country’s flag.

For the World Cup this year, a panda is being lined up as a possible heir to Paul’s psychic crown.

Only time will tell if Paul the Octopus will remain in a league of his own.

photo via Wikipedia