With the World Cup semi-finals set to kick off in South Africa, a "psychic" octopus in the city of Oberhausen, Germany has shocked his countrymen and thrilled the Iberian peninsula by picking Spain over Germany in tomorrow's highly anticipated match. Paul — whose clairvoyant process involves selecting food from one of two clear plastic boxes, each bearing the flag of a competing team — has earned international fame by successfully predicting the outcomes of Germany's games to date, including four wins and an upset loss to Serbia. Germany "shuddered" when Paul forecast a loss, says Eric Kelsey in Der Speigel. Somehow, the octopus even "seemed to sense that his prophecy would not be a popular one." Yeah, this is a real "bummer for all those German fans who believe in tooth fairies and Santa Claus," says GrrlScientist at Science Blogs. Watch Paul deliberate:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The U.S. Marines are developing laser weapons. Here's why.
- Why the Supreme Court is allowing Texas to hold an unconstitutional election
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- How 1,000-year lifespans could remake the economy
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- Ban PowerPoint!
- Gamergate has backfired spectacularly on its nincompoop perpetrators
- It's time to kill school picture day
Subscribe to the Week