A sports legend has passed on. Paul the octopus, the eight-armed Teutonic creature that successfully predicted the winners of eight World Cup matches earlier this summer and drew the wrath of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has died. Paul was found dead earlier this morning by "devastated" staff at the Sea Life Aquarium in Oberhausen, Germany. "He was dear to all our hearts and we will sorely miss him," said the aquarium's manager, Stefan Porwoll. "He died peacefully in the night of natural causes." (Watch a Russia Today report about Paul's death.) On the occasion of his passing, the international press is eulogizing Paul, not always reverently:
Even though he lacked a backbone, Paul was a winner
"We hardly knew ye. But for a brief moment this summer, you were the world's most famous invertebrate," says Padraig Reldy in The Guardian.
The sad truth
"Octopuses only live three years on average," says David Crossland at ABC News. "[Paul] was never going to be around for the next European Championship in 2012, let alone the World Cup in Brazil in 2014."
No foul play
"The octopus died of natural causes at a ripe old age — for octopuses, anyway," says Samuel Axon at Mashable. "Thankfully, none of the German soccer players who threatened him with death over his (correct) prediction that Spain would defeat Germany were behind his demise."
Death with dignity
"Oddly, this is one outcome Paul did not appear to have predicted. Or perhaps he simply chose to go privately and with dignity, in a Gehrig-like way," says Cindy Boren in The Washington Post.
"Not to lose out on the publicity or the opportunity, Paul was quickly sold to a local seafood restaurant to be served up as appetizers for the evening's meal," wisecracks P.M. Wortham at The Spoof.
This is not the end
"Paul will live on meanwhile in the form of a range of commercial enterprises ranging from special clothing lines to mobile phone applications," says The Telegraph, more accurately.