Opinion Brief

Can this octopus predict World Cup winners?

Will Germany's soccer team triumph over England this weekend? Ask Paul, the underwater Nostradamus

Feast your eyes on Paul, an octopus who has successfully predicted the outcome of all three of Germany's World Cup games — including the German team's shocking loss to Serbia in the first round. Before each match, trainers at Sea Life Aquarium in Oberhausen, Germany offer the eight-armed oracle two (food filled) boxes labeled with rival countries' flags and wait breathlessly for him to make his selection. This is just "shameless aquarium publicity," says Ryan Bailey at Yahoo Sports. However, I must concede, octopuses are "renowned as the most intelligent of the invertebrates, and Paul has done his species proud." Nonsense, says P.Z. Myers at Scienceblogs. "Why would an octopus be at all interested in a game where you can't use your arms?" Watch as Paul decisively spells out doom for England, Germany's opponent in this Sunday's game:

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