Few living things have left the impact that Paul the Octopus did this summer on the World Cup. The squid who picked every Germany match correct and the World Cup final died of old age Tuesday morning in his fish tank in Germany. Paul was two and a half years old which is apparently old for his kind.
And no Octopus in the history of the world has A) been able to pick soccer games like Paul (9 for 9) and B) created as much controversy as Paul has. Paul was hated by many German fans for choosing against the squad in the semi-finals, but what can you say the Calamari Kid knew how to pick them. Paul was also the target of a Middle Eastern protest claiming that Paul was the perfect example of what was wrong with Western culture as a whole. I personally don’t think a magical squid that chooses the correct result of every game is a problem of any kind, but apparently the public fascination with Paul was further proof of our wicked ways to one bizarre and dull dictator.
The truth is that Paul will always be remembered for his brilliant picks and his courage to pick against his own hosting nation. The Octopus Oracle has impacted our society more then 99% of humans do in their lifetime and the brilliant predictions have impacted a long line of marketing ideas that we will see for years to come. One of those inventions is an Ask the Octopus application for a phone company, a mega hit song called fittingly Paul the Octopus, and as I’ve reported before Daniel Day Lewis is slated to star in a biopic about Paul’s life.
Before I protested that Paul should be allowed to return to his home of the ocean (or at least moved to a larger fish tank in Paris Hilton’s house), but perhaps it was most fitting that Paul died in the same fish tank that he made all of those legendary picks in Germany. After all it was in that fish tank that Paul progressed from being considered just a regular octopus to the world’s most famous predictor of sporting events.
Paul is expected to be buried sometime later this week at his German home. The aquarium’s staff is planning to construct a permanent shine in honor of the World Cup prophet. But Paul will always be remembered as the best predictor of games in the history of predicting. Paul the Octopus left the world with a perfect World Cup record.