Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Paul the Octopus dead at 2.5 Years

Just months into his retirement after gaining international attention for his football foreshadowing this past summer, Paul the Octopus died in his tank Tuesday of natural causes in the German city of Oberhausen. He was two-and-a-half-years-old.

English-born Paul rose to fame in June and July, correctly predicting the outcome of all seven of Germany’s matches at the World Cup in South Africa. The football forecasts were made when Paul lifted the lid of one of two clear boxes, each bearing a team flag and each containing a tasty mussel.

The invertebrate’s success spawned imitators, including Singapore’s Mani the Parakeet, Lorenzo the Parrot in Hannover, Germany and the saltwater crocodile Dirty Harry, who predicted Spain’s World Cup win.

Keepers at the Sea Life aquarium said Paul appeared to be healthy when he was checked Monday night. However, the famous mollusk didn’t make it through the night.

Funeral arrangements haven’t yet been set. Sea Life manager Stefan Porwoll said Paul may be buried on the grounds, or he may be commemorated with a permanent shrine.

After Paul correctly called Spain’s World Cup victory he retired from public life, returning to his real job of entertaining visitors to the aquarium and giving up the razzle-dazzle of sports prognostication.

Paul was born at Weymouth Sea Life Centre in southern England in 2008

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