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Yesterday’s final game between Spain and the Netherlands brought the FIFA World Cup 2010 to a dramatic close, with Spain winning it all.
One of the most entertaining side stories that stemmed from this World Cup is the attention paid to Oracle Paul the Octopus, who correctly predicted the outcome for every match played by Germany in the FIFA World Cup 2010, plus the final match between Spain and the Netherlands.
Before each match, the 3-year-old octopus, who currently lives at Sea Life Centre in Oberhausen, Germany, was presented with two boxes in his water tank, each containing a mussel. One box was draped in the German flag; the other in the opposing country’s flag. To make his prediction, Paul the Octopus opened the box of his choice with his tentacles and devoured his snack.
This is nothing new for him, but it is for many fans worldwide. The eye-opening conclusion to his World Cup run came after Germany lost to Spain in the semi-finals. While many thought it would be a difficult choice for him to make without the familiar flag of Germany in the mix, he still chose the right team to win.
Paul the Octopus has long been touted by Germans to be an accurate predictor of German soccer games. It wasn’t until the World Cup that he became a worldwide sensation, taking over the Internet with great popularity. He is a regular trending topic on social media sites like Twitter. He has his own entry in Wikipedia and has been the topic of countless blogs, even those not usually related to sports.
The YouTube video of Paul’s final match choice received 1.3 million views in three days, despite the fact that the audio is in Spanish. Yahoo News yielded more than 2,000 comments to the article’s about his record in just a few hours. There are nearly 40,000 entries for him on the most popular search engine. He is an SEO magnet.
In fact, Paul the Octopus is now the center of worldwide attention in a variety of news stories, including the Italians’ claim that he was born in Italian waters, not in England, and the Netherlands’ fans comments that he may soon become an entrée on someone’s dinner table.
While we may never know what drives Paul the Octopus to make his game picks, I have to say he is by far the most entertaining Internet sensation of this World Cup.
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