The head hunt for the next psychic octopus has begun in the Sea Life Aquarium, following the demise of the proverbial Paul the Octopus that died at the age of 2 years, 8 months.
Paul amazed many people, especially football fans, when he correctly predicted the outcome of Germany’s matches in the 2010 World Cup. To choose the next psychic incarnation of Paul, Germany’s eight large aquariums will have one of its octopuses predict the result of a competition by picking a mussel from one of the two containers depicting rival teams. The mussel eaten by the octopus will represent the winning team in the reading.
The octopus that will garner the most correct predictions will be declared as Paul’s rightful successor. As a reward, the lucky octopus will have larger shores to play around.
Last summer, Paul did an animal version of a psychic reading when correctly predicted all of Germany’s winning matches, as well as its defeat over Spain in the finals. Experts believe that this is an incredible feat for a human—and even downright spectacular for a cephalopod.
With the right predictions, Paul became a ‘celebrity’ in the 2010 World Cup. His popularity attracted thousands of people to his sea abode in Oberhausen, Germany. He even received death threats from soccer fans who got angry with his predictions. People even made songs in his honour, as well as a documentary entitled The Life and Times of Paul the Octopus. The documentary was made before Paul passed away.
“If you look back on how octopuses have been treated throughout history, Paul was truly the first friendly one,” Filmmaker Alexandre Philippe said. “I am surprised he didn’t inspire 1,000 other documentary filmmakers. It’s the perfect story about viral fame.”
Mr. Philippe is doubtful regarding the abilities of other octopuses to match Paul’s feat. However, the filmmaker understands why other aquarium owners are trying their best.
“Whenever magic happens, people try to repeat it,” Mr. Philippe stated in AOL Weird News. “Like when Avatar was a hit, everyone went to 3D.”
Bob Burhans, curator of Sea Life Carlsbad Aquarium, the same shelter where Paul lived, does not know if octopuses bear psychic powers. However, Mr. Burhans was impressed with their overall intelligence.
“They are about as smart as dogs,” Burhans stated. “We put some food in a bottle in order to see how long they would need to open it. The first day, it took 15 minutes. The second day, it took five and they’re doing it much faster.”
Crystal Kranz, another employee at the aquarium, is also uncertain if any of the challengers for Paul’s paranormal crown will match his ‘eight for eight’ record. Despite this, she predicted a win prediction for the octopuses.
“Paul really raised awareness about these great creatures and is attracting more people to aquariums like ours where we can educate them,”
Ms. Kranz said.
Source : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/20/search-is-on-for-new-psychic-octopus_n_880763.html