Berlin: Octopus Paul II, successor to the
tentacled tipster that wowed the world with his uncanny knack
of correctly predicting World Cup football games, was unveiled
amid great fanfare on Wednesday in Germany.
The new cephalopod, also named Paul in honour of his
world-famous predecessor who passed away last week, was
lowered gently into his tank in a ceremony carried live on
Paul the younger initially appeared more publicity-shy
than his media-hungry forerunner, sticking closely to the side
walls of the tank as the TV cameras rolled.
The aquarium in Oberhausen, western Germany, limited the
number of photographers allowed into the room, amid hefty
interest from around the world.
"We got him from near Montpellier" in southern France, an
aquarium employee said.
However, the German aquarium was keen to downplay the
possibility that Paul II will inflict the same pain to
bookmakers as Paul I did, to the joy of punters around the
"No one yet knows whether Paul will be able to follow in
his footsteps, or rather, his tentacle steps," aquarium
spokeswoman Tanja Munzig said in a statement.
Paul I shot to fame by defying the odds to predict eight
successive games during the recent World Cup in South Africa,
including Spain`s 1-0 triumph against the Netherlands in the
For the prediction, two boxes were lowered into the salty
soothsayer`s tank, each containing a mussel and the flag of
the two opposing teams.
Watched by a myriad of reporters, Paul would head to one
box, wrench open the lid and gobble the tasty morsel, with the
box he plumped for being deemed the likely winner.
His astonishing ability made him a global media
phenomenon. His later predictions were carried live on rolling
news channels in Germany.
He died peacefully in his sleep aged nearly three on
October 26, sparking hundreds of messages of condolence from
his 60,000-strong Facebook fan club and some less serious