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The Famous Octopus Paul

Posted by Sara | Opinion | Friday 16 July 2010 5:11 am
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The Famous Octopus PaulThe octopus Paul , which has been more in the limelight than the soccer players during FIFA 2010, has a secret behind it. It dates back to the 1950s which shows that the evolving creature- the octopus is quite curious and intelligent. Octopuses can learn and process complex formation and behave in a complex way. Although it’s difficult to really believe on the predictions but it actually came out to be true all these past years.

From Yahoo.com

Before footie fever gripped the world, a brush with an octopus would be the exotic gourmet kinds, forkingHtapothi Makaronatha or Htapothi Stifatho or any of the Greek delicacies prepared with octopus. Now, it’sthe Octopus Paul – the oracle, the soothsayer, the official footie star who found fame without stepping anywhere near a football field. Everyone’s gaga over the resident of the Sea Life Aquarium in Oberhausen, Germany. So far he has managed to correctly predict the winner of every game at the tournament featuring his adopted country’s team (he’s British born but reared in Germany).

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How does Paul see the future? By the way, he’s named Paul after a poem by German author Boy Lornse titled Der Tintenfisch Paul Oktopus. His keeper Oliver Walenciak believes it might have something to do with the fact that “all octopus have nine brains so we know he has exceptional powers.”

So, its not just Paul, but many psychic octopuses could be gliding around in the deep blue. Says Carl Zimmer in Slate: Octopuses can learn, they can process complex information in their heads, and they can behave in equally complex ways. But it would be a mistake to try to give octopuses an IQ score. They are not intelligent in the way we are—not because they’re dumb but because their behavior is the product of hundreds of millions of years of evolution under radically different conditions than the ones under which our own brains evolved.” The article gives a fascinating insight into the 1950 discovery of the massive brains of octopuses.

Researchers say octopuses are known to be highly intelligent and curious. This archived article from Discover explores the brainpower of an octopus.

Divers are amazed by the elaborate trails octopus follow along the seafloor. They say octopus are innately curious and take great care to examine divers, tugging at their masks and air regulators. Researchers and aquarium attendants tell tales of octopuses that have tormented and outwitted them. “Some captive octopuses lie in ambush and spit in their keepers’ faces. Others dismantle pumps and block drains, causing costly floods, or flex their arms in order to pop locked lids. Some have been caught sneaking from their tanks at night into other exhibits, gobbling up fish, then sneaking back to their tanks, damp trails along walls and floors giving them away.”

So, is Paul just another intelligent octopus with a distinct personality?  What about his footie fever? Why this affinity for football? I don’t know.  But I am really curious to know if he would be just as accurate at other forecasts – like elections. Paul the pollster has quite a ring to it.  Perhaps.

Octopus Paul has competition

Singapore’s Mani; the 13-year-old parakeet too has been correct in his predictions for all the quarter-final ties and the Spain-Germany semi-final.

Oh and I am wondering if Germany would be willing to send him to India so he could make some predictions for us.

This German reared octopus has now been provided with the security by the government. In competition with the octopus we have a parakeet in Singapore called Mani which is very close to being famous with the FIFA predictions and the wins.

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