The Race to Find the Next Psychic Octopus

The Search is On for the Next Great Octopoid Oracle

Paul, the Psychic Octopus who captured our hearts and minds not so long ago, has passed on—but his legend remains. So much so that, with the Women’s World Cup coming up in Germany, that a search has been announced for the next great psychic octopus, one capable of living up to the long shadow cast by the original seawater seer.

BBC Sport reports:

Paul captured global attention after he successfully predicted the results of all of Germany’s seven games at the 2010 World Cup, as well as the final. Each time he opened a box marked with the winning country’s flag and ate the mussel inside.

There are now eight contenders in the race to become the next ‘psychic’ octopus for the Women’s World Cup. One of the those in the running is Lola from France, aged around five months, who lives at the Sea Life Centre in Munich.

Jens Bohn, who works at the aquarium, thinks she is in with a good chance, and he he told BBC World Service that Lola is both “intelligent” and a “quick learner.” He has been training her in preparation for her first test on Friday, when she and the seven other octopuses will attempt to predict the winner of the opening game between Germany and Canada.

But could there ever really be another Paul?

“Perhaps we’ll discover that Paul was the only one, the magic one, and the others are just normal octopuses,” admits Bohn. “Nobody knows, but it’s worth a try, isn’t it?” Sixteen teams, including England, are taking part in the Women’s World Cup in Germany, which runs from 26 June until 17 July.

What do you think—could any octopus, psychic or not-so-psychic, ever hope to live up to the legend and glory that was Paul?

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